January 2022.
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 4.0.
PS All puns are intended.
Let's Do It Again but Better

Dear <<First Name>>,

New Year of art law! Welcome and welcome back to all! Here is to 2022 unlocking amazing potential rather than being “the 2020 too” that everyone is dreading!  

To start things off, the Center is thrilled to introduce to you the Spring 2022 interns: Alisa Grishin (BA, Salem University), Nicholas Michael (BA, Brown University), Curtis Fuller (University of Texas, LLM), and Anisa Patel (Tulane University of Law, JD). This Spring, the Center again will be operating on a hybrid schedule and we hope you will get to meet everyone, either in person or virtually. As we look to expand our programming into every nook and corner of the art law world, please feel free to reach out to me if you are looking for writing opportunities, want to get involved in our upcoming projects, or just want to discuss a shared passion for art law! 

For those of you who missed last week's art law lunch talk on Art Storage, please look out for the recording and handout materials on our event archives page shortly. Of course, there are many more  events on the horizon, including our F is for Fakes event that will be coming up at the end of the month! Remember that subscribers enjoy most of our events for free or with a discount. As the subscription rate is increasing in February, consider renewing or locking in your membership rate ASAP.

A big round of thanks to all who made contributions to our End of Year Fundraiser. All friends and fans of the Center will be included in our FY22 Annual Report that we are starting to plan and outline. We are humbled to enjoy the support of so many wonderful, dedicated and passionate Art Law fans such as yourselves. Thank you all for your patronage! We welcome you to explore the many opportunities available to help the Center grow.

Very sincerely yours, 


Minelli Manoukian

Executive Director

Members Wanted
On Our Agenda

ZENTRALINSTITUT FÜR KUNSTGESCHICHTE Kolloquium Provenienz - Und Sammlungsforschung XII (In German) (Colloquim Provenance and Collection Research XII) 
Jan. 26, 2022
Online (hosted by City of Ryde)

CENTER FOR ART LAW F is for Fake: Let's talk about fakes 

Jan. 27, 2022 | Time 12:00pm CET
New York 

Fun fact, forgeries are everywhere. They pop up at auction and get sold through private sales, they are lingering in private collections and decorating walls of the encyclopedic museums. They are in the news and in the movies. They are a product of supply and demand lines and have the power of making a deceased artists to have increasing body of works. Don't miss the presentation of Aaron H. Crowell, Partner with Clarick Gueron Reisbaum LLP, who represented plaintiffs in trial against the Knoedler Gallery in conversation with our Founder and author of the only-known Knoedler Gallery Obituary, Irina Tarsis.

More information >>>

FEDERAL BAR ASSOCIATION Art Litigation and Fashion Law Conference 

Feb. 10- Feb. 11 | Time 12:00pm EDT
New York 

The newly merged Art Litigation & Fashion Law Conference brings two global industries into one compelling program. This year’s conference will be held virtually over two days, with four educational panels each day. Experts in commercial transactions, employment law, international trade, and intellectual property will collaborate for panels at the advanced and primer level. The conference is designed for attorneys and non-attorneys who are interested in the intersection of art, fashion, and the law. 

ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH INTO CRIMES AGAINST ART Proactive Museum Security: Threat and Risk Management 2.0

Feb. 17, Feb. 24, Mar. 2 | Time 7:00 pm- 9:00 pm CET

This 6-hour, low participant-to-instructor ratio, eCourse will explore practical and innovative approaches to protecting against common and uncommon threats in museums, libraries, and cultural institutions. Topics addressed include theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire, environmental hazards, and violent acts.
RESPONSIBLE ART MARKET INITIATIVE Intermediaries and Sustainability in the Art Market
March 4, 2022 | Time 9:30 am- 1:00 pm CET

The 6th annual Responsible Art Market (RAM) conference will focus on intermediaries in the art market. This hybrid format conference will provide an opportunity to discover the work of a group of experts in the field, including a series of guidelines in the form of a practical guide. Following their presentation, several intermediaries will implement these guidelines by analyzing a practical case study.


Feb. 16, 2022
Online (hosted by City of Ryde)
Full Calendar
Art Law Digest

A New Ethics Hypothetical 

A new report by the Government Accountability Office finds that traffickers and terrorists are likely to attempt to use attorneys to launder their money. The report charges that some arts and antiquities dealers, accountants, and “complicit lawyers” help fuel “money laundering strategies used by transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups.”

Sketchy Origins

The Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland has announced that it will relinquish ownership of 29 pieces from the Gurlitt hoard, a collection that was inherited from theson of a notorious Nazi Art dealer. These works have ambiguous provenance with strong implication of looting or suspicious circumstances. 

Rewritten Exhibit

The Rijksmuseum’s recently decided to drop the term ‘Berisiap’ from an exhibition on the Indonesian uprising after WWII due to negative and racist connotations attached to the word. The exhibition, titled “Revolusi!” opens next month and focuses on stories during the decolonization of Indonesia from 1945-1950. This decision has met backlash not only from veterans of the era, but from the Federation of Dutch Indos, which have accused The Rijksmuseum of censorship and falsifying history.

Dueling Over Art

Collectors Michael Xufu Huang and Federico Castro Debernardi have put an end to their lawsuit over reputational damages after filing one year ago. The case was a result of a painting by Cecily Brown switching hands and being resold despite contractual agreements that were in place when they were purchased by Huang. Although settled, this case, and its associated litigation with Brown, show the importance of resale clauses in contracts. 

A Search for Stolen Goods

Two statutes that are being returned to the country of Nepal from the Rubin have been determined to have been stolen from religious sites. The Rubin is in the process of a five year review of all of its works, these two being the first they discovered to be unlawfully obtained. Once home, Nepal’s department of archeology will determine if the works will be returned to their original sites, or sent to a national museum. 

Out of Africa

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has recently opened “The African Origin of Civilization” exhibition, in which some of the museum’s Ancient Egyptian and sub-Saharan African objects, usually in separate galleries, are now shown together. The exhibition is an attempt to blend the divide between these galleries. 

The Sculpture Wears No Clothes

The artist Garau sold his invisible sculpture, lo Sono, for over $18,000 last year. This sale has created many questions around what can be considered a work of art, as well as how a work that has no tangibility can be valued at such a price.

Switzerland Mulls a Commission to Judge Nazi-looted Art Claims

Swiss parliamentarian Jon Pult is working to develop “an independent commission” in Switzerland to handle issues surrounding Nazi looted art and objects. Such a commission would follow in the footsteps of those created by other countries and try to extend investigations beyond cultural objects taken by the Nazis, to also include those removed through colonialist practices.

A Tale of Two Jurisdictions 

Today the Supreme Court will review the Ninth Circuit's decision in Cassirer et al. v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation (“TBC”), a case regarding a painting by Camile Pissarro that was ultimately sold to Nazi agents during the second world war. As a part of the court's deliberations, they will determine whether Spanish law, as ruled in the Ninth Circuit's holding, not Californian law, should reign supreme over the question of ownership rights or not. 

Fearless Girl Standing

With the statue being a subject of controversy, fans of the work can take comfort in knowing Fearless Girl will remain in place for at least three more years, according to a vote by the Landmark Preservation Commission. Eventually, the Public Design Commission will vote on a proposal, which hopefully will allow  the work to remain in her symbolic place for a decade.

F.B.I. Arrests Man Accused of Stealing Unpublished Book Manuscripts

Filippo Bernardini has been arrested after pretending to be a number of professionals within the publishing industry, in order to steal unpublished manuscripts of books written by various authors, including the likes of Margaret Atwood. While Bernardini’s motive is unknown, he currently faces federal criminal charges.

Catfishing in the Art World 

A web of fake Instagram accounts claiming to be Italian collectors are now being investigated, after one account purported to have works by an artist that turned out to be fake. One of the account holders has claimed the profiles were created for “making cultural entertainment.” Even so, these accounts are being investigated for possible fraudulent acts.

Wayward Home for Confederate Statutes

A monument dedicated to Robert E. Lee and eight statues associated with the Confederacy are the subject of a proposal for their relocation from display in the city of Richmond, Virginia, to museums in the state. Now, the proposal faces a city council vote, which will determine where these statues reside, after their continued presentation was strongly opposed in the wake of the 2020 protests for racial justice.

Back Home Again in Indiana’s Estate

The Morgan Art Foundation has now filed a memorandum against Michael McKenzie with the hopes that the owner of American Image Art accused of forging Indiana’s art, in addition to several other crimes, receives penalization. The hearing in this ongoing saga surrounding Indiana’s legacy will be on March 1, 2022.

AI, Attribution and Authenticity, Oh my!

Case Western Reserve University researchers utilized 3D imaging in a study differentiating identical works by artists at the Cleveland Institute of Arts. With this method, the most minuscule details in an artist’s technique could be analyzed in determining who painted what work. Hopefully, such a methodology can also  be used to determine where specific individuals, such as apprentices in  an artist’s workshop, contributed to a single work of art and to distinguish  authentic works from forgeries.

Nevermind about Nevermind

The baby pictured on the cover of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ album, Spencer Elden, has sued Nirvana for “commercial child sexual exploitation” in using the photograph. Elden’s case was dismissed, and Elden must now must refile by January 13. Nirvana’s legal team has asserted that use of the photograph did not constitute child pornography, and cited the various ways in which Elden benefitted from the depiction. Even so, Elden’s lawyers have stated they will proceed with refiling their complaint.

A Gift of Your Own 

Did not get what you wanted for the holidays? Here is your chance to pick up something special for your law library: Bonham’s auction house announced that it would auction off the private collection of the late RBG this month.

We invite you to read Atreya Mathur's 2021 Judith Bresler Fellowship report! Applications are being accepted this spring for the 2nd year of the JB Fellowship! 
Career Opportunities

The Jewish Museum: Rights and Reproduction Coordinator 

New York

The Jewish Museum is hiring a  Rights and Reproductions Coordinator. Read more about the position and how to apply HERE. 

This job, among many others at the Jewish Museum, is likely to fall under the staff’s unionization efforts. Read more about the unionization of the museum staff at the Jewish Museum HERE


The Artistic Freedom Initiative: Immigration Paralegal 

New York

AFI is seeking a full-time Immigration Paralegal to provide general support for its Pro-Bono Legal Services for At-Risk Artists program. The Immigration Paralegal position will be responsible for supporting the case work for Afghan artists, as well as others outside the region. Read more about the position and how to apply HERE.

The New York District Attorneys Office: Antiquities Trafficking Analyst

New York

The NYDA is seeking to fill the position of Antiquities Trafficking Analyst.  Duties will range from gathering information via subpoenas, search warrants, and legal research to analyzing that information for use in criminal prosecution against trafficking participants. Read more about the position and how to apply HERE.

Case Law Corner
  • Spencer Elden v. Nirvana, L.L.C., et al., No. 2:21-cv-06836 (C.D Cal. 2021) (Jan. 3, 2022).
  • Anonymous 1 v. Anonymous 3, Slip Op 51078 (U) [68 Misc. 3d 1226 (A)] (N.Y Aug. 7, 2020).
  • Fenwick v. Sotheby's, No. 2:21-cv-11987 (D.N.J May, 2021).
  • Michael Xufu Huang v. Federico Castro Debernardi, No. 005156-CA-01 (M.D Mar. 3, 2021).
  • R v. Graham et. al., Bristol’s Magistrate Court (Jan. 5, 2022).
Read the full Case Law Corner
On the Blog

A Monumental Effort: An Examination of Cultural Heritage Protection in the MENA Region

Image Credits: © Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com/, Creative Commons 4.0 License By Alisa Grishin Cultural Heritage: An Introduction Since the advent of human existence, we have been creating. These creations – the art, monuments, cities, and artifacts – of our ancestors have prevailed for generations, constantly linking us to the past and reminding us of cultural […]

The post A Monumental Effort: An Examination of Cultural Heritage Protection in the MENA Region appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Dynamic Policies of Deaccessioning and Disposal in American Museums

Image Credits: Credit: The Baltimore Museum of Art (via Baltimore Heritage/Flickr) By: Nicholas Michael Alfred H. Barr Jr, Museum of Modern Art’s first ever director, analogized the modern museum’s collection to a torpedo “moving through time, its nose the ever advancing present, its tail the ever receding past of 50 to 100 years ago.”[1] In his […]

The post Dynamic Policies of Deaccessioning and Disposal in American Museums appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Case Review: Cassirer et. al. v. Thyssen Bornemisza Collection Foundation (2022)

by Anissa Patel Overview Since 1993, Rue Saint-Honoré, après-midi, effet de pluie[1], an oil painting by the French impressionist master Camille Pissarro has been hanging at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation’s Museum (the “Museum”) located in Spain.[2] The painting was originally purchased in 1898 by Julius Cassirer, a member of a wealthy Jewish family once living […]

The post Case Review: Cassirer et. al. v. Thyssen Bornemisza Collection Foundation (2022) appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Legacy and Lawsuits: An Overview of the Robert Indiana Estate Court Battles

By Atreya Mathur The story of Robert Indiana’s Estate is a fascinating one: full of art, drama, lawsuits, LOVE,[1] and maybe HOPE[2]. One of the best known American Artists, Indiana, who became a leading figure in the Pop art movement in the 1960s and called himself an “American painter of signs,”[3] left behind more than […]

The post Legacy and Lawsuits: An Overview of the Robert Indiana Estate Court Battles appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Art is Forever? How the Pandemic Spurred Transformations in Museum and Gallery Experiences and IP Considerations

By Kelsey Clifford Art is a consistent escape from reality. When COVID-19 emerged and infiltrated each of our daily lives, physical art became all but inaccessible. Until, that is, art became more accessible than ever. In April 2020, a New York Times article reported that “[a]s the coronavirus pandemic stretches into yet another month, keeping […]

The post Art is Forever? How the Pandemic Spurred Transformations in Museum and Gallery Experiences and IP Considerations appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Ballet Costumes and the Art of Copyright

By Cielomar Puccio The image of a ballerina is not complete if it is missing its tutu and pointe shoes. These two images have become icons of what a ballerina should wear to perform the lovely art we call dance. In fact, these icons are so important that little girls take ballet classes dreaming of […]

The post Ballet Costumes and the Art of Copyright appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Artist Feature Series: In Conversation with Steven J. Oscherwitz

Steven Oscherwitz, Untitled (2010) “Artists cannot be artists without being thinkers. I am, if anything, a thinker first, then an artist.” Steven Oscherwitz, Statement of Intent for IDSVA (2021) Steven J. Oscherwitz is an artist and an art and science researcher. Double majoring in Biology and Philosophy, Steven graduated with a Baccalaureate of Arts from […]

The post Artist Feature Series: In Conversation with Steven J. Oscherwitz appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Art Market Compliance As Seen From Switzerland

By Anna Brouver No News – Good news? There is nothing surprising about the fact that the art market gets more and more regulated. The call for “art market transparency” after decades (if not centuries) of handshake deals and painting examinations in bank vaults suggests regulations designed specifically for the arts sector that would require […]

The post Art Market Compliance As Seen From Switzerland appeared first on Center for Art Law.


ABCs of NFTs, Art, and Law

By Louise Carron. The following is being reprinted with permission from: Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, 2021, Vol. 32 No. 2, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207. Much has been said and written about non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) and attorneys are getting up to speed. Relying on […]

The post ABCs of NFTs, Art, and Law appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Artist Feature Series: Artist Profile – Martha Szabo

Martha Szabo, Model, Art Students League, circa (1990) (top left); Martha Szabo, Model, Art Students League, (1991) (top right); Martha Szabo, Model, Art Students League, circa (1990) (bottom left); Martha Szabo, Model, Art Students League, (1991) (bottom right) By Scotti Hill While many consider the greatest art to be those works which thoroughly transport us […]

The post Artist Feature Series: Artist Profile – Martha Szabo appeared first on Center for Art Law.


“The Rosa Parks of NAGPRA”

Used with permission, University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist By Alexis Redshaw In 1971, Maria Pearson (Running Moccasins) would learn shocking information from her husband, John Pearson, pushing her to make changes that would fundamentally impact the art and museum world in their treatment of Indigenous remains and objects. John, an engineer working […]

The post “The Rosa Parks of NAGPRA” appeared first on Center for Art Law.

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Newsletter created and edited by:
Minelli Manoukian, Atreya Mathur, Irina Tarsis, and Tess Bonoli.
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