Yesterday Improv Everywhere staged an unauthorized signing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by an actor who looked very much like King Philip IV of Spain. The actor greeted museum visitors and signed 8 x 10 photos before a portrait of the king by Velasquez, a 400-year-old painting that had just been restored. This stunt, produced by Charlie Todd, called to mind some great art hoaxes of the not-too-distant and sometimes distant past that captured our imaginations.
Banksy Drops Stealth Art at New York Museums
In March 2005, dressed as a British pensioner in a hat and trench coat, the artist known as Banksy installed four of his own works in some of New York’s most prestigious museums — the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural History. The images, which included a Warhol-esque can of tomato soup and a portrait of a woman in a gas-mask, came complete with name plaques and explanations.