So far, Leininger has found over 30 US museums that have been approached by a man going by the name “Mark Landis”, or by apparently the same man using the name “Steven Gardiner” (the names used seem unlikely to be his real name). The list also includes institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the St Louis University Museum of Art, the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, the San Francisco Art Institute, the American Folk Art Museum in New York, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The earliest donation he found is a Laurencin watercolour, Portrait of a Young Girl, 1935, given to the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1987, but later deemed a forgery. Many of the museums have recently become suspicious of these donations, because no tax deduction forms were asked for—sometimes Landis/Gardiner explained this, saying that he was on disability with heart problems.
Leininger, who is now at the Cincinnati Art Museum (which has not been approached with suspicious donations), says he notified local police, the FBI and the IRS, but as he hasn’t actually committed fraud, “I don’t know what you could get him on. All I can do is let people know.”
Meanwhile, the Hilliard University Art Museum in Louisiana, plans to include the “Curran” in an exhibition exploring authenticity and forgery, entitled “Say It Isn’t Faux!”, set to open in January 2011. But Leininger has more ambitious hopes: “My dream would be to get all these works from all the different museums, host an exhibition in his name and invite him as the guest of honour. Then he’d really have heart problems.”