Cheshire County Mother and Son Accused of Art Forgery Appear in Federal Court
A former Franklin Pierce University professor and her son appeared in U.S. Federal Court in Concord on Monday, accused of selling forged paintings by artist Leon Golub to a wealthy Florida-based art collector, Andrew Hall.
During a pretrial conference, the parties expressed doubt over the ability to reach a settlement. Magistrate Judge Andrea Johnstone scheduled a jury trial for March, 2018.
According to court documents, between 2009 and 2011, Lorettann Gascard and her son Nikolas sold two-dozen paintings they owned by Golub--a New York-based artist whose work hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Whitney Museum--to Andrew Hall. Hall purchased those works through auction houses and direct sale with Nikolas Gascard, paying more than $500,000 for the paintings.
Lorettann Gascard claims she was a friend and former student of Golub, and that she acquired the paintings directly from the artist. Hall disputes that provenance, and accuses Gascard of selling him forged paintings. A wealthy commodities trader, Hall owns several dozen works by Leon Golub, and was preparing an exhibition of those holdings when the alleged forgeries came to light.
The Gascards, who now reside in Keene, are representing themselves in the case. No friends or supporters were present in the courtroom.
Gascard was an art history professor at Franklin Pierce for nearly twenty years, and ran an on-campus gallery, before settling a discrimination case with the school.