February 2019.
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 2.0.
PS All puns are intended.
Longing for Spring
Artwork by Katharina, rue Androuët (Paris 18). 
With the Center for Art Law back at full speed, and as the polar vortex hits the United States, we find ourselves longing for spring and assessing our February agenda.
  • Anti-money laundering regulations and initiatives, in the US, EUand Switzerland. On February 1, our Founder and Managing Director Irina Tarsis spoke about AML regulations and the art market at the third Responsible Art Market Conference in Geneva.
  • Street art and law. We are putting the final touches on our first event of the year on international perspectives on street art, which will take place at Fordham Law School on February 6. In matters of street art, there is so much to discuss, so much to see, and we hope that you can join us. The panel is co-sponsored by the Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and by the Fordham Art Law Society.
  • Auction. As announced earlier this winter, we are planning our first auction ever to celebrate our ten years of existence. Join others by donating an artwork to a great cause: art law education and research!
  • New interns. Please join us in welcoming our two spring interns, Mia Guttman (2020 JD Candidate, Cardozo School of Law) and Jennie Nadel (2019 Master's in Art Business, Sotheby's Institute).
  • And so much more: movie screenings and copyright classes for artists (stay tuned), art fairs, auctions, art disputes and resolutions...
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On Our Agenda

CENTER FOR ART LAW International Perspectives on Street Art  
February 6, 2019 at 6pm
Fordham School of Law (NY)
Join us for a panel discussion on the issues, realities, and practice of protecting street art at an international scale, with William L. Charron (Pryor Cashman), Diego Figueroa-Rodriguez (DLA Piper), Renée Vara (VARA ART) and Marie-Cécile Flageul (5Pointz Creates & MoSA). Moderated by Carol Steinberg (Law Office of Carol J. Steinberg) and Louise Carron (Center for Art Law). Co-Sponsored by the Fordham Art Law Society and the Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association – International Committee and Fine Art Committee. More information here.  

Art Law and Litigation Conference
February 7, 2019, all day
National Arts Club (NY)
The 2019 Federal Bar Association Art Law and Litigation Conference will provide an unparalleled opportunity for expert insight and career development. Attorneys, as well as art professionals, from gallery owners and auctioneers to museum curators and administrators, will be come together to discuss legal issues within the art world. More information here.  

NEW Finding a Way: The Soft Diplomacy of Art Exchanges Between Russia and the United States
February 12, 2019
Meadows Museum (TX)
Speakers will discuss possible ways to resume exchanges between Russian government-owned museums and U.S. art museums, which ended almost a decade ago. What did museums have before the moratorium? What have museums lost due to the moratorium? Is there a way forward? More information here.  

NEW World Meeting on Heritage, Sciences and Technologies
February 13-16, 2019
Institut de France (Paris)
Organized by the Académie des sciences and the CNRS, the World Meeting will include two main events, a scientific symposium and a day of round tables open to all audiences, on the development of new methods to research heritage materials. More information here.  

NEW Museum Advocacy Day
February 25-16, 2019
Washington Plaza Hotel (DC)
Beyond federal funding, museums are also significantly impacted by tax reform, education policy, infrastructure legislation, and more. Legislators do not know how museums are impacted if they don’t hear directly from you—the museums and people they represent. More information here.  

More Events
What's New in Art Law

Shutdown of Space Art. The government shutdown, which affected multiple art entities, had also stalled the deployment of Trevor Paglen’s space sculpture. Now that the shutdown has ended, hopefully the deployment will be scheduled.

No More Brazilian Ministry of Culture. Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro has dissolved Brazil’s culture ministry, after stating that Brazil’s Rouanet law, which allows organizations to use up to 1% of income tax to fund cultural activities, was a “waste of resources.” Members of the artistic community worry about the effects of the new president’s policies on the arts.

A One-Sided Report? French antique dealers react after the Savoy-Sarr report on restitution of cultural property was released without having been consulted. They claim that the report, commissioned by French president Emmanuel Macron, has not fully realized the overreaching ramifications of the report. In response, Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy claim the report has been misconstrued and oversimplified by the media and other critics to create fear. Stay tuned for an upcoming article on the blog! 

The Cost of Provenance. Bern’s Kunstmuseum is seeking funding from the Swiss government for a provenance audit, after a connection between Georges F. Keller, who donated the works, and Etienne Bignou, a French art dealer and known Nazi collaborator, is reexamined. Keller’s donated artworks include pieces by Matisse, Dali, Picasso, and Modigliani, which came to the museum with little documentation. Accordingly, the museum determined that further investigation is imperative.

Diktats of Authenticity. Berlin police have seized three watercolor paintings, purportedly painted by Adolf Hitler, from the Kloss Auction House. Police received a tip questioning the paintings' authenticity and the works are now being examined.

Artifacts Task Force. The British Museum has established an elite task force to combat the illicit trade of Egyptian and Nubian artifacts. The task force’s sole purpose will be to detect suspicious objects and falsified provenance documents.

Back to MandelGermany returned a painting stolen by the Nazis to the heirs of French Jewish politician Georges Mandel. The nineteenth-century painting by Thomas Couture, entitled "Portrait of a Sitting Young Woman," was discovered in a collection bequeathed to the Kunstmuseum by Cornelius Gurlitt, son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, Hitler's art dealer. 

The Art of the Steal. On January 10th a man and woman entered Team Gallery in SoHo and stole an Ann Pibal painting titled "CBLT" worth $12,000. This echoes another heist in a Russian gallery, where a man was caught on camera casually taking a painting off the wall of a major Moscow art gallery and calmly walking out with it under his arm. 

Briefly Understanding Tax Laws. Section 1031 of the old tax code allowed investors to use the sale of one piece of property (or, in this case, art) directly toward the purchase of another and get a tax break. After Section 1031 was repealed in 2017, the Trump administration replaced it with “Opportunity Zones.” This allows art collectors to invest the profits of their sales in opportunity funds, thereby lowering the collector’s taxes.

Robots Are Taking Over. Koons has continued to lay off employees, in an attempt to create a decentralized, automated production. In 2015 Koons had roughly 100 assistants working in his New York studio, but as of the start of 2019, only about 20 remain. Meanwhile, Koons continues venturing towards offsite businesses, such as his stone-cutting facility,  called Antiquity Stone in Pennsylvania, as well as hiring advisers and subcontractors internationally.

Love in the Baden-Baden. A German museum in Baden-Baden will be the first to exhibit Banksy's Love in the Bin, the work which was shredded when sold at auction in London. The work will be displayed from February 3 to March 3, in an exhibit exploring the act of imploding the art market while simultaneously advancing it.

Deaccession & Revelations. The controversial deaccession of a Sekhemka statue by the Northampton Museum & Art Gallery reappears in the news with a new twist. It appears that the 7th marquess of Northampton, whose predecessor had donated the statue to the museum, attempted to purchase the statue before it was controversially sold at auction to an unknown buyer.

Leonard-NO. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci's death, the Louvre is creating an exhibition, for which the Italian government had agreed in 2017 to loan the Louvre a number of the artist’s works. However, Italy is now blocking the loan. The dispute is steeped in the cultural tension, as Leonardo lived his life in Italy, but died in France. This tension echoes Vincenzo Perugia, who stole the Mona Lisa in 1911 and tried to sell it to an Italian gallery, under the mistaken belief that it had been stolen from Florence. 

Conflict Over Stella. Art dealer, Anatole Shagalov has issued a summons against the Paul Kasmin Gallery for “defamation, negligence, and rescission of contract.” Shagalov claims that the suit arose from a 2017 publication in which Kasmin falsely claimed an ownership interest in a Frank Stella work owned entirely by Shagalov. Complaint has yet to be made available online.

Conflict of Interests. Charles C. Bergman, chairman and chief executive director of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, died in February of 2018. Now, Stuart Levy, Bergman’s widower, is accusing their lawyers, Ronald and Janet Spencer, of forcing his late husband to give them the right as executors over his estate. Levy’s court filings NY Surrogate's Court include a list of the Spencers’ manipulative actions, in hopes of disqualifying them from serving as successors. 

Case Law Corner
Schmitt v. Artforum Int’l Magazine, Inc., 2018 Slip Op 33345(U) (N.Y. Sup. Dec. 20, 2018). The New York Supreme Court has dismissed Amanda Schmitt’s retaliation claim against her former employer and publisher of Artforum Magazine, Knight Landesman. Ms. Schmitt claimed that Landesman had harassed her and other women while working at the magazine. However, the statute of limitations on workplace sexual misconduct had expired and Schmitt proceeded under a retaliation claim. Judge Nervo nevertheless dismissed the case finding that the five-year gap between Schmitt’s employment at Artforum to the confrontation in question had removed the requisite nexus to sustain her claim.

De Csepel, et al. v. Republic of Hungary, et al., No. 17-1165 (U.S. Jan. 7, 2019). On January 7, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States denied the Herzog family’s petition for certiorari, which proposed the Supreme Court examine questions of jurisdiction. The Herzogs are heirs of Baron Mor Lipot Herzog, a Jewish art collector, whose artwork was stolen during WWII. The heirs have been unsuccessfully attempting to reclaim the works from Hungary.

Lehman Maupin v. Yoo, No. 1:18-cv-11126 (S.D.N.Y. filed Nov. 29, 2018). Lehmann Maupin Gallery filed suit against their former director Bona Yoo, who jumped ship to join Lévy Gorvy after giving her employer one day’s notice. The complaint seeks to “prevent Yoo from gaining an unfair competitive advantage and recover damages it says it incurred when Yoo corrupted or deleted confidential information.” Updated complaint available upon request.

U.S. v. Mary Boone, No. 1:18-cr-00634 (S.D.N.Y. filed May 9, 2018)Mary Boone, the New-York based art dealer who plead guilty in September to two counts of tax fraud, is now seeking leniency because of "childhood trauma." The prosecution nonetheless seeks a three-year-sentence. Sentencing was initially scheduled for January 18, but has been postponed to February 14, 2019.

Dawson v. Stoko Gallery LLC, No. 1:2019cv00824 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 28, 2019); Dawson v. Sperone Westwater Gallery LLC, No. 1:2019cv00825 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 28, 2019); Dawson v. Pace Editions, No. 1:2019cv00681 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 23, 2019). Deshawn Dawson filed more than 23 lawsuits before the Southern District of New York against various galleries in the last month, alleging that they have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to make their websites accessible to blind or visually impaired people. Apparently, these websites lack a code that would enable screen-reading software in browsers to describe images via audio translation. 

*Erratum (newsletter June 2018): Shagalov v. Edelman, 6449N 655576/17 (N.Y. App. Div. May 3, 2018). The New York State Appellate Division affirmed a lower court order granting a preliminary injunction to enjoin defendants Asher Edelman et al. from "transporting, transferring, disposing, alienating, pledging, assigning, or otherwise encumbering or moving Keith Haring's 'Untitled (March 5, 1984)' and Frank Stella's 'Guifa E La Berretta Rossa' and 'La Scienza della Fiacca.'" The plaintiffs, represented by Barton, LLP, successfully demonstrated that they would be "irreparably harmed absent the requested preliminary injunction" and met their burden of "establishing a reasonable probability of success on the merits of their claim that defendants violated their UCC Article 9 rights." The decision is available here
More Case Law
Publications
If interested, please consider purchasing these titles using our links,
as Center for Art Law receives a small donation from each sale. 

J. Kee, Models of Integrity, Art and Law in Post-Sixties America (University of California Press, March 2019). Models of Integrity examines the relationship between contemporary art and the law through the lens of integrity. In the 1960s, artists began to engage conspicuously with legal ideas, rituals, and documents. The law—a primary institution subject to intense moral and political scrutiny—was a widely recognized source of authority to audiences inside the art world and out. Available here, and book launch event on February 14, 2019 in NYC. 

I. Lauterbach, F. Elliott, J. Sheehan, The Central Collecting Point in Munich - A New Beginning for the Restitution and Protection of Art (Getty Research Institute, Jan. 2019). Iris Lauterbach's fascinating history documents the story of the Allies' Central Collecting Point (CCP), set up in the former Nazi Party headquarters at Koenigsplatz in Munich, where the confiscated works were transported to be identified and sorted for restitution. This book presents her archival research on the events, people, new facts, and intrigue, in the years from 1945 to 1949. Available here

G. Adam, La Face Cachée du Marché de l’Art (Beaux-Arts Editions, Oct. 2018). This book sheds a light on the excess and scandals which have been following the art market since the beginning of the 20th century. The stories include buying art as an investment, to escape taxes, or for money-laundering. The author spoke with artists, lawyers, art collectors, and dealers to understand and recount the story of art and capitalism. Available here (in French). 

 

Papers & Applications

Workshop: Jewish Experiences and the Holocaust in the Soviet Union


August 5-16, 2019
Washington, DC
Applications must be submitted by March 15, 2019. 
The workshop will focus on the Holocaust and Jewish life in World War II in the countries of the former Soviet Union, including areas that were occupied by German and Romanian forces. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following themes: antisemitism, evacuation and Jewish life in the Soviet rear, ghettoization, collaboration, hiding, resistance, gender, sexual violence, Jewish children and families during the Holocaust, survival in camps and ghettoes, Jews in the Red Army, trauma, art and literature. More information...  

Summer Program: Holocaust Studies Summer Program in Ukraine


July 1-12, 2019
Kyiv, Ukraine
Applications must be submitted by February 28, 2019. 
The program will cover broad themes that deal with prewar Jewish life, the Holocaust and its aftermath in Ukraine. Presentations and discussions will focus on major topics in Holocaust studies such as antisemitism, anti-Jewish violence, collaboration, rescue, gender, non-Jewish victim groups, and memorialization. More information...  

International Conference “Art and the Holocaust”


July 2-3, 2019
Riga, Latvia
Papers must be submitted by March 15, 2019. 
The aim of the conference is to present new researches about the relationships between the Holocaust and art (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, contemporary art, the art of commemoration), as well as the ways, how individuals reacted towards atrocities, how they tried to preserve their human dignity, and how the traumatic experience of the Holocaust has influenced European society. Scholars from the related fields of Jewish Studies and history of art are invited to submit proposals for papers within the theme of the conference. More information...  

On the Blog

The Sarr-Savoy Report & Restituting Colonial Artifacts
By Clara Cassan. After his address to Sub-Saharan Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron commissioned a report, today known as the Sarr-Savoy Report. 

Art in the Courtroom: Dealing with New Deal-Era Murals – Part II
By Olivia Taylor. At one of the TEFAF New York Coffee Talks on “Public Memory and Public Monuments: Where Do We Stand in 2018?”, Professor of Art History at Columbia University Barry Bergdoll introduced the notion of “a meaningless monument as the only one that can occupy public space” due to public criticism of historical monuments. 
Browse More
See Art, Think Art Law (TM)
Degenerate Art 

Fritz Ascher: Expressionist
Grey Art Gallery NYU (NYC)
Through April 6, 2019

More Information...
Related Event...

 
Obscenity and the Law 

Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now
The Guggenheim
Through July 10, 2019; and July 24, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020

More Information...

 
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