Robert W. Wood saw art as a vocation rather than an avocation, and from the early stages of his career his works sold readily. From the 1940s, when his works began to be published widely, the popularity of Robert Wood reproductions made him well-known and fueled an even greater demand for his original paintings.

Because of Wood's popularity and the value that some of his paintings have reached there are a significant number of inauthentic works in existence. While some were clearly painted as forgeries by unscrupulous artists, most paintings that are incorrectly attributed to Robert Wood were not created with the intent to deceive. Wood helped to produce several "how-to" books that were published in Tustin, California by the art entrepreneur Walter T. Foster. Robert Wood Paints Landscapes and Seascapes and subsequent volumes sold tens of thousands of copies and encouraged many amateur painters to emulate his style and even to copy the actual works in the tabloid-sized booklets. These copies were sometimes painted with Wood's name, with the amateur painter who was responsible never dreaming that decades later, their Sunday-afternoon effort would be attributed to Robert Wood.

In the 1970s, when Wood's work began to sell for thousands of dollars, actual forgeries started to appear, although few that we have come across have the sophistication to foil an educated dealer or collector. When large quantities of art began to be imported from Taiwan and Korea in the mid-1970s, the artists often copied works and names from catalogs of reproductions. These assembly-line artists recognized that what was popular in reproduction was probably a popular subject with American viewers, and because Wood was so well represented in publication, his works were often emulated and even signes with a forged signature. These Asian imports are usually easy to spot because they are painted on very inexpensive cotton canvasses, with inexpensive, non-expandable stretcher bars, and the quality and technique are not consistent with authentic works by Robert Wood.

Being able to tell an authentic work from an inauthentic painting is a matter of connoisseurship. With Old Master paintings, the artist's or forger's materials can be tested to determine if the canvas or panel stretchers or pigments are compatible with what was available when the work was said to have been painted. With Wood's work, however, these methods are of little use. The materials he employed varied greatly and were in common use. Instead it is a thorough knowledge of his subjects, his various periods, his signatures, his palette, and especially his technique, which allows an expert to determine authenticity.

"Path of Gold" 24" x 36" O/C
An example of an authentic work from the 1950s

Inauthentic East Coast, mountain, and coastal scenes: