Archive for Matthew Leininger

FAUX Real – Happy New Year Trekkers

Matthew C. Leininger

Matthew C. Leininger

My fellow Trekkers, it has been a while and I wanted to take the time to wish you all a Happy New Year and wish all the best for 2017!

I received Angela’s inspiring email regarding our fourth year and found it only right as a co-founder to jump back in. I will still title my blog entries FAUX Real as I always have. As you know I have been out of the museum realm for quite some time now and sometimes wonder what new issues, policies or protocols have changed insofar as Registrar role in the last five years. If I were to go back into the profession, would I be able to pick up where I left off after being let go by the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2011? Or would I be a greenhorn in registration practices and have to learn all over again?

I truly have to say that I have strong feelings and a love for the art and museum world. I however will contribute in some manner my abilities and experience to the arts but still to this day have no desire to work in the art field. No grudges no hard feelings still after all this time. It is hard to fathom working in another nine to five job in any profession. I have been with Amazon Fulfillment now for four years and continue to move up and grow with the company. Still looking back on my days as a young and aspiring Registrar thinking it was my life time career, man days and times change and you need to be ready. One needs to own their situation and press on hard. I personally thank those in the trenches in the museum realm. Not the directors, trustees nor donors. The registrars, preparators, curators, secrurity etc., make the museums thrive and stay in it for the public trust.

My wish for you all this year is to stay the course, own your situation and stay true to yourself and your beliefs whether you agree or not. Agree to disagree and then have backbone and commit yourself. Only then will you continue to grow and excel. May 2017 bring success and improvements on failure.

Talk Soon,
Matt

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FAUX Real: News from Art and Craft

Hello Trekkers!

The discerning eye - Matt Leininger uncovering Landis

The discerning eye – Matt Leininger uncovering Landis in Art and Craft.

The Art Sleuth here greeting you on a cold Sunday morning in Cincinnati, Ohio. Art and Craft (artandcraftfilm.com) has been doing extremely well here in the US. Opening in new cities every Friday since September 19, Art and Craft comes to Cincinnati this Friday the 24th at the Mariemont Theatre. I will be doing a question and answer session after the 730pm screenings on October 24 and 25. If you cannot see the film in theaters, you can now pre-order Art and Craft at iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/art-and-craft/id917816859?ign-mpt=uo%3D4).

I also wanted to share this blog from the American Institute for Conservation (http://www.conservators-converse.org/2014/10/the-movie-art-and-craft-a-conservators-perspective/). A very well thought out piece from the blogger!

I will keep you posted on any new findings on Mark Augustus Landis as I am in my seventh year now tracking him.

As always, talk soon and keep on Trekking,

Matt

Matt is now also on Twitter, follow him @artsleuth2008

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FAUX Real – How did I get here?

How I became a registrar V

Matthew C. Leininger

matt condition reportWell Trekkers it is great to write to you once again after seeing the world premier of Art and Craft at the Tribeca Film Festival! The film is great and is going to make history with this whole Landis deal. As I said in the film ‘he messed with the wrong registrar’! Cool thing is gang, Art and Craft will hit the big screen in theaters in the USA late fall, early summer, then the DVD and eventually will be televised. Really neat stuff and I was the registrar to make this all happen.

But why me and how did I get here?

After being encouraged from a young age by my high school art teacher, Barb Sailor, I worked hard at art all my life and went to college to study the arts. My concentration was in printmaking and stone lithography was my gig. I began my career as an unknowing intern at the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University where I was working on obtaining my Master of Fine Arts degree. Eventually I was hired on at the Kennedy as curator, registrar and preparator. You can say I jumped in head first into what turned out to be an over fifteen year career in the fine art museum field. I met my wife Jen in 1996 and was married in 1997. 17 years wedded bliss this month! I graduated OU in 1998 and took off with my new wife to become the registrar at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. There I was challenged to move their entire collection from the old fairgrounds building to the new facility which is now downtown. Carolyn Hill was the director at that time, sadly she is no longer with us. Carolyn use to tell me that I was the heartbeat of the museum; she even did so to donors and trustees about me. Pretty big shoes to fill! Eventually I was made Curatorial Department Head overseeing registration, the curators, film and education. I was a whiz at making budgets and keeping them in the black and eventually I was responsible for well over 150 exhibitions during my career.

mattcleanEight years in Oklahoma City, we decided to move back to Ohio where the end was coming for my career as a registrar, but I did not know it at the time. The Cincinnati Art Museum hired me on as Chief Registrar and I oversaw three fellow registrars that I miss… three good people with much experience. My position, believe it or not, was ‘eliminated’. The reasons I was told I was let go were all bogus and I finally burned my copy of the letter. I believe it was due to financial issues as I was making a seriously big salary for a registrar with full benefits. I think a big contributor however was my link to finding and tracking Mark Landis. A few weeks before I was let go, I was told not to talk about Landis on museum time. So I did not. No phone calls or emails. But you all knew where I was working and if you wanted information on Landis, you called or emailed. I adhered to CAM’s wishes and only talked and worked on Landis at home. I really did not do personal work on Landis at CAM anyway so not sure why they were worried. CAM is in Art and Craft and Cincinnati, OH is pasted all over the big screen. My gain, and a big win for Cincinnati even though the city is not aware of the film hitting the theaters!

After looking for museum work for 14 months, and anything I could find to produce an income, I was hired on by a franchise shipping company. That lasted four months and I knew something was wrong with the company when my direct report had to borrow against life insurance to pay me. So out of work again and back to being a stay at home dad with my six year old angel! But the story goes on to where I am today. I am currently a Fulfillment Associate with Amazon.com. Basically what I have been doing for them in this monster size warehouse, is if you order something online, I go get it to have it shipped to you! It is a whole new world but refreshing and showing me that my career as a registrar can pay off in other fields.

Delivery1When I left Ohio with my new wife in 1998 I had no clue as to what I would be doing 17 years later. So take my life as a prime example, you will never know what the plan is for your life or career. So be happy where you are today and make each day count as tomorrow brings changes. Sometimes small changes or big, but be prepared. Change is coming. I was scared and worried three years ago when I lost my job which was the first time in my life. But here I am today, a hard working blue collar man with an awesome wife and daughter and I am honored to share how I got here!

Talk Soon,
Matt

This post is also available in French, translated by Marine Martineau.

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FAUX Real: Art and Craft – The Film

Hello fellow Trekkers!

The discerning eye - Matt Leininger uncovering Landis

The discerning eye – Matt Leininger uncovering Landis in the new film.

Been a while but I have not forgotten you and hope that 2014 has been a blessed year in your work and personal lives, and I mean that with much sincerity! All is quiet on the Landis front but not for long. Next month, the film that has been in production for more than three years comes from Emmy award winning director Jennifer Grausman and Oscar nominated director Sam Cullman, Art and Craft. Art and Craft will makes its world premier at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in Chelsea on April 17th. My wife and I will be in NYC for the screening and hopefully I will be able to continue my trek on educating the public not only on Landis but having that discerning eye and taking the time to be diligent in work making sure that no one is duped!

I say this to not only tell you that your position as registrar is important, but it may be one of the best decisions you have made. Why was it I that discovered and uncovered Landis to begin with when there are all of you out there that this task could been placed. I don’t know. What I do know is I did my job, did it well and now have the privilege of keeping my colleagues up to date and stay in communication as I am able with my schedule. I know you are all very busy but check out the links from this recent post and stay healthy, strong, happy and the rest will come in time.

Keep the faith and talk soon,

Matt

http://artandcraftfilm.com/

https://tribecafilminstitute.org/films/detail/art_and_craft

http://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/53208aa9c07f5df7d200065d-art-and-craft

This text is also available in French translated by Kelsey Brow

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 11
– Final Entry for 2013

Dear Trekkers,

Matthew C. Leininger

Matthew C. Leininger

It has been an interesting year in the life of a former Registrar, yes me, for 2013. This will be my last entry for 2013 and look forward to talking again in the new year.

I want to again thank Angela for asking me to be a part of the team in January. I want to thank all the readers and participants with Registrar Trek. You all are the life blood of this site.

The narrative feature film is in post and will be entered into The Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January, stay tuned. Not really much on the Landis front at this point however I still track him via the internet and word of mouth. Remember to keep a look out for anything that seems suspicious in your collections and keep the diligent eye. Remember, a Registrar is a unique and special person to be or have been and remember you will always have that Registrar inside you ready to utilize your talents in whatever direction life takes you.

Until 2014, thank you once again for watching for my next blog entry. Have a blessed, safe Christmas and New Year.

The forger-Mark Augustus Landis

KNOWN ALIAS FOUND BY YEAR
STEVEN GARDINER 2008
FATHER ARTHUR SCOTT 2010
FATHER JAMES BRANTLEY 2011
MARC LANOIS February 2012
MARTIN LYNLEY September 2012
JOHN GRAUMAN October 2012

Talk soon!
Matt

This text is also available in French translated by Kelsey Brow and in Italian translated by Silvia Telmon.

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 10

picture: LSU University Art Museum

The forger – Mark Augustus Landis
Also known Aliases:
2009 – Steven Gardiner
2010 – Father Arthur Scott
2011 – Father James Brantley
2012 – Mark Lanois
2013 – Martin Lynley

This Friday, I have the opportunity to continue to educate the public on Landis, this time… maybe future Registrars, a group of students.

I will be at the Taft Museum here in Cincinnati at 1pm, EST not only talking about paintings and the like as a curator would, but my experience as a Registrar leading up to my findings on Landis. I say this to you so that if you remain a Registrar or choose another field, do not let go of those experiences you have had to help educate those in the field or outside the field. Each of us, in whatever country or state that chose the field of Registration, have a responsibility to be the sole caretakers of objects, personal effects, and beloved treasures that have been acquired over the years even if we or the records cannot account… we ARE the heartbeat of any institution.

Remember that crew, you are the heartbeat. Do not take yourself for granted or anyone else. You are who you are and your talents and gifts will take you to places you have never dreamed of. Keep up the pace, the endurance, and due diligence that makes a great Registrar great. Life will open doors, and of course close them, but staying true and having a great network such as this, you will remain strong. Straying away from them will close doors.

That is all for now. Again any findings on the names listed below or any suspect you may have in any acquisitions, please contact me. My contact information on Registrar Trek is complete and accurate. I look forward to any response or questions regarding myself or the Landis case, and until the ‘mean’ time…. Stay strong and know that you are a part of a unique group of people and I am grateful to Angela Kipp and the crew with Registrar Trek..

The forger-Mark Augustus Landis

Alias:
Steven Gardiner
Father Arthur Scott
Father James Brantley
Marc Lanois
Martin Lynley

Talk soon!
Matt

This text is also available in French translated by Kelsey Brow.

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 9

picture: LSU University Art Museum

The forger – Mark Augustus Landis
Also known Aliases:
2009 – Steven Gardiner
2010 – Father Arthur Scott
2011 – Father James Brantley
2012 – Mark Lanois
2013 – Martin Lynley

Well The New Yorker piece came out in August and thought it was well done. Film crew from New York was here for the last time last week and should be wrapping things up on Landis and the now narrative feature in 2014.

I decided today to revisit and again share my findings as an update. Believe it or not, after I sent an email to two museum lists, I got a response. As some wish to remain anonymous if they have something from Landis, I respect that. So I can tell you that today I found another attempt by Landis that was from February 2007 to an institution in California requesting information on his genealogy along with a print-out he wished to donate, which the names, with no wonder, did not exist. His return address was from a town here in Ohio. The director to whom the letter was mailed from Landis returned his documents and told him that they did not know of his genealogy and could not accept his donation of a print-out of his genealogy as it was not in their collections plan. Good for them! Or they may have been approached by Landis today under another name. This institution did not know about Landis in 2007, but they know about him now and I know they have been informing their co-horts!

I say all of this to bring back to you the name of the now known art forger, although having been deemed not doing anything illegal, is still out there. Whether he is still active after all the media attention or is just laying low until he believes he can begin again, I do not know. But as I did with the two museum lists, I will once again share his true name and alias with the fifth alias being rather recent. And I ask those that have been following or the new people in the field to look at your records and ask questions and spread the word. This will not only inform others of Landis but also make people think twice before accepting a work or making a purchase as I discovered something not quite right on August 7, 2008.

Talk soon!
Matt

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 8

picture: LSU University Art Museum

Mark Landis
Also known Aliases:
2009 – Steven Gardiner
2010 – Father Arthur Scott
2011 – Father James Brantley
2012 – Mark Lanois

The New Yorker piece should be out by the end of the month. I have much to share about Landis and will certainly do so but somehow at the moment this feels like a one-way street. I’m sitting here writing all I know about Landis, keeping you informed about my findings, telling my story but I don’t know if I am just talking to myself or if I reach you collections people out there.

I really would like to hear if any of you have either encountered Landis or his alias that I have spoken about or what you have encountered in your research on lenders that raised a red flag. I have spent five years of my life on this one person and I know there has to be more people like, or not exactly, like Landis out there. What does your development office do in researching donors or philanthropists? What have they found? Has this case of Landis made you ask questions or have a wow moment in your current position? I like to hear from you.

I love blogging, and one part of blogging is asking questions and giving answers. So, for the next part I thought we’ll make a part that we’ll call

Questions to Matt

You ask questions, here in the comments section or through mail or phone and I’ll answer them in the next part. I am anxious to hear even the most obscure inquiry from you on the case or even my background…

You all are the best and please keep up the good work where ever you are currently working knowing that your next adventure will be even bigger and better than where you are currently. Do your job well, keep your nose clean and you will be fine.

Talk soon!
Matt

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 7

Sorry gang it has been a while since my last entry and I hope you welcome me back. The last four months have had its up and downs and now I am in a down time. Why? I am once again seeking full time employment.

As some of you may know I have been in the fine arts, non profit field for 15 years. I lost my position with the local art museum a few years back. I had to step outside my comfort zone to land a job. This Landis investigation helped me to do that. How you may ask how? I met Marty and Jan Sikora of Cincinnati at the opening of FAUX Real last April 1st, 2012. I talked with them about Landis and my experience in the art realm and how I may help them someday with their franchise. Months go by and I stay in touch and still no job. December 2012 comes still no job and much uncertainty going into 2013. Landis at this point did as he said and stopped his scheme, so little activity for me to follow.

2013 comes and Landis follows me into a new season. I was contacted by a veteran writer for The New Yorker and he interviewed me for twelve hours over a two day period and even watched the Daytona 500 with me. We had a great time and I learned some new things regarding Landis. He is still active and I now know of his current, fifth, alias. Look for an upcoming publication on Landis in The New Yorker very soon. It will probably be the strongest piece yet written on the subject and reaching more readers that I know have not heard of Landis.

So back to the job search. The week my unemployment dried up, I got that call from Marty and he hired me on as an inside sales administrator. I knew nothing about the business and being in a for profit world was so foreign. Well to say it simply, was not a good fit and the business was not doing well. I lost my job due to attrition last week. Landis basically was integral insofar that if Marty and Jan had not come to the opening, I would not have had a paycheck for the last four months. I say this to say, don’t get too comfortable in your current position. Think outside the box and make an effort to believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Give it your best effort even if you don’t know the first thing about what you are doing. There are people out there that will see you for who you are and what you can do. Take comfort in this folks. There are still good people out there that will give you a chance and I will remember this as I move forward in my life.

Look for the piece in The New Yorker that should come out this summer and as always, keep Trekking!

Talk soon!
Matt

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FAUX Real: On the Trail of an Art Forger Part 6

picture: LSU University Art Museum

Mark Landis
Also known Aliases:
2009 – Steven Gardiner
2010 – Father Arthur Scott
2011 – Father James Brantley
2012 – Mark Lanois

Landis has been shopped and stopped… not by the Feds, not by Police, not by the ‘Law’… but by the best detectives out there who are registrars and collections managers that take their work seriously and even take their work home and ponder over their concerns. Should you take your work home? No… but there is not one of us out there that can say that when we have a difficult lender, logistics problems or even a difficult direct report that we do take things home with us and it can keep us up at night… not healthy and non-productive.

For years Landis and his antics have kept me thinking on a daily basis, but not keeping me up at night at this point, about if he truly will stop making the forgeries and passing them off as the real deal. Landis told me face to face on April 1, 2012 at the opening of “FAUX REAL: A Forger’s Story” at the University of Cincinnati that he would stop because he was tired and bored with what he had been doing for so long. But what keeps me on this blog and why am I still so interested in tracking Landis when he personally told me he would stop? I do not think that he can or will even to this day.

Let me ask all of you this one question: Which one of you have researched this case and have actually informed your peers and fellow staff members of Landis and the four aliases? Some are concerned about their reputation for their selves or the institution for which they are employed. Since there has been no actual crime committed and no worry to come forward why do I still believe there are more than the fifty or so institutions out there that have been scammed and will not say so? No one wants to believe they have not personally been duped nor the museum they work for has been scammed and have to admit so… especially when they know what I know and have shared and continue to give updates and refreshers over the years.

So I encourage you to look deep into your records, databases, development offices and share with your peers this strange story of Mark Augustus Landis and the one that discovered and revealed the most overzealous forger the museum field has known in years. I encourage you all to email or call me if you even have the slightest feeling of a gift from Landis or someone that resembles the forger. My contact information is on the authors page and as I always say… do your job well, keep your nose clean and you’ll be fine.

Talk soon!
Matt

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