Art Fraud Insights, LLC works alongside top experts in the field, including: scientists, forensic consultants, art historians and provenance researchers when undertaking a specialized investigation of an artwork.

Jennifer L. Mass, Ph.D.

Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LCC

Art Fraud Insights, LLC provides scientific analysis of artworks through our partnership with Scientific Analysis of Fine Art (SAFA), LLC. Such analyses answer questions about a work’s authenticity, provenance, state of preservation, restoration history, and technology of manufacture.  SAFA offers physical, chemical, and imaging analysis to identify the artists’ original media and pigments, and any alterations. This provides information about the date of the piece, any prior restorations, and any unusual features, including paintings buried under other paintings or a concealed “marriage” of two or more objects. SAFA also provides consultation on research projects that may involve more sophisticated techniques such as x-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), confocal XRF, and XRF intensity mapping for imaging buried paintings.

SAFA is led by Jennifer L. Mass, Ph.D., an internationally renowned museum scientist with twenty years of experience in cultural heritage science and fifteen years of experience teaching instrumental analysis of artworks to master’s degree students in art conservation.  She has won numerous awards for her research in developing new methods for the analysis of art, is the co-author of several volumes on art analysis, and has presented her research in keynote and plenary lectures at dozens of museums, universities, and professional conferences around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre Museum, the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.  SAFA’s clients span a range of internationally recognized institutions including auction houses (Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Northeast Auctions, Skinners Auctions, Freeman’s Auctions, and Keno Auctions), museums (the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Munch museum, the Barnes Foundation, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Baltimore Museum of Art) and conservation firms (The Midwest Art Conservation Center, The Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio, Williamstown Art Conservation Center) and many prominent dealers.


To Detect Fakes, Art Meets Science by Jennifer Smith, The Wallstreet Journal (February 24, 2016)

A Genuine Motherwell? Make Sure Before Buying by Paul Sullivan, The New York Times (March 2, 2012)


Nicholas Petraco

Forensic Consultant
Petraco Forensic Consulting

Art Fraud Insights, LLC provides forensic analysis through our partnership with Nicholas Petraco, a forensic chemist specializing in microscopy and trace evidence analyses. He is a retired detective and criminalist with the New York City Police Laboratory’s Trace Evidence Section and is currently retained by the NYPD as a consultant/technical leader of the Criminalistics Section for the past seventeen years. In addition to government and private sector casework, Dr. Petraco is an Assistant Professor at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the Science Department.

Throughout his career he has examined thousands of cases and testified as an expert witness in over 500 trials. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics, a fellow in the Criminalistics Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a fellow in the New York Microscopic Society. Dr. Petraco has presented over 100 papers at scientific meetings, published over 50 research articles in scientific literature and has authored/co-authored twelve book chapters and five textbooks on forensic science topics, crime scene investigation and forensic microscopy.

His most famous book, “Color Atlas and Manual of Microscopy for Criminalists, Chemists and Conservators”, published by CRC Press, in 2004, demonstrates his main areas of research and interest and is almost universally taught in forensic criminology programs.

Professor Petraco brings to AFI his extensive knowledge of microscopy and trace evidence analysis – including hair and fiber analysis, textile analysis, paper fiber analysis, paint and ink differentiation as well as tool mark/mechanical impression individualization – for the examination of questioned documents and all types of works of art. He is a pioneer in applying his specialized expertise of trace analysis to organic materials found within artworks to substantiate location of creation and support attribution.


A Real Pollock? On This, Art and Science Collide by Patricia Cohen, The New York Times (November 23, 2013)

Miracle on Ice Flag on Sports Detectives, Episode 1, Smithsonian Channel


Natalie Zayne

Art Historian
Contemporary Conservation Ltd.

Art Fraud Insights, LLC conducts extensive art and technical art historical research through its partnership with Natalie Zayne. Following graduate studies in Art History/Contemporary Art and Criticism at McGill University in Montreal, Natalie worked as an independent art writer and critic, serving on the editorial board of Seachange Journal and co-writing Passenger Art, an online art criticism platform. She relocated to New York in 2014, where she began her tenure as in-house art historian at Contemporary Conservation Ltd. It was here that her interest in the “stuff” of art—the tangible, changeable, and often fallible materials that comprise a work—took hold. In conjunction with Contemporary Conservation she is currently compiling a lexicon of materials used in art since the 1960s – materials as diverse and unwieldy as concrete, potatoes, plastic, blood, steel and excrement – that underscores the rich and diverse ways in which materials give meaning to artworks. Technical art history, scientific analysis of art and the complex issues of authentication have expanded upon this interest with her scholarship regarding Jackson Pollock’s final work, Red, Black and Silver (forthcoming publication). Natalie is thrilled to contribute to the current technical shift in art authentication, forgery prevention and research with Art Fraud Insights.