July 2021 (Volume IX Issue 7).
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 2.0.
PS All puns are intended.
Sun Never Sets on Art Law
Dear <<First Name>>,

With nearly half of summer and several exciting events behind us, thank you to all who participated in our June webinars and workshops. For those of you who could not attend, archives of these and other recordings are available to Premium Members. Log in now or become a member!

Gearing up for the last month of the Center's summer season, don't forget to register for our two upcoming programs: Art Law Lunch Talk: Keeping Artistic Legacy (07/07) and our Provenance Research Workshop with Marc Masurovsky (07/08).

Also, as part of our Estates Planning Clinic, the Center is inviting artists and artists' heirs to attend the July 14 clinic for an opportunity to meet with legal, arts, and finance professionals at the Artist Legacy and Estate Planning Clinic. Keynote to the Clinic will be presented by Yayoi Shionoiri, the Executive Director of the Estate of Chris Burden and the Studio of Nancy Rubin.

In other international art law news, Irina Tarsis, the Center's Founder and Managing Director, will teach an online intensive art law course at Sotheby's Institute of Art (London) in August-September! It seems that the sun never sets on art law.
Louise Carron
Executive Director
PS Please take a few minutes to update your profile
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On Our Calendar
CENTER FOR ART LAW Art Law Lunch Talk: Keeping Artistic Legacy –– Setting up and running artist-endowed foundations
July 7, 2021, 12 PM EST
This program is being offered as part of the Artist Legacy and Estate Planning Clinic
More information >>>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Starting From Scratch: Provenance Research and Lost Art Databases Workshop with Marc Masurovsky
July 8, 2021, 10 AM EST
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CENTER FOR ART LAW Artist Legacy and Estate Planning Legal Clinic: Pro Bono Consultations 
July 14, 2021, 5:30 PM EST
Keynote by Yayoi Shionoiri. This program is being offered as part of the Artist Legacy and Estate Planning Clinic
More information >>>

NEW The Art and International Law Laboratory
July 15-16, 2021
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NEW Fundamentals of Nazi-Era Art Provenance Research
August 2-6, 2021
More information >>>

NEW Sotheby's Institute of Art: Art Law (Online Intensive Course)
Aug. 23 - Sept. 2, 2021
More information >>>
See the full calendar
Art Law Digest

In Honor. Georgia-based law firm Harris Lowry Manton LLP recently unveiled the newest addition to its office: a portrait of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (GA) by local artist Patrick Lewis. The painting quickly became a focal point for both the office and passerby—uniting the community in Rep. Lewis’ mission for equality and justice.

In Memory. Former U.S. Marine Charles Waterhouse embarked on a herculean task: painting every corpsman who had received the Medal of Honor. The Marine Corps’ first artist-in-residence, Waterhouse had served in World War II at Iwo Jima and later as a U.S. Navy artist in Vietnam. A digitized selection of his works is available here.

Belgian Bust. Approximately 800 archaeological objects valued at nearly $13m have been seized from a Belgian collector and returned to Italy. The investigation into the matter began in 2017 and was carried out through the combined efforts of Italian and Belgian authorities, headed by the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation. The collection includes items from 6th century BCE, including notable “archaeological treasures.”

Art Fraud Allegations. Joe Berardo, a prominent Portuguese businessman, art collector, and Lisbon-based modern art museum founder, was arrested for allegedly shifting valuable artworks into a trust to protect them from creditors. The criminal investigation against Berardo began in 2019 after three Portuguese banks sued Berardo for roughly $1.2B. Berardo's museum’s art collections have been seized as collateral.

A Fraught Legacy. A controversy related to the artist Fred Yates’ Estate is brewing. Yates passing away in 2008 without a will, his assets were split between France and the UK. While the French officials auctioned off all of the belongings left within their borders, those connected to Yates are working to have the UK’s Government Legal Department claim the artist’s estate for the Crown, in order to keep the remaining collection on display in the UK.

“The Sack of Rai.” Italian authorities have uncovered a series of art thefts from the public broadcasting company, Rai, based in Rome. More than 120 artworks were stolen from the company’s headquarters, including paintings by de Chirico and Guttuso, as well as etchings by Monet and Modigliani. Former employees are suspected of exploiting the collection’s lack of an alarm system to swap the original works for fakes.

Export Ban. The UK Reviewing Committee for the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest has halted the export of a £17m Renaissance-era roundel until at least September 27. The unattributed work may be connected to Donatello or Mantegna. The hope is for the roundel to find a UK-based buyer, to allow further study by local scholars.

NYC Artist Grants. Newly launched City Artist Corps Grants plan to donate $5,000 to over 3,000 artists based in New York City. All artists and creative groups are invited to apply through August 10, 2021. The grant must be used for the creation of works or events open to the public or live-streamed to a public audience.

Set for Auction. Freeman’s, America’s oldest auction house, is set to sell signer Charles Carroll’s copy of the Declaration of Independence on July 1. The document, estimated at $500,000 - $800,000, was recently uncovered in Scotland after having been missing for 177 years. The copy was printed by engraver William J. Stone and given to Charles Carroll in 1824.

Freedom of Artistic Expression? Artist Ai Weiwei has questioned the motivation behind visual arts organization Firstsite’s rejection of his Postcard for Political Prisoners intended for “The Great Big Art Exhibition” in the UK. The work referenced Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who is currently serving time in a British prison. Ai Weiwei conveyed his experience with Firstsite in an op-ed for Artnet News.

Dumpster Diving. Two paintings were discovered in a dumpster off the highway in central Germany this June. The works, both dating from the 17th century, are by Italian artist Pietro Bellotti (1625-1700) and Dutch artist Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627-1678). German police have asked anyone with information about the paintings to come forward.

Canceled Sales. Five 18th century bronze figures of Hindu gods have been removed from a scheduled auction at Bonhams in Paris after being revealed to be looted artworks from a temple at the Patan Royal Palace Complex, a UNESCO world heritage site in Nepal.

On the topic of restitutions

In London, four looted objects were pulled from British auction house Busby’s recent sale, after intervention from the Ethiopian Embassy in London. The works were stolen by the British army during the Battle of Maqdala in 1868. Plans are in place to return the objects to Ethiopia.

Over 100 antiquities illegally smuggled out of Egypt to France were returned during a ceremony at the Egyptian Embassy in Paris.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced the repatriation of two Benin Bronzes in its collection to Nigeria, which it had received from a collector in 1991. The works had previously been housed in the National Museum, Lagos, and the British Museum after having been looted from Benin City by British forces in 1897.

On the other side of the world, two 10-11th century carved lintels have been repatriated to Thailand. The objects were previously displayed at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. The Thai government had flagged the works as stolen back in 2017. The restitution follows the case carried out last year.

Belgium has agreed to work with the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the restitution of looted objects stemming from the colonial period. In collaboration with this effort, the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren has so far identified 280 objects that reached the collection through looting. 

Sedition or Commemoration? On June 13, police entered a Hong Kong art space to investigate the display of allegedly seditious art. The gallery, Parallel Space, had just opened an exhibition marking the two-year anniversary of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Officials claimed they had received a complaint regarding the exhibited works. 

Cultural Appropriation Call Out. Mexico’s Ministry of Culture sent letters to Zara, Anthropologie, and Patowl Brands asking for a public explanation of their alleged cultural appropriation and on what basis these companies believe they may privatize collective community property. The letters are intended to help protect the Oaxacan communities that have been largely invisible on the international stage and called for a collaboration between the corporations with indigenous designers in adherence with fair trade practices. 

Copyright In The Netherlands. Effective as of June 7, 2021, the Netherlands amended its copyright rules to complement and reduce the differences between European Union countries' copyright laws. The new rules consist of 3 parts: (1) new situations where copyright-protected material may legally be used without prior permission from the rights holder, (2) measures intended to encourage a well-functioning market for protected content, and (3) regulations that provide copyright holders with a better bargaining position.

Graffitied Gigafactory. Elon Musk’s Tweets have reached the art world: the billionaire put out a call for “awesome graffiti art” to cover Tesla’s Giga Berlin factory. Interested artists are invited to submit images of their work to GigaBerlinArt@Tesla.com.   

Art Thief’s Remorse. Two paintings stolen from the National Art Gallery of Athens in 2012 have been found in a ravine outside the Greek capital. One of the works, Picasso’s Woman’s Head (1939), had been gifted to the museum by the artist in 1946. The second recovered work is Mondrian’s Mill (1905). A middle-aged construction worker and self-described “Art Freak” admitted to the theft and led police to the hidden site of the stolen works. 

Drones Dissuade Thieves. A recent report reveals a drop in art thefts in Italy during 2020. While this statistic is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials also believe new surveillance technologies play a role here. Drone and satellite imagery has helped resolve investigations into looting at several archaeological sites across the country. Many opine that this bodes well for the future of tracing and foiling art thefts.

Art/Tech Investigations. A reporter, architect, and programmer team won a Pulitzer Prize for International Coverage for their efforts in documenting Uighur detention camps in China. The project received partial funding from Brooklyn-based Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, which offers grants to help artists share news through creative new mechanisms. The team used satellite imagery to unveil the attempted digital censoring of the camps’ existence.

AR Meets History. The Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA is launching a new tour, “Monument Avenue: Origins and Reverberations,” this July. With the help of augmented reality smart glasses, the tour will walk visitors through the historic district, contextualizing the monuments and creating an immersive journey through history.

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Case Law Corner
  • McLeer et al. v. New York City Police Dep’t, No. 21-cv-03093 (E.D.N.Y. filed Jun. 1, 2021). 
  • Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. v. Obbink, No. 21-cv-03113 (E.D.N.Y. filed June 2, 2021).
  • McGucken v. Kantor Gallery et al., No. 2:21-cv-04593 (C. D. Cal. filed June 3, 2021).
  • Resurrect by Night LLC v. Philipp Plein Americas, Inc. et al., No. 2021-cv-04948 (S.D.N.Y. filed June 4, 2021).
  • Morgan Art Found. Ltd. v. Brannan, No. 18-cv-8231 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 28, 2020).
  • Jim Olive Photography v. Univ. of Houston, No. 19-0605 (Tex., June 18, 2021)
  • Roc-A-Fella Records Inc. v. Damon Dash, No. 21-cv-5411 (S.D.N.Y. filed June 18, 2021).
  • Liebowitz, et al. v. Bandshell Artist Management, No. 20-2304 (2d Cir. Jun. 25, 2021).
Read the full Case Law Corner
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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.
Institut Art & Droit, Marché de l’art et Droit : un ouvrage collectif en l’honneur de François Duret-Robert (June 2021), written in French. This collective publication written by French experts on art market law is published in the memory of François Duret-Robert, major figure in the field. Authors are all specialists, whether academics, attorneys, notaries, and various professionals working in or for the art market. Available here.

J. Ragai and T. Shoeib, Technical Art History: A Journey Through Active Learning, WSPC (May 2021). In the last few years, the problems of authenticity in paintings have reached untenable proportions in tandem with a lack of understanding from connoisseurs and collectors of the insights that modern scientific investigation can offer. In some cases, because of this lack of knowledge, the results of scientific analysis are treated with suspicion. The art world has gradually come to realize the need to develop educational programs that aim at improving the technical know-how of collectors, connoisseurs, and young students who seek work as art scientists. As an introductory textbook, Technical Art History is an essential contributor to addressing this need. Available here.

More Art Law Books
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.


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

M. Dougenis, Poor Butterfly (1986)(Photo credit: https://sagharborexpress.com/) 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.


A Case of Forgeries at the Herbert Hoover

Image taken of Sadigh Gallery courtesy of Manhattan District Attorney’s Office By Alexis Redshaw On Monday, April 8, 2019, less than a week before the new Rosetta Stone exhibit was due to open at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (the Hoover), University of Iowa art history Professor Björn Anderson and graduate student Erin […]

The post A Case of Forgeries at the Herbert Hoover appeared first on Center for Art Law.


Fiscal Sponsorship for Creatives

By Marissa Hong When most people envision exhibited art pieces, they picture paintings or drawings hanging on white walls in a museum. Alternatively, an arts project called Bed & Breakfast[1] showcases artists’ works in the bedroom of a personal household. Founded in 2012 and located in Los Angeles, Bed & Breakfast provides mixed media artists […]

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Case Review: Republic of Turkey v. Christie’s Inc. (2021)

By Kelsey Clifford On September 7, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed an action brought by the Republic of Turkey (“Plaintiff”) against two defendants, billionaire Michael Steinhardt and Christie’s (“Defendants”), for the recovery of a millennia-old Antalonian Idol known as the “Guennol Stargazer” offered for sale by […]

The post Case Review: Republic of Turkey v. Christie’s Inc. (2021) appeared first on Center for Art Law.

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Newsletter created and edited by:
Louise Carron, Irina Tarsis, Tess Bonoli, Visala Alagappan, Andrea Canzano, Tokunbo Fashanu, and
Julianne Schmidt.
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