Art: Time to Jump the Experts

The high panjandrums of the art world are the so-called "experts"—the men who authenticate paintings. Like baseball scouts and wine tasters, they are paid not just to guess, but to guess right.. The best of them admit that it is an uncertain art, often humbly change their judgments. But when an opinion can determine whether a painting is worth $10 or $100,000, some modern experts try to envelop their trade with the accouterments of more exact sciences, strive to test problematic works with a chemist's lofty calm. Some refuse to see the picture itself,...

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