Wednesday, 1 March 2017
The centenaries are coming thick and fast. Today is that of Tom Keating, who was not well treated by the art establishment. He had his revenge by releasing fakes and delighting in seeing how they were taken up as genuine. He made no real profit by his actions and it looks as if he himself never made any false claims, often giving the pieces away or trading them for the price of materials. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry concludes:
In 1982 Keating found new fame as presenter of Channel 4's Tom Keating on Painters, a series in which he talked about his favourite artists and demonstrated their style. This won him the Broadcasting Press Guild award for the best on-screen performance in a non-acting role. He followed this with a further series on the impressionists. In 1983, 135 of his paintings were sold at Christies for £72,000 and, for the first time in his life, he had real money. However, his health, which had never been good since the war, was declining rapidly. Keating died in Essex County Hospital, Colchester, on 12 February 1984.