The legitimacy of an antique is too often in the eye of the beholder, and when it is tied to the Washington family, those eyes can be easily deceived.
In 1932, the nation celebrated the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. Federal and state governments and countless private organizations poured money into all things George. Those pots of money, though, also attracted a large number of shady characters eager to cash in on the nation’s enthusiasm. This lecture looks at the careers and creations of a few of the most prolific and fascinating fraudsters to show the idea of material authenticity can be pushed and pulled to suit different purposes.