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Art Law Blast [7.31.2017]

Because I love art law

To our wonderful and loving community:

Thank you for your interest and support this summer. As you may know, the Center for Art Law (CfAL) is operating as a not-for-profit initiative, working to bring information and energy to a niche community of art and law lovers. "Because I love art law" is our last 2016-2017 issue, with much more of art law news scheduled to resume in the coming academic year, starting in September. 

We are grateful for the amazing dedication of our content contributors, editors, interns, and subscribers and the involvement from each of you as we explore the two intersecting worlds of art and law. In order to help fund our upcoming event on Art Business & NY State Taxation, we are asking for each of you to take a moment to donate a small amount of money to support this particular endeavor. Our goal is to raise $200 to help sponsor the event.

Please feel free to contribute as little or as much as you wish, and we promise to put your contributions to art law use. We are deeply grateful for your time and thoughtfulness now, and over the entire course of CfAL’s evolution.

Warm regards,
Center for Art Law Summer Team

To help you plan your art law calendar, check out the full listing of and upcoming events on our radar.
July 31, 2017  -- NYCLA Panel on Art Law and Sales and Use Tax (Herrick, NYC) - SOLD OUT

On the last day of July, the New York County Lawyers' Association Art Law Committee and guests will gather at the offices of
Herrick Feinstein, to present a CLE panel discussion on the subject of taxes and art sales. 

This is a unique opportunity to gain insight from a representative of the governmental body responsible for New York taxation and revenue, as well as a leading tax attorney. This program will cover hot taxation topics including:
  • shipment of purchased artwork
  • common carriers
  • resale certificates
  • nexus
  • audit types and triggers, and more
This program is relevant to art businesses (including galleries and auction houses), collectors, and attorneys serving arts-industry clients. Sponsored by the Center for Art Law and Cahill Cossu Noh & Robinson LLP.

* Aug. 3, 2017 -- Destruction of Illegal Ivory (Central Park, NY)

New York State promises to destroy over a ton of illegal ivory to draw attention to fate of elephants and discourage illicit wildlife trade and poaching.

August 2017 -- Registration opens for the 9th Annual National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition (Chicago, IL)

Co-sponsored by the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, the National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition is the only moot court competition in the world that focuses exclusively on cultural heritage law issues. The Competition provides students with the opportunity to advocate in the nuanced landscape of cultural heritage, which addresses our past and our identity, and which has frequently become the subject of contentious legal debates and policies. Oral arguments for the 2018 National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition will be held February 23-24, 2018.

Sept. 6, 2017 -- The Art Business Conference (London, UK)

From an overview of the art market in India and Brexit to UK private foundations and art handling logistics, the upcoming conference will explore numerous art business issues with participation from the market leaders and their attorneys. Speakers to include Pierre Valentin (Constantine Cannon), Craig Davies (Rawlinson & Hunter), Wendy Philips (Sotheby’s) and many others. 
Nov. 10 2017 -- Art Law Day (NYC, NY)

This year’s Art Law Day will be hosted at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (55 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003). The conference will feature various panels discussing a range of topics, including estate planning for artists, the valuation of multiples and editions, business and legal ethics in art transactions, and due diligence in maintaining confidential information. Registration opens Aug. 1.
NOTE:  Be sure to check out our calendar for more events!
Testing your art law IQ: Do you know what this artwork has to do with law? 
What's New:
Bittersweet Parting: As July ends, we wish to congratulate our 2017 alumni who survived last week's bar examination, and must bid goodbye to our terrific summer interns and graduate fellows who have made immeasurable contributions to the Center for Art Law. From overseeing the first Center for Art Law livestream to growing our social media presence, to drafting and editing numerous articles and contributing to the art law fabric of NYC, it was a productive May, June, July

Dot Connecting: Seller of Damien Hirst forgeries, Vincent Lopreto, pleaded not guilty to five counts of grand larceny, four counts of scheme to defraud, and two counts of attempted grand larceny. He was charged with selling $400,000 of forged Hirst prints between October 2015 and February 2017. Lopreto's rap sheet already includes a two-year incarceration for perpetuating the same scheme. Two other men, Marco Saverino and Paul Motta have also been charged as participants in these sales.

Provenance Mapping: Boston U. Professor Jodie Cranston has created a new online platform that chronicles the provenance and tracks locations of individual works of art. The database called Mapping Paintings, allows users to visualize the trajectory of each artwork on a chronologically-annotated map--a feature that Professor Cranston believes is crucially important for art historians. Though the site was created by an art historian for art professionals, its applications may extend to those members of the public who are generally curious of provenance information, in spite of, or in addition to pre-existing provenance lists. As of now, the site features many works by Titian and his contemporaries; plans are underway to expand offerings by adding the approximately 3,000 works of European art from the Kress Foundation--one of the website’s sponsors.

Ivory Torching: Two sibling-owners of a Midtown Manhattan antiques shop, Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques, pleaded guilty to illegally trading in more than $4 million in ivory. The stock has been seized and is will be destroyed in Central Park on August 3, 2017.

Symbolic Ruling: A federal judge ordered Glafira Rosales to pay $81 million in restitution to the victims of fraud who bought forgeries through the Knoedler Gallery. Four months earlier, Rosales was sentenced to nine months of house arrest and three years probation for her participation in the scheme, including personal transport of the forged paintings and misrepresentations about the origin and provenance of the forged paintings. Rosales previously served three months in prison and has allegedly cooperated with the recent court proceedings. Her attorney told artnet News that Rosales “has taken responsibility for her role in the situation and regrets any harm that people have suffered.”

Cultural Decorating: On July 5th, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts imported by arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, alleging that the artifacts were unlawfully smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae were found in packages shipped to Hobby Lobby labeled as “clay tiles” or “ceramic tiles.” As part of a stipulation of settlement, Hobby Lobby consented to the forfeiture of the artifacts and a payment of $3 million. Additionally, the company agreed to adopt policies governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide training to its personnel, hire qualified customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen months. In a press release, Hobby Lobby admitted making “regrettable mistakes” during the acquisition process. The same day, Pearlstein McCullough & Lederman, Hobby Lobby’s legal representation, released a statement calling the settlement “a just resolution for all parties involved” and a “template for future cultural property disputes.”

Gurlitt Sighting: Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Bern is busy preparing for an exhibition of select artworks that were discovered four years ago amongst the hoard of 1,500 artworks in possession of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of Nazi-era art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. While only 200 of the discovered works will be on display at the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Bundeskunsthalle museum in Bonn, Germany will be concurrently exhibiting 250 artworks from the same trove in a show that focuses on works believed to have been stolen from Jewish art dealers. “Dossier Gurlitt: Nazi Art Theft and Its Consequences,” is open to the public from November 3rd to March 11th at the Bundeskunsthalle museum and “Dossier Gurlitt: ‘Degenerate Art,’ Confiscated and Sold” at the Kunstmuseum Bern is open to the public from November 2nd to March 4th. The Gurlitt legacy has been credited for spuring provenance research in Switzerland and has been referenced in the recent restitution settlement reached in Bavaria involving a looted Klee painting
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Pape v. LG Electronics USA Inc., 17-cv-04925 (S.D.N.Y., July 18, 2017) Paula Pape, daughter of late Brazilian artist Lygia Pape, brought suit against LG Electronics, Inc. on the premise that the Seoul-based electronics company is using images of her mother’s 2003 sculpture ’Tteia 1, C’ in the packaging and promotion of its new product, the K20 V mobile phone. The cultural institution responsible for managing the reproduction rights of Lygia Pape’s artwork has denied LG’s request to use images of the artist’s work multiple times. Paula Pape alleges that, despite these rejections, LG went forth with its original advertising campaign plan and used the images without permission. This case comes at an interesting time: a retrospective spanning five decades of the artist’s career at the forefront of Brazilian modernism just closed at the Met Breuer. (WR)

Noland v. Michael Janssen Gallery Pte., Ltd et al, 1:17-cv-05452 (S.D.N.Y, July 18, 2017). Artist Cady Noland filed suit for copyright infringement and violation of the Visual Artists’ Rights Act against a group of dealers, collectors, and galleries. Noland claims that the defendants were involved in the decision to hire a conservator to refurbish her work Log Cabin (1990), without consulting her. She alleges that the refurbishment carried out by the defendants exceeded that which is considered a normal restoration. Her legal counsel argues that because the conservator severely altered Log Cabin--by replacing the original wood that had rotted with new, protected wood--the work now stands as a copy of the original work. In recent years, Noland has received much attention for her sensitivity with regard to restoration and has gone as far as to disavow artworks. In the current suit, Noland is seeking both the destruction of Log Cabin, as she believes it no longer represents a genuine product of her creation, and that the defendants cease circulating images of the work. (WR)

Tierney et al v. Camuto Consulting, Inc. et al., 2:17-cv-04936 (C.D.Cal., July 5, 2017) Street artists Joseph Tierney, Cary Patraglia, Spencer Valdez, and Keith Rowland have brought suit against fashion designer Vince Camuto for using their work in his Spring/Summer 2017 ad campaign without seeking the artists’ permission. This copyright infringement suit was fueled by the fact that, beginning in February 2017, Camuto’s ad campaign featuring the artwork was displayed on a variety of platforms--social media, news media, both Vince Camuto and department store websites, and within Vince Camuto stores. Tierney, Patraglia, Valdez, and Rowland seek reputational, future, and punitive damages. This case is one of several others centering around retailers’ improper usage of graffiti artists’ public murals. (WR)

Berkowitz, et al., v. Christie’s, 652549/2017 (Sup. NY, May 11, 2017) Co-trustees of the Southern Trust brought action against Christie’s alleging that the auction house, entrusted with the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, violated terms of the consignment agreement as well as breached fiduciary duty when it rescinded the sale of the so-called Taj Mahal diamond. Complaint available here. (IT)
For a full list of books and articles featured previously,
please visit our Publications page.*


Darren Hudson Hick, The Aesthetics and Ethics of Copying (2017).
This book is described as responsive "to the rapidly changing attitudes towards the use of another's ideas, styles, and artworks. With advances in technology making the copying of artworks and other artifacts exponentially easier, questions of copying no longer focus on the problems of forgery: they now expand into aesthetic and ethical legal concerns. This volume addresses the changes and provides the first philosophical foundation for an aesthetics and ethics of copying." Available here.

Barnet Hartston, The Trial of Gustav Graef: Art, Sex, and Scandal in Late Nineteenth-Century Germany (Nov. 15, 2017). Make room on your winter reading list for the book that describes the 1885 trial of German artist Gustav Graef -- "a seminal event for those who observed it. Graef, a celebrated sixty-four-year-old portraitist, was accused of perjury and sexual impropriety with underage models. On trial alongside him was one of his former models, the twenty-one-year-old Bertha Rother, who quickly became a central figure in the affair. As the case was being heard, images of Rother, including photographic reproductions of Graef’s nude paintings of her, began to flood the art shops and bookstores of Berlin and spread across Europe. Spurred by this trade in images and by sensational coverage in the press, this former prostitute was transformed into an international sex symbol and a target of both public lust and scorn." Available here.


Desmond Manderson, Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies, and Critique (Nov. 10, 2017) From the editor: "In Law and the Visual, leading legal theorists, art historians, and critics come together to present new work examining the intersection between legal and visual discourses. Proceeding chronologically, the volume offers leading analyses of the juncture between legal and visual culture as witnessed from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Editor Desmond Manderson provides a contextual introduction that draws out and articulates three central themes: visual representations of the law, visual technologies in the law, and aesthetic critiques of law. Pre-order here.

Bruce Hay, Nazi-Looted Art and the Law: The American Cases (1st ed. 2017) From the distributor: "For the past two decades, the courts of the United States have been an arena of conflict over this issue has recently captured widespread public attention. In a series of cases, survivors and heirs have come forward to claim artworks in public and private collections around the world, asserting that they were seized by the Nazis or were sold under duress by owners desperate to escape occupied countries. Spanning two continents and three-quarters of a century, the cases confront the courts with complex problems of domestic and international law, clashes among the laws of different jurisdictions, factual uncertainties about the movements of art during and after the war, and the persistent question whether restitution claims have been extinguished by the passage of time."Pre-order here.

Nicholas M. O'Donnell, A Tragic Fate: Law and Ethics in the Battle over Nazi-looted Art (Chicago: American Bar Association, 2017) In his first monograph, Nicholas O'Donnell, a partner at Sullivan & Worcester and the author of "Art Law Report" blog, explores the theme of Nazi-era stolen art, which "has proven to be an issue that simply will not go away." According to the publisher "[n]ewly found works of art pit survivors and their heirs against museums, foreign nations, and even their own family members. These stories are enduring because they speak to one of the core tragedies of the Nazi era: how a nation at the pinnacle of fine art and culture spawned a legalized culture of theft and plunder. A Tragic Fate is the first book to address comprehensively the legal and ethical rules that have dictated the results of restitution claims between competing claimants to the same works of art." Pre-order available here.

51ucd1LJQuL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgFred Kline, Leonardo's Holy Child: The Discovery of a Leonardo Da Vinci Masterpiece: A Connoisseur's Search for Lost Art in America (Pegasus Books, 2016).
"La Bella Principessa," auctioned off in 2007 and  later attributed to DaVinci, is but one work that has been posthumously associated with the great master.  This book is about how “A single sketch becomes an all-consuming quest to understand and identify a work by Leonardo da Vinci himself―the first new drawing by the great master to have surfaced in over a century.” Available for purchase here.

Culture in Crisis: Preserving Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 2016).  Produced by The Antiquities Coalition in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, this book features contributions from students in the conflict management program. Each student explored a specific topic related to looting, trafficking, and destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq. The result is an interdisciplinary look at a wide range of issues in the field, from both an academic and practical perspective. Available here

Reynold Levy, They Told Me Not to Take That Job: Tumult, Betrayal, Heroics, and the transformation of Lincoln Center (PublicAffairs, 2015). Former President of the Lincoln Center, Levy narrates his observations of the demise of the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera's need to use as collateral its iconic Chagall tapestries, and the New York Philharmonic's relations with Carnegie Hall. Levy, author of "Yours for the Asking" and many other publications on the subject of corporate philanthropy and the nonprofit management, left Lincoln Center in 2014. Available for purchase here.

Recent Articles:

Book Review: “Art Law: A Concise Guide for Artists, Curators, and Art Educators”(2016)

  By Wylie Rechler* Ever wonder about the processes, complexities, and challenges revolving around an artist’s journey from studio to international renown? Or a collector’s campaign from inheritance to resale of an artwork with questionable title? Or a museum’s interactions with an artist’s intricate and controversial body of work so as to make it comprehensible…Read more Book Review: “Art Law: A Concise Guide for Artists, Curators, and Art Educators”(2016) Read in browser »

Folding the White Cube: What Is Transforming the Gallery Scene in NYC?

by Alexandra Terrell* Speaking at a Stropheus Art Law event entitled “Letting Go of Brick and Mortar: The Future of the Gallery” in September 2016, Josh Baer noted that the notorious art scene in the Big Apple has always changed cyclically. He questioned, “How many [galleries] are going to be flourishing 5, 10, 20 years…Read more Folding the White Cube: What Is Transforming the Gallery Scene in NYC? Read in browser »

Give and Take: on Jeff Koons mastering contractual and statutory relationships with other artists

By Madeleine Conlin* Contemporary blue-chip artist and controversial figure Jeff Koons has long been known for developing concepts, then leaving the implementation of his designs to studio assistants to execute the vision. Historically studio assistants are young or mid-career artists who specialize in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and other mediums necessary to making their employer’s…Read more Give and Take: on Jeff Koons mastering contractual and statutory relationships with other artists Read in browser »

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