Art Law Perspectives

Insights and commentary on art law

UNITED STATES Fearless Girl Statue Caught in Further Legal Battle − This Time in Australia The bronze “Fearless Girl” statue originally appeared in Bowling Green, a small public park in New York City, in 2017, posed in a face off against the Charging Bull statue (Wall Street Bull). The Fearless Girl became a world-famous symbol of diversity and female representation on Wall Street. Presently, the statue’s creator, Kristen Visbal, is embroiled in several legal battles…
AMERICAS Anti−Money Laundering Compliance Bill for the Antiquities Market The proposed legislation, officially called the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, passed the House of Representatives on October 22 and is now being reviewed by the Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The bill is part of a broader effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the United States and Europe.…
BREAKING: The following summaries of news articles are separated by geographic region for your browsing convenience. UNITED STATES Suspected Nazi-Looted Painting Turned Over to FBI by New York Museum According to the FBI, Gari Melchers’s painting Winter, which was in the collection of the Arkell Museum in New York, was allegedly looted by the Nazis from Jewish media mogul Rudolf Mosse.…
BREAKING: Italian Appellate Court Allows Loan of Leonardo’s Fragile Vitruvian Man Sketch to Louvre In early October, in a potential blow to the Louvre’s October 24, 2019, opening of its Leonardo da Vinci retrospective marking the 500th anniversary of his death, an Italian court blocked the loan of Vitruvian Man, after Italia Nostra, an Italian heritage organization, challenged the loan under Italian laws prohibiting museums from loaning works that are “integral to their collections” or…
UNITED STATES Golden Coffin on Display at the Met Is Going Back to Egypt The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s golden coffin is worth nearly $4 million and originally held the remains of an influential 1st century BC priest, Nedjemankh. Recent investigations determined that the coffin was stolen from the Minya region in Egypt in 2011 during a political uprising. Smugglers took the object to Germany by way of Dubai, then to France where a Parisian…
UNITED STATES Mercedes-Benz Suit Against Street Artists Allowed to Proceed Mercedes-Benz brought a declaratory judgment action against four street artists who saw their work prominently displayed on social media as background for the automaker’s G-Class track ads. Mercedes is seeking a declaration that its use of the artworks was not a copyright infringement as it was either fair use or because the claim is precluded by the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (1990). …
UNITED STATES Local Patrons Donate Impressionist Collection to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta Doris and Shouky Shaheen donated their collection of Impressionist paintings to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, constituting one of the largest donations in the museum’s history.  The gifted collection includes 24 Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and Modernist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Édouard Vuillard. The High Museum will open a…
UNITED STATES Dealer’s Suit Against Gallery Owners for Declaring Agnes Martin Works Fakes Is Dismissed New York Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit by the London-based The Mayor Gallery (The Mayor) against the owners of the Pace Gallery based on allegations that defendants “unlawfully declared that thirteen authentic Agnes Martin artworks are fakes, resulting in a loss … of more than $7 million.” The lawsuit asserted that defendants were financially motivated to exclude the works from…
The following are summaries of news reports pertaining to art law and art markets, organized by geographic regions for your browsing convenience. UNITED STATES Andy Warhol Foundation Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Prince Portrait Photographer Lynn Goldsmith sued the Andy Warhol Foundation alleging that Warhol unlawfully used her photograph of Prince in a series of 1984 silkscreen works.    …
Just a few days after the Second Circuit held that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art could keep in its collection the monumental work by Pablo Picasso entitled The Actor, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, upheld the return to the heirs of the original owners of art allegedly looted by the Nazis during World War II. Both of these recent decisions touch upon the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act), the 2016 legislation…