December 2021 (Volume IX Issue 12).
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 3.
PS All puns are intended.
Looking Back & Looking Forward
Happy Holidays from all of us at the Center for Art Law!
Special thanks to Elizabeth Williams for visiting DUMBO and
making this colorful drawing of our headquarters!
Dear <<First Name>>,

December already?! Is it me or is everything becoming meta? A story of a criminal defendant drawing court room illustrators as the courtroom illustrators are documenting the trial, Facebook changing its name if not its motto, tokenization and minting of art for web 3.0. Second year of pandemic. Second Life getting a second chance. Wait a second! Before we go any further, let's take a metamoment to celebrate the wonderful work of the Center's ever-growing team and reach in the realm of art law. 

This year the Center was able to host over 25 online events, over 1700 visitors, and welcomed more than 50 artists at the Center's Visual Artists' Legal Clinic sessions this year. What's more? Well, even after doing all that the Center has new clinic  is in the works, thanks to your support and to the outstanding work of our inaugural Judith Bresler Fellow, Atreya Mathur (who is sending you her separate email before the end of the year!). You might think there is nothing to it, but we simply cannot do it alone!

Join me in thanking our 2021 alums, including the Fall interns - Kelsey Clifford, Alexis Redshaw and Marissa Hong, as well as our Executive Director Minelli Manoukian (stay tuned for Minelli's EOY message), my fellow Board members, and our Advisors for all that we have been able to do together this year. In 2022, the Center will welcome new directors and advisors and is already poised to host the Spring Class come January. Our team will further expand as we are hiring a webmaster, an accounting expert and a director of Membership. Candidates for these part-time positions are wanted.

Wishing all of the friends and fans of the Center for Art Law worldwide, a happy and healthy 2022!

Yours truly,

Irina Tarsis
Founder and Managing Director
BIRTHDAY PARTY: You are invited to participate in the 3rd annual IRINA-MAS Fundraiser to benefit the Center!
Be a Friend of the Center in FY2022
On Our Calendar
THE CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG Property Law Seminar Series – ‘The Scythian Treasure: Ukrainian State Property v. Crimean Private Property?
Jan. 12, 2021, 5 AM EST
This seminar covers the Scythian Gold collection that was on view at the Allard Pierson Museum in the Netherlands and 2021 Amsterdam Court of Appeals ruling that the collection of Scythian gold should be returned to Ukraine. 

More information and RSVP >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW What's In the Box: A Webinar on Art Storage
Jan. 11, 2021, 12 PM EST

Art Storage…the home of a lot of the art in the world. But there is more to the topic than just a shelf or a box in a room where you keep the art. What do you do to protect your work from natural disasters? What does a contract look like between you and a storage facility? How in the world do you even transport that priceless work of art—because an Uber or the train certainly isn’t going to cut it. Join the Center for Art Law as we discuss the nuances behind art storage.

Register here
See the full calendar
Some Like it Hot...Some Like it Digital!
Help us pick our next art+tech topic! 
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Art Law Digest

NFTs en Pointe. Bonhams recently unveiled one of its newest pieces for auction, the world's first NFT for ballet. Featuring the principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London, Natalia Osipova, the NFT's are of three separate dance pieces. The first two come from the classic ballet Giselle while the remainder comes from the contemporary duet Left behind. These particular pieces were sold at Bonham's auction "Encore! Modern Art on Stage", which focuses on celebrating the creative intersections of visual art and the stage.

Homeward Bound. On December 15, 2021, Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, Jr. announced the return of 200 antiquities valued at an estimated $10 million to the people of Italy. This total includes ten pieces seized from art collector Michael Steinhardt earlier this month. The Italian antiquities announced during the repatriation ceremony are included in the City’s return of more than 700 treasures to 14 countries since August 2020.

"Baby, Baby, Baby, No."Justin Bieber’s Lawyers Tried to Shut Down a Gallery Show by Artist, Brian Whiteley Impersonating Justin Bieber to Sell $100,000 Paintings.The “Justin Bieber” paintings are the work of Brooklyn artist Brian Whiteley, founder of the Satellite Art Show, who spent the last few months in character as Bieber. Whiteley stated: “As an artist who’s been trying to break through and make it, I thought it would be interesting to see the power of celebrity and the lure of the mega gallery. I’ve been told I kind of look like Justin, so it made sense to choose him.”

An Immersive Courtroom Experience. TeamLab, the immersive art sensation, has won a lawsuit against a Chinese company that imitated one of the group’s light shows and further used its name to promote it. The court recognized TeamLab’s copyright to the work, Forest of Resonating Lamps (2016), because it displayed “originality and aesthetic significance.”

Art in Far Off Places. In an attempt to share the wealth of artwork in its more famous galleries, Italy will be distributing 100 pieces of artwork from places like the Uffizi and other major galleries to more remote museums across the country. While traveling across Italy, some of these pieces will inevitably return back to trails or towns that their painters traveled to or worked in. 

Collector No More. In a recent court case, US Billionaire, Michael Steinhardt was ordered to return looted antiquities worth $70 Million. The collection of antiquities, after a lengthy investigation, were found to have been looted or illegally smuggled into the country. Further, Steinhardt is barred from purchasing any more antiquities for life. 

Fearless Girl in Flux. State Street secured a three-year permit for the "Fearless Girl" statute at the New York Stock Exchange piece from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and Public Design Commission and as a result the work is now in jeopardy of being removed. That permit expired on November 29. Now, the corporation is applying to extend the agreement another three years. A report will be submitted to the Public Design Commission to make a final decision.

A Little More than Bargained For. A Constable painting has been placed up for auction with an estimate of £3-5million although it was originally sold as a copy for £40,000 Last year. The work, an oil painting by the English painter John Constable (1776-1837), sold in an auction in Cincinnati, Ohio, last year as a copy, making £40,000 against a pre-sale estimate of only $1,000-2,000. It has now been authenticated as being a genuine Constable. It will be sold in Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings December sale with an estimate of £3-5 million.
Students are eligible for a 50% discount on membership. Contact us for more info!
A Warhol Reprise. The Andy Warhol Foundation in New York is lobbying the Supreme Court to review the copyright infringement case involving a 1981 photograph of Prince by Lynn Goldsmith and a 1984 series of paintings by the artist based on it. The claim at hand is that the ruling by the Second Circuit contradicts Supreme Court precedent on the issue of fair use. 
Rijksmuseum Set To Acquire €175 Million Rembrandt Painting
One of the few portraits by Rembrandt left in private hands is likely to be purchased by the Rijksmuseum with assistance from the Dutch government. The total price of the painting is $198 million. The painting, a self portrait of Rembrandt and is said to have been created by the artist around the age of 30. 

Blown out of Proportion. Jeff Koons has been accused of appropriating sculpture for the 1989 series featuring his ex-wife by Michael Hayden. Hayden claims that Koons incorporated a sculpture of a serpent and rock he created as a stage prop for Ilona Staller, the former-porn-star-turned-politician known as Cicciolina, who is Koons’s ex-wife. 

Hobby Lobby Stores in the News Again. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Christie’s Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The dispute concerns the ownership of an ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet bearing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, c. 1600 BC. Christie’s sold the Tablet to Hobby Lobby in a private sale in 2014.

Gallerist, Tristian Koenig Sued for Missing Artworks
Tristian Koenig, the force behind an eponymous gallery in Melbourne, has reportedly been missing-in-action since news broke that several artists are suing the gallerist through Melbourne Magistrates Court for artworks they say have gone missing.

KAWS files Trademark and Copyright Infringement Suit for Selling ‘Deliberate Fakes’ of His Work. KAWS has filed a lawsuit against Homeless Penthouse, the online art and luxury goods retailer, for selling “deliberate fakes” marketed under his name. The site has listed several works by KAWS priced from under $100 to around $3,500 for a sculpture it says he made for Dior.
Counterfeiting a Background. Artists have been charged with faking Native American identities to sell their wares in galleries. Claiming to be tribal members, the two Washington based artists separately sold masks, totem poles, and pendants at art galleries in downtown Seattle.  This act is in violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, a law that prevents the sale of counterfeit Native American artifacts. 

Artist vs. The Vatican. In an unexpected turn of events, a street artist is suing the Vatican for copyright infringement. Alessia Babrow sued the Vatican alleging that the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican City State copied her artwork without her permission and reprinted it as a stamp. Babrow is seeking approximately $160,000 in damages and reportedly turned down a private visit with the Pope in favor of continuing her lawsuit.

Around the World for £100,000. A carved wood and paper globe dating to the 1550s or 1560s sold at Hansons Auctioneers for £116,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-30,000, a huge sum considering the owner had purchased it recently for just £150. This globe has been noted to be one of the earliest created to ever be sold at auction, and is potentially one of the oldest in existence.

Supreme Court Intervention. On January 18, the Supreme Court will be the final voice heard in an over two decade long dispute over a painting by Camille Pissarro, sold during the second world war in exchange for money for visas to flee Nazi Germany. 

The EU Heightens Restrictions on Ivory Trade 
The European Union (EU) has brought in new measures set to go into effect on January 18, 2022, to outright ban the trading of all raw ivory in the Union. The policy is similar to those of China and the United States to protect endangered species, where strict prohibitions were put in place in the last five years.

Hecker, Sharon and Peter J. Karol, Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market (Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 12, 2022)

This upcoming book discusses the world of art after the death of an artist. From casts of sculptures and etchings to the tricky world of artists' moral rights after death, this book covers the intricacies of what's slowly becoming a popular avenue for revenue after an artist's death. Order your copy.
Raicovich, Laura, Culture Strike: Art and Museums in an Age of Protest (June 15, 2021)

Written by the former Director of the Queens Museum, this book aims to examine what cultural institutions can do to address historical context for the current controversies. According to the publisher, the author "shows how art museums arose as colonial institutions bearing an ideology of neutrality that masks their role in upholding conservative, capitalist values." Whether Museums can or cannot reinvent themselves remains to be seen. Hardcover Available. Kindle Available.
Raicovich, Laura, Indie Artist Guide: Writing, Artist Development, Accounting, Contracts, Copyright and Royalties for the Music Entrepreneur (June 15, 2021)

Self-help or helpful? "This 'Indie Artist Guide' was made to give music entrepreneurs a complete understanding of the industry. While also empowering them to use what they learn to accomplish their goals. This book includes information on writing, publishing, marketing, copyright, royalties, and more. If you are building your career, team, or business in the music industry, this book is for you!" Came across our monitor so we thought we would share.  Hardcover Available. Paperback AvailableKindle Available.
Career Opportunities

NFT-Researcher - Internship Position 

Location:  Zurich, Switzerland (Remote)

Anthea Art Investments AG 

About the job

“Anthea Art Investments AG ( a leading market player specialized in the provision of art advisory and collection management services to private and institutional collectors, is currently offering an NFT Researcher - Internship Position for an eager candidate to join its team.”

Read more

Case Law Corner
  • Est. of Kainer v. UBS AG, No. 76, 2021 WL 5927040 (N.Y. Dec. 16, 2021 
  • Glob. Art Exhibitions, Inc. v. Kuhn & Bulow Italia Versicherungsmakler GmbH, No. 20-CV-1395 (KMW), 2021 WL 5331678 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 16, 2021). 
  • Cota v. Art Brand Studios, LLC, No. 21-CV-1519 (LJL), 2021 WL 4864588, at *13 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 15, 2021).
  • Savannah Coll. of Art & Design, Inc. v. Sportswear, Inc., 983 F.3d 1273, 1279 (11th Cir. 2020), cert. denied, 142 S. Ct. 74, 211 L. Ed. 2d 12 (2021). 
  • Marano v. Metro. Museum of Art, 844 F. App’x 436, 437–38 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 142 S. Ct. 213, 211 L. Ed. 2d 92 (2021).
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 /, 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.


Artist Feature Series: In Conversation with Miriam “Molly” Dougenis

M. Dougenis, Poor Butterfly (1986)(Photo credit: Miriam “Molly” Dougenis is an award-winning figurative artist who has been working in watercolor since the early part of her art career. Molly’s artwork has been exhibited in a number of galleries and museums such as Peter Marcelle Gallery, Gerald Peters Gallery and Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical […]

The post Artist Feature Series: In Conversation with Miriam “Molly” Dougenis appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Copyright Protection in Short-Lived Artworks: A Study on “Fixation” in Contemporary Floral Exhibitions

By Atreya Mathur Flowers have an impact on human happiness.[1] They tend to make things a little prettier or can even change the atmosphere to something more romantic. They cause excitement and they invoke emotion.[2] Perennially, designers, including those with Alexander McQueen and Dior, include florals and designs inspired by nature in their spring and […]

The post Copyright Protection in Short-Lived Artworks: A Study on “Fixation” in Contemporary Floral Exhibitions appeared first on Center for Art Law.

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