October 2019.
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 2.0.
PS All puns are intended.
No Time Like The Present
Welcome to the Fall 2019 class! From left to right: Yuchen Xie (Columbia University, M.A. 2020), Madhulika Murali (NYU School of Law, LL.M 2020), Ange Dimery (Auckland Law School, LL.B 2012), and Sophie Chung (Columbia University, M.A. 2020). 
Dear <<First Name>>,

Thanks to all who participated in our survey this summer. Your feedback was predominantly positive and most readers said we should change nothing. That being said, the only thing that is constant is change.

This fall, we invite all of our readers to become part of the Center for Art Law family. Through our new membership program, you can unlock unlimited access to our 1,000+ articles and our Case Corner summaries. We offer student membership and group subscriptions for groups of 5 or more users (contact us for more information).

Be more than a reader: become a Member to support our mission and to continue enjoying our articles, content, and numerous events. Every Member counts!

Louise Carron
Executive Director
Become a Member
On Our Agenda

NEW Provenance Research and “Degenerate Art”
October 2, 2019
Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)
More information here >>

NEW Annual Kernochan Center Symposium (CLE)
October 4, 2019
Columbia Law School (NY)
More information here >>

NEW Institute of Art & Law – Study Forum
October 12, 2019
Queen Mary University of London (London, UK)
More information here >>

CENTER FOR ART LAW x VLA Word On The Street: Legal Issues in Graffiti Art (CLE)
October 15, 2019
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (NY)
More information here >>

NEW The Art of Giving – Art Law and Philanthropy
October 17, 2019
Maison des Fondations (Geneva, Switzerland)
More information here >>

NEW Hot Topics in Art Law 2019 (CLE)
October 24, 2019
New York City Bar Association (NY)
More information here >>

NEW Art Law Day 2019 (CLE)
November 8, 2019
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (NY)
More information here >>

Full Calendar
Art Law Digest

An Unhappy Portrait. Joshua Reynolds's "Portrait of Miss Mathew" (c. 1780), stolen in 1984 from the Sussex home of philanthropist Sir Henry Price and believed to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in 1988, showed up this year at the Fuji Art Museum in Tokyo, which claims it acquired the painting in good faith. 

Halted. On September 17, the Mexican government called for an auction of pre-Columbian art in Paris to be halted, claiming that 95 of the works included are a part of its cultural heritage. The cancellation of the sale is considered a first step towards the restitution of Mexico's cultural property.

Gone to Sh*t. This September, just a few days after it went on view at the Blenheim Palace in London, Maurizio Cattelan’s 18-karat golden toilet, a sculpture titled "America," was stolen

Generous Getty. On September 17, the J. Paul Getty Trust announced a ten-year $100 million initiative to promote the world’s cultural heritage, planning projects including exhibitions, conservation, excavation and the publication of a book. 

Freeport Mania. The UK government is initiating plans to build a series of freeports around the country, which can be used to store valuable works of art, cars, and jewelry without incurring customs or sales tax.

!Uros. !Uros, a tortoise-shell used by the women of the #Nu-Khoen people in Namibia, was returned to Namikoa from Berlin by a research team for closer examination. The permanent restitution of these artifacts, which were acquired under dubious circumstances is said to be the ultimate goal of these efforts.

Closing the Loophole. On September 12, the City Council voted to extend NYC’s anti-discrimination law to protect freelancers, independent contractors, and interns, aiming to “close the loophole that left independent contractors without sufficient recourse for discrimination or harassment,” according to the bill sponsor Councilman Brad Lander.

Rembrandt Relic. A clay pot excavated from the cesspit below Rembrandt’s house, now on display in Amsterdam’s Rembrandt House Museum, has been declared to be the pot that Rembrandt used to prepare the grounds for his canvases. 

Speaking of Climate Change. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson was appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador to advocate for urgent action on climate change and sustainable development goals. Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be submitting a proposal calling for coordinated action to protect the country’s cultural heritage from the impact of climate change, at the UN Summit in New York.

Forger Jailed. This September, soon after Lino Frongia was jailed for forging of Old Master paintings, an arrest warrant was issued against Giuliano Ruffini, who is suspected of selling the works in question. The arrests are connected to a high-profile string of forgeries, embroiling prominent museums and dealers.

Going Home. Last summer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art showcased a golden coffin from the 1st century BC dedicated to Nedjemankh, which turned out to have been looted from Egypt in 2011 and sold to the Museum using false ownership history and fake documentation. Following an investigation from the Manhattan DA's Office and seizure of the coffin in February, the sarcophagus was returned to Egypt this month. 

Tossed Up. Following the conviction of the notorious Anna Sorokina, who pretended to be a wealthy German heiress named Anna Delvey, artist Cynthia Talmadge created an installation, Four Courtroom Outfits of Anna Delvey, consisting of a dressing screen behind which a rotating windmill-like mechanism tosses up replicas of outfits that Sorokina wore during her trial.

Not a Pretty Picture. ImageNet, an AI-based database of images, will remove 600,000 pictures of people from its system after an art project revealed its racial biases.

Last-Minute Deal. The French and Italian Ministers of Culture struck a last-minute deal over the loan of Leonardo da Vinci works for the upcoming exhibition at the Louvre, including the famous "Vitruvian Man." In return, France will lend four works by Raphael to the 2020 show at Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale. 

Yes, They Ken(ya). As the 2019 Kenya Copyright (Amendment) Act was just signed into law, Kenyan artists will be entitled to resale royalties for up until 50 years after their death. 

Dream Jobs
Legal Assistant
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY)
More info...
Adjunct, Law & Arts II, Arts Administration Program
Teachers College, Columbia University (NY)
More info...
Assistant General Counsel
Brooklyn Museum (NY)
More info...
Case Law Corner
The Case Law Corner is accessible to Members:
to read the full summaries, sign-in or become a member.


Copyright, Entertainment | Austin Mills, a “social media personality and entrepreneur” is suing Netflix for copyright infringement, following their use of...

Copyright, Street Art | The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan denied four artists’ motions to dismiss the declaratory relief actions sought...

Copyright, Catalogue Raisonné | A 2012 French judgment will not be recognized in the U.S., ruled the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California...

Criminal Law | Timothy Sammons, a British art dealer, has been sentenced to four to twelve years in prison after pleading guilty to larceny, scheming to...

Public Law, War Memorials | After a 2017 Charlottesville City Council vote to remove the confederate statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson...


France | Wealthy art collectors Bruce and Robbi Toll will not have their case heard by the Conseil constitutionel [the French Supreme Court] in the matter of the...

Austria | Thomas K, as identified in court documents, visited the town of Gerlos in the Tyrolean Alps about a year ago. Following his stay at a four-star hotel...

Portugal | José Berardo, dubbed the “Portuguese Charles Saatchi”, will forfeit his $352-million-worth collection due to unpaid loans totaling $1.1 billion. Using his...

Brazil | In a hasty lawsuit, the Brazilian Supreme Court overruled the censorship of a Marvel comic book, which city officials sought to prevent from being displayed...

Read the full Case Law Corner
Interesting Finds

Call for Papers on Holocaust Restitution

The Department of Financial Services’ Holocaust Claims Processing Office will be hosting a symposium titled Terms of Art: Understanding the Mechanics of Dispossession During the Nazi Period in May 2020, and they are accepting proposals for papers until October 31st, 2019. More information here.

Free Online Course on Art Crime

A free online course, developed by the University of Glasgow, explores topics including smuggling, theft, fakes, and fraud in the art market in a global context. More information here.

Call for Submissions 

The Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation ("LCCHP") is calling for submissions for interested parties to share their expertise and lead a session at its 2020 conference. More information here.


Artnet Intelligence Report 2019. Welcome to the Age of the Art Industry (The Art World Is Over).

The report offers an in-depth look into how the art world has evolved over the past three decades from a boutique business sector to a full-blown global industry, including comprehensive data through a roundtable with top collectors, an interview with Artnet’s founder Hans Neuendorf, and a survey of other art-market powerbrokers. Available here.

More Art Law Books
On the Blog

Book Review: “Art and Modern Copyright” (2018)
By Sophie Chung. Pulitzer-winning novelist Pearl S. Buck once said, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” Dr. Elena Cooper’s new book Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (Cambridge University Press, 2019) presents a smart way to understand intellectual property today by studying yesterday. The book examines narratives of copyright […] 

Good Art, Ugly Divorce
By Sophie Chung. In 2019, billionaire Harry Macklowe’s “ugly divorce” put the spotlight on his $700 million art collection and raised the issue of dividing it.[1] In March, Macklowe hung two 42-foot-high photographic prints of him and his new wife, Patricia Landeau, on one of his buildings on Park Avenue where Linda Macklowe was supposed […] 

Book Review: “Females in the Frame: Women, Art, and Crime” (2019)
By Yuchen Xie. “I know of no notable female forgers in the history of forgery.” Noah Charney, The Art of Forgery: The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers (2015) “There is no doubting that women have been actively involved in art crime.” Penelope Jackson, Females in the Frame: Women, Art, and Crime (2019) A […] 

Art and Restorative Justice: Transformative Healing Through Expression
By Madhulika Murali. As of 2019, 5% of the world’s population resides on the territory of the United States.[1] However, the US prison population makes up 25% of the world’s prison population, with the country assuming the leader position in global incarceration rates.[2] Since the 1970s, incarceration in America has increased by 700%.[3] It is […] 

Book Review: “Art Law and the Business of Art” (2019)
By Angela Dimery. Having practiced in multinational law firms in London, before crossing over into the art business as General Counsel at Christie’s London for two decades, Martin Wilson, the now Chief General Counsel at Phillips auction house in London, saw art law go from an unknown concept to a recognized legal field.* A handshake […] 

The “Artist Visa”: Immigration Law Primer and Artists’ Perspectives
By Yuchen Xie. On January 30th, 2020, the Center for Art law will launch its Visual Artists’ Immigration Clinic. Since our 2017 discussion on the issues of art and immigration law at the Georges Bergès Gallery, recent regulations have renewed interest in the topic. The following is an introduction of immigration law, taking into account […] 

It’s So Visual! Radio Ruscha
By Irina Tarsis. I’d sit alone and watch … ~ Queen, “Radio Ga Ga” (1984)[1] Have you heard “Yes, we have no bananas today”? It was a big hit back in the day. And did you know that the invention of radio is credited to an Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi? One Italian invented radio and […] 

Shaping History: Monument-Toppling, Racial Justice and the Law
By Madhulika Murali. Two years after the 2017 “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, including the terror killing of counter-protestor Heather Heyer, the culprit confederate statues of Robert E. Lee (Henry Shrady and Leo Lentelli, 1924) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (Charles Keck, 1921) (the “Statues”) have been allowed to stay in situ. A […] 

WYWH: Fall 2019 Art Law Events
By Angela Dimery and Louise Carron. New York is the reigning capital of art law, and this Fall confirmed that there are many places to be and much art to see. The three events below, which have become regular fixtures on the calendars of legal practitioners, reflect the richness of topics and the range of […] 

Fractionalized Art Ownership and Securities Law
By Sophie Chung. In 2018, investors who put money into art saw an average gain of 10.6% according to the Wall Street Journal based on Art Market Research’s Art 100 Index.[1] While the numbers are attractive, entering the art market that is less volatile and speculative may be infeasible. Buying a blue-chip art that can […] 

Case Review: The Mayor Gallery v. Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné
By Yuchen Xie. The Case: The Mayor Gallery Ltd. v. The Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné LLC et al., No. 655489/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2019). The authenticity of an artwork is essential to its value in the art market. If a work once attributed to a renowned artist is subsequently deemed inauthentic, its market value plummets […] 

The Art of Bankruptcy: Consigned Artworks and Bankrupt Galleries
By Laurel Wickersham Salisbury. When commercial art galleries display works of art for sale, they are either purchased by the galleries from artists or collectors outright or accepted on consignment. Due in large part to financial considerations, including sharing in the risk and reducing financial exposure, consignment has become a favored way for galleries to […] 

Book Review: “Artist, Authorship & Legacy: A Reader” (2018)
By Jana S. Farmer. Artist, Authorship & Legacy is a collection of twenty-two interdisciplinary essays edited by Daniel McClean, art attorney in California and the United Kingdom, author and independent curator, who also contributed an introduction and his own essay on artists’ estates to this volume. Other contributors include artists, art historians, art lawyers, curators, […] 

Two for the Price of One: Recent US Legal Developments in Nazi-Looted Art
By Timothy Chung. “Time is lost, which never will renew.” Vergil, The Georgics, Book 3. [1] As those who bring claims under the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 (the “HEAR Act”) know,[2] time is making it hard for the heirs of Jewish art collectors to reclaim what was theirs during WWII. Following the […] 
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See Art, Think Art Law (TM)
– ongoing and upcoming exhibitions with legal themes –

Nazi-Looted Art Today

Wolfgang Gurlitt. Fairy Prince.
LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz (Linz, Austria)
October 4, 2019 - January 19, 2020

More info...


Fateful Choices: Art from the Gurlitt Trove
The Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel)
September 24, 2019 - January 15, 2020

More info...

Newsletter created and edited by:
Louise Carron, Irina Tarsis, Tess Bonoli, and Yuchen Xie. 
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