The art of forgery

Behind the Scenes

Authenticity and forgery is something often discussed in art museums. Occasionally it is something we must consider at The Tank Museum

Back in the early 1970s, The Tank Museum acquired a set of drawings featuring German tanks and bearing the signatures of both Adolf Hitler and Field Marshall Rommel.

The Tank Museum paid £150 for the six images, which attracted considerable media interest at the time with the BBC and the New York Times among those reporting on the sale.

The illustrations were on display in the museum’s World War Two hall for around 30 years due to the renown of their signatories. But now, we’re pretty sure they’re fake. Here’s why.

David Willey, our curator, has a background in fine art and recalled on his appointment in the early 2000s his impression of the images being slightly ‘off’ from what he’d expect from the wartime German style.

So, he looked back at the records dating from the time of the purchase.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers