"Questions of authenticity have plagued Rembrandts for centuries, even during the artist's own lifetime," writes Jon Seydl, a curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The confusion reached all the way to the N.C. Museum: Its first director, William Valentiner, was a Rembrandt specialist who "greatly expanded" the list of works ascribed to him, the museum's announcement says. More recent scholars have cast doubt on many of Valentiner's attributions -- including those of two paintings the N.C. Museum bought on his recommendation.
The show will help viewers look, examine and decide for themselves. But Valentiner won't be able to give his side of things: He died in 1958.