December 2020.
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 2.0.
PS All puns are intended.


Dear Louise,

Look up! December is here and it is the Giving Tuesday. Today the Center for Art Law is launching it's End of Year Fundraising efforts. We are aiming for the stars and we are grateful to share our journey with you. Mainly, we thank you for reading our newsletters and sharing our work with other members of the art law community. We hope to see you at the Center's virtual Art Law Trivia & Fundraiser on Dec. 17 and challenge your art law knowledge to win the 5th Edition of the Art Law Treatise.

Also this month, take notice of many wonderful opportunities to learn and review about visual arts and the law. 
It is also the last days to submit a lot to be sold as part of our Art & Law Auction 2021

Onward and upward,
Center for Art Law Team
Celebrate Giving Tuesday with us
On Our Calendar
Provenance and the Catalogue Raisonné
Dec. 3, 2020 
More information >>>

Georgetown Law School Art & Cultural Heritage Law Certificate Program (CLE)
Dec. 7-11, 2020 (deadline for registrations: Dec. 1, 2020)
More information >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Art & Law Workshop with Mana Contemporary: A Guide to Copyright
Dec. 10, 2020
More information >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Buck for Your Art: Legal Tools for Turning Art Into Profit (CLE)
Dec. 11, 2020
More information >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Art Law Lunch Talk: UNESCO Convention Turns 50
Dec. 15, 2020
* Free for Art Bar Members
More information >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Art Law Trivia & Fundraiser
Dec. 17, 2020
More information >>>

NEW Short Online Course: Museum Law and Ethics
Dec. 28, 2020 – Jan. 20, 2021
Online (taught by Walter Lehmann at Mitchell Hamline Law School)
More information: contact Mitchell Hamline Law School
Art Law Digest

Another Rotten Restoration. In Palencia, Spain, a botched art restoration attempt has left a smiling female figure transformed into a laughing stock. The Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators has noted that the restoration was not professionally done.

New Film on Fake Vermeer. "The Last Vermeer" (2020) details how notorious Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren proved his innocence in the trial accusing him of collaborating with the Nazi Regime when he sold a Vermeer painting to Hermann Göring, which turned out to be his very own forgery.

Missing Masterpieces. A new virtual exhibition entitled “Missing Masterpieces” and created by Samsung and Noah Charney, the Founding Director of ARCA and art crime expert, takes virtual visitors on a tour of priceless pieces of lost art and aims to raise public awareness about the illicit traffic of cultural artifacts.

Etruscan Artifacts Returned to Italy. On October 13, Switzerland returned 26 Etruscan artifacts to the Italian embassy in Bern. While these cultural artifacts were found in a private collection, a 2,000-year-old marble bust was stored at the Geneva Freeport. For more on free ports, take a second look here.

Mayor Axes Art. The mayor of Kindershook, a small town in New York State, is ordering the removal of a site-specific installation that Nick Cave and Bob Faust constructed at The School gallery. The work places the words “TRUTH BE TOLD” over the building and operates as a critique of racist and nativist ideology as patriotism, which the local authority interpreted as a "sign" requiring permission (rather than an artwork).

Artifacts Returned to India. On August 14th, officials from the US Department of Homeland Security returned 10 stolen antiquities to India valued at $1.15 million. The objects were seized in a series of raids in 2015 and 2016. The highest valued items came from Christie’s and included a buff sandstone stele of Rishabhanata and a buff sandstone panel depicting Revanta and his entourage. This marked the first time US law enforcement had openly disclosed the names of galleries and the individuals from whom the artifacts were seized. 

More of Less. The Museum of the Bible in DC is returning a 10th-century handwritten codex to Greece, more than a hundred years after it was stolen from a monastery there by the Bulgarian army. Most recently, the codex surfaced at a Christie’s auction in 2011.

Deadline for registrations: Dec. 1, 2020
Use the code CfAL10 for a 10% discount on tuition!

Ads Gone Amiss. UNESCO has removed images from a campaign against looted artifacts after complaints that the images in the advertisements misrepresented the provenance of the works featured. The ads featured images from the Met that were not stolen in recent years as the ads indicated.

Pace Investigating Top Presidents. Pace Gallery has launched a legal investigation into Douglas Baxter and Susan Dunne after eight employees alleged that the work environment at Pace was “toxic.” Current and former staff members have shared their experiences at Pace noting verbal and physical abuse. 

Attorneys For the Win. The 5Pointz case is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel: back before the E.D.N.Y, Judge Block ordered Gerald Wolkoff to pay over $2 million in attorneys fees, on top of the $6.75 million in damages for violating VARA.

Our World Heritage. A new independent civil society organization, Our World Heritage, is calling on citizens, professionals, and public entities to ensure that the 1970 UNESCO Convention is respected and enforced when it comes to safeguarding protected cultural heritage sites.

Art or Alien. The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) discovered an unidentified 10-foot steel monolith somewhere in the state’s canyons, which has since disappeared. Reminiscent of Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, and Donald Judd, some think this is the work of artist Petecia Le Fawnhawk, known for installing totemic sculptures in desert landscapes (Le Fawnhawk denied this is her piece). DPS reminded that “it is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from.”

A Clandestine Commission. Billionaire philanthropist Michael Steinhardt says that Hirschl & Alder Galleries tricked him into signing a bad deal when they secretly kept a commission from a historic painting of George Washington he was selling. Steinhardt alleges that he only discovered the selling price after running into the buyer, Leonard Stern. 

Estate Planning Goes Wrong. The $123 million estate of architect Zaha Hadid’s has been a subject of contention among the four executors since her passing in 2016. Hadid’s business partner Patrik Schumacher initiated a lawsuit to be named the sole executor and the judge ruled against the request. The four executors have agreed that a majority of the assets will go to her charity to establish a museum and scholarships for Arab women in architecture.  

Join us on Dec. 17, 2020 at 7 PM EST and compete for the 5th Edition of the Art Law Treatise, Center for Art Law memberships and swag!
Case Law Corner
  • U.S. v. Harold Gordon, No. 3:19-cr-00028 (D. Conn. Sept. 30, 2020). 
  • Cosimo Cavallaro v. SLSCO, Ltd., No. 1:20-cv-2157 (S.D. Cal. filed Nov. 4, 2020). 
  • People v. Sotheby’s, No. 452192/2020 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. filed Nov. 6, 2020).
  • Canilao v. City Commercial Investments, No. 3:20-cv-08030 (N.D. Cal. filed Nov. 13, 2020). 
  • Steinhardt v. Hisrchl & Adler Galleries, No. 159990/2020, (N.Y. Sup. Ct. filed Nov. 18, 2020).
  • Cohen, et al., v. G&M Realty, L.P., et al., No. 13-CV-5612 and Castillo, et al., v. G&M Realty, L.P., et al., No. 15-CV-3230 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 25, 2020).
Read the full Case Law Corner
As a member of the Amazon Associate Program, the Center for Art Law may earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using the links below to give back to the Center with each book.
Anthony M. Amore, The Woman Who Stole Vermeer: The True Story of Rose Dugdale and the Russborough House Art Heist, Pegasus Crime (Nov. 10, 2020). This book tells the extraordinary life and crimes of heiress-turned-revolutionary Rose Dugdale, who in 1974 became the only woman to pull off a major art heist, from her idyllic upbringing in Devonshire and her presentation to Elizabeth II as a debutante to her university years and her eventual radical lifestyle. Her life of crime and activism is at turns unbelievable and awe-inspiring, and sure to engross readers. Available here.
Amy E. Herman, Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life, Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books (May 9, 2017). In her celebrated seminar, The Art of Perception, art historian Amy Herman has trained experts from many fields to perceive and communicate better. By showing people how to look closely at images, she helps them hone their “visual intelligence,” a set of skills we all possess but few of us know how to use effectively. She has spent more than a decade teaching doctors to observe patients instead of their charts, helping police officers separate facts from opinions when investigating a crime, and training professionals from the FBI, the State Department, Fortune 500 companies, and the military to recognize the most pertinent and useful information. Available here.
Arthur Tompkins, The Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems, Lund Humphries (June 12, 2020). This is the first accessible reference handbook to cover key aspects of provenance research for the international art market. It guides the reader from a basic introduction to research methods to questions of ethics and the challenges of specific case histories and contexts. Provenance research is a crucial component of any art-market transaction. Without a provenance it is often difficult to establish a work’s authenticity, its true value or who has legal title. Available here.
Art Law Books Make for Great Holiday Gifts!
On the Blog

Voided Banksy ™
By Isabella Rivera. The provocative artist by the pseudonym of “Banksy” has been known for provocative and politically-driven sardonic street art since the 1990s.[1] The artist has been making headlines with artworks such as the “Balloon Girl” which self-destructed after fetching $1.4 at Sotheby’s in 2019[2] and the 2020 pink refugee rescue boat, Louise Michel. […] 

Announcement: New Art & Cultural Heritage Law Certificate Program
Provided by Georgetown Law School and developed in partnership with Artistic Freedom Initiative. Artistic Freedom Initiative is proud to announce the launch of its online certificate program in Art & Cultural Heritage Law, hosted and taught by Georgetown Law and developed in partnership with Center for Art Law. Focused on the intersection of law, art, and cultural heritage, this virtual course offers […] 

Case Review: U.S. v. Righter (FL/CA, 2020)
By Olivia Baker. Forgeries have undeniable adverse effects on the art world. Some forgers have avoided being discovered and others have luckily been caught, Phillip Righter being a recent one. Righter was recently convicted in two criminal cases involving a series of art forgeries, the first one filed on June 20, 2019 in the United […] 

Behind Closed Doors: A Look At Freeports
By Talia Berniker. In September 2020, Arcis, the first freeport in New York City announced its closing after being open for just two years, and that clients had until October 31, 2020 to retrieve artworks stored at the Harlem storing facilities.[1] While the reasons for the closing of this resource remain unclear, the closing of […] 
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Newsletter created and edited by:
Louise Carron, Irina Tarsis, Tess Bonoli, Sabrina Soffer, SaBreigha Dixon, Talia Berniker, and Isabella Rivera.
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