Treating you to Art Law Blasts since 2010.
 
What's New:
  
Spring Time! It's that time of the year, again! The trees are blooming and the spring semester is through. We loath to say "Good Bye" to our wonderful team of interns -- Bianca Acquaviva, Samantha Elie and Jessica Preis. From the Knoedler Trial coverage through the You've Been Served film series, this team has been phenomenal. Thank you very much for your great work and insights!

English Doubles: Created in November 2015, the UK Parliamentary Group for the Protection of Cultural Heritage exists to " raise awareness of the devastating impact that the destruction of cultural heritage... and to increase effectiveness of the UK's contribution to the international efforts to address cultural heritage". On April 18, 2016, the Group gathered to discuss options available to policing of cultural heritage crime and enforcement of laws designed to curb the crimes. On April 19, 2016, the US Congressional Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing held a hearing about illicit antiquities trade and the various ways available to counter the plunder of artifacts by ISIS.

Leopold Museum to Restitute Nazi-Looted Artworks: An agreement was reached between the Vienna museum and the Jewish community of Vienna to return two works by Egon Schiele to the heiress of its owner and keep three others. The agreement ends a twenty-year dispute over the artworks.

Stolen Dutch Master Paintings Recovered in Ukraine: Ukrainian authorities say they have recovered four of the 24 paintings stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn in 2005. According to Ukraine's foreign minister, the works were "in the possession of criminal groups." The media claims that two men, who found the entire missing haul and were demanding millions of euros for its return, presented one of the paintings to the Dutch embassy in Kiev in December.  

California Resale Royalty Act Claims Dismissed: The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles has ruled the entire California's Resale Royalist Act as invalid and preempted by copyright law. The District Court decision relies on last year's Ninth Circuit ruling which overruled a 1980 Ninth Circuit case that expressly rejected the idea that the law was preempted. The April 12, 2016 decision will surely be appealed and proponents of national legislation will push further for a federal solution. 

Holocaust Expropriated Art Act Introduced in Senate: Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. introduced a bill in the Senate that would extend the statute of limitations for Nazi-looted art, making it six years from the date that the art in question is identified and located, and from when the claimant has shown evidence of possession of the art.

France and Netherlands Complete 160 Million Euro Rembrandt Purchase:  France and the Netherlands signed a joint agreement in Paris for the purchase of two Rembrandt portraits. The works will be shown at the Louvre "in the coming weeks" before being sent to the Netherlands for restoration. After restoration, the works will shared between the Louvre museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Panama Papers Show Who Controls Disputed Modigliani : The Panama Papers appear to show that the Nahmads in fact control Modigliani’s Seated Man with a Cane, which has been the subject of a restitution dispute.
More Art Law Events coming up...
Upcoming Events
 

To help you plan your art law calendar, check out the full listing of and upcoming events on our radar.

 
*Apr. 21, 2016 -Deloitte 9th Annual Art & Finance Conference 2016 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) 8:30 PM - 6:15PM

The conference will focus on how to add value to any fine art collection. Topics discussed will include how to make a collection more visible, how to protect its integrity, how to maintain a collection through generations, and why and how to turn a collection into a working asset.


Apr. 28, 2016 - Consignment Agreements & the Artist/Gallery Relationship (Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, New York, NY) 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

This free class, run by VLA Law School Student Interns and supervised by VLA staff, is part of VLAs popular Legal & Business Issues in Art Series. It will provide a basic overview of the contractual relationship between artists and galleries, with a focus on the What, When and Why of consignment agreements. 
more here..


*April 29, 2016 - Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Your Independent Film (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, New York) 9:30 AM-5 PM
Seminar for for new attorneys, attorneys transitioning to entertainment law, and filmmakers will explore how independent films are financed and distributed.


*May 4, 2016 - Recovering Nazi Looted Art: The Last Prisoners of the Shoah (Touro College, Flushing, Queens) 7:30 PM

In observation of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Touro College will host a lecture on recovering stolen Jewish art by attorney Mel Urbach. The lecture will take place at the Lander College for Men, located at 75-31 150th Street in Flushing, on May 4th beginning at 7:30 PM. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.


*May 5-6, 2016 - MediateArt™ (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, New York) 10 AM-6 PM

MediateArt™ is VLA’s alternative dispute resolution, contract negotiation, and negotiation counseling department. A vital program of VLA’s since 1998, MediateArt offers members of the arts community an alternative, non-litigious way in which to resolve their disputes.

VLA is offering a two-day intensive workshop of basic mediation training for attorneys, artists, arts administrators, and other professionals with an interest or background in the arts or intellectual property. The workshop will cover basic mediation (with a focus on “deal mediation”), negotiation, facilitative leadership skills, and resolution of disputes without resorting to litigation. Participants will learn effective mediation skills, will practice in simulations in small groups, and will receive feedback from the program faculty.

*May 12, 2016 - What's New in Copyright? (Herrick, Feinstein LLP, New York, NY) 6PM

Current developments in copyright law may have a big impact on your art. Join VLA and its panel of three copyright specialists to learn the latest hot topics! Through this panel you will discover the latest news and information about copyright and what we can expect in the near future.
NOTE: These  events are appearing in the Newsletter for the first time.
 
 
Publications
For a list of books and articles featured previously, please visit our Publications page.   


Dominic Smith, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: a Novel (April 5, 2016) - A rare seventeenth-century landscape by the first woman admitted as a master painter links three lives, on three continents, over three centuries in Dominic Smith's new novel.  



Alan Hirsch & Introduction by Noah Charney, The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of Art Heist That Shocked a Nation (April 12, 2016) - In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and pulled off a sensational art heist, stealing Goya's "The Duke of Wellington". Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was solved only four years later. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg online coloring book  - An online, printable coloring book containing images of Ruth Bade Ginsburg is available here.   
Check out free classes at VLA (NY).
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  • Toren v. Villa Grisebach Auctions, Inc., 651667/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. March 29, 2016) -- The 89-year old New Yorker, David Toren, claims the German art dealer Villa Grisebach Auctions has sold two artworks that were looted from his grandfather, David Friedman. In his efforts, Toren seeks to uncover names of people to whom the Max Lieberman painting, "Basket Weavers" and the Franz Skarbiner painting, "Nach House" were sold in 2000 and 1995 respectively.
  • Miller v. The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc., No.1:16-CV-2510 (S.D.N.Y. April 5, 2016) -- Photographer Bobby Miller filed a $65 million suit for copyright infringement against the foundation and multiple galleries and museums that have previously shown the works at issue. Miller claims that while spending time with Mapplethorpe in the late seventies, he snapped a number of photos of the artist dressed in drag that have since been reproduced and publicly displayed.
  • Maestrali v. Helly Nahmad Gallery Inc., 650646/2014, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan)-- Plaintiff, Philippe Maestracci has filed suit against Helly Nahmad Gallery seeking declaration of title, conversion, and replevin or restitution of a painting, "Seated Man with a Cane, 1918" by Amedeo Modigliani, a renowned Italian Jewish artist. Defendants currently possess, control, and own the painting. The painting has been referenced widely in connection with the recently-publicized Panama Paper.
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Excerpts:

Their Eyes Are Watching Government: On Surveillance Art, the Art of Surveillance, Freedom of Information Act

By Jessica Preis* On February 5, 2016, journalist, filmmaker, and artist Laura Poitras opened an exhibit at the Whitney Museum titled Laura Poitras: Astro Noise, which will run through May 5, 2016. The exhibit invites visitors to contemplate the link between art and security. In addition to taking up the entirety of the new Whitney…Read more Their Eyes Are Watching Government: On Surveillance Art, the Art of Surveillance, Freedom of Information Act
Read on »

Protect Your Face: Body Art and Copyright (Part II)

By Samantha Elie* While some of us makeup challenged women consider it a feat of artistic brilliance when we achieve that perfect cat eye with our eyeliner, an individual’s makeup art is not protected under copyright law unless that cat eye is the final touch in a Cat’s stage makeup. In the landmark case Carell…Read more Protect Your Face: Body Art and Copyright (Part II)
Read on »

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