Lee Israel: from author to forger

Leonardo DiCaprio played Abagnale in a 2002 movie. Melissa McCarthy plays Lee Israel
Have you heard of   Lee Israel? SEVEN MORE BOOKS ABOUT FORGERIES
The Art Forger by B.A. Journalists   Salisbury and Sujo uncover the decade-long scam of con-man John Drewe and painter John Myatt, who copied famous artworks. She was a run-of-the-mill author of non-fiction books, who became an exceptional forger of literary letters by the rich and famous. From there, things went downhill fast and she was soon in financial strife with rent to pay, a cat to feed and no money coming in.   Unsecured access to a collection of letters in a library opens the door for her. The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
Fiction. Shapiro delivers a compelling tale of a forgery tied to the real unsolved   Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist in Boston. The Can You Ever Forgive Me? This is a biography of arguably the most famous forger of all time,   Han van Meegeren, a disillusioned Dutch painter, who created fake paintings by the master Johannes Vermeer. She acquired a storage locker full of old typewriters and old blank writing paper.   Israel’s scheme worked because she was a good researcher who understood her chosen celebrities and their private lives. Two of Israel’s forgeries were even featured a book called The Letters of Noël Coward. Now recognized as a leading authority on financial foul play, Abagnale went from poacher to gamekeeper. This story starts in Hay-on-Wye in 1995 as Peter Byerly searches through a used bookshop. Drewe’s trail was covered by falsified provenance records and fake documents planted in the   Tate   archives   in London. Richard Grant co-stars in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Lee Israel’s memoir from 2008
Israel’s trick was to visit libraries, request to see letters from famous people stored in the archives, stealthily make a copy of the signature, study the style and content, and then do more biographical research before putting typewriter to paper. The protagonist is a struggling painter called Claire Roth, who is convinced to create a replica of a   Edgar Degas   painting   stolen in the 1990 robbery. Picasso, Matisse, and Renoir were among the artists that Elmyr de Hory was able to copy. I Was Vermeer: The Rise and Fall of the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Forger by Frank Wynne
Non-fiction. Attorney’s Office in New York was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence. He picks up an 18th century study of Shakespeare forgeries and a picture falls out. Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake by Frank W. Her third book, an unauthorized biography of cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder, flopped as Lauder simultaneously released her own memoir. Myatt’s work still hangs in many collections. A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s curiosity. She then offered the forged letters to autograph dealers, who were convinced they were real and attracted by the cheap prices she was asking. Can You Ever Forgive Me? The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time by Clifford Irving
Elmyr de Hory was a Hungarian-born painter and art forger, who is said to have flogged more than a thousand forgeries to top-drawer art galleries around the world. Shapiro
Fiction.   Without spoiling the movie, Israel is forced to turn to theft and that’s where things go pear-shaped for her, and the FBI comes calling. Orson Welles made a documentary film about him called F is for Fake in 1974. Nazi leader Hermann Göring was among his unwitting customers. She knew detail was everything and also learned that autograph dealers craved letters with interesting content, so Israel would insert gossip, comments about relationships and revealing little comments to add spice. Grant. “Not bad for less than two years work. I still consider the letters to be my best work. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.”
Fake! One Texas oil baron purchased more than 50 of his fake paintings. Abagnale
Non-fiction. 
As an author, Israel – a wise-cracking and feisty New Yorker with a drink problem – wrote biographies of the actress Tallulah Bankhead and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen, which sold well. Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger by Ken Perenyi
A 2002   FBI investigation in conjunction with the U.S. is based on Israel’s 2008 memoir of the same name – a short, breezy book which describes Israel’s descent into the criminal world, resulting in more than 300 forged letters. The movie marks a change of dramatic focus for McCarthy who is well known for her comedy roles. book reveals Israel took great pride in her forgeries. Israel’s career in crime is now being brought to the big screen with Melissa McCarthy starring as the American writer who forged letters from notable people such as Dorothy Parker, Noel Coward, Lillian Hellman and Louise Brooks. I was a better writer as a forger than I had ever been as a writer.”
Find copies of Can You Ever Forgive Me? In his brief but notorious career, Abagnale donned a pilot’s uniform and co-piloted a jet, masqueraded as a member of hospital management, practiced law without a license, passed himself off as a college professor, and cashed over $2.5 million in forged checks before he was 21. The film, released on October 19, is called Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and co-stars Richard E. “They totaled approximately 100,000 words, give or take,” she wrote. Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo
Non-fiction.

Lee Israel: from author to forger