Art Law Report

Key Tax Deferral Tool for Art Sales on the Chopping Block in U.S. Legislation Proposals

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 11, 2017 at 9:40 AM

The following appeared in Apollo magazine online on December 4, 2017

Read More

Topics: Legislation, 1031 Exchange, Apollo Magazine, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Something’s Rotten in Düsseldorf—Max Stern Exhibition Cancelled in Response to Restitution Claim

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 28, 2017 at 10:33 AM

As Germany puts on the much-anticipated exhibition in Bonn of Cornelius Gurlitt’s disputed collection, a strange story has developed not too far away in Düsseldorf.  The Stadtmuseum, which is administered by the city itself, had organized—but now cancelled—“Max Stern: from Düsseldorf to Montreal.”   The exhibition was scheduled to open in February in Düsseldorf, before traveling to the Haifa art museum in September of 2018 and to the McCord Museum in Montreal in 2019.  The city’s acknowledgement that the decision was based on a claim for restitution from the Max Stern Estate is a disturbing development that provides no sound reason to cancel a show about an important dealer who, it is undisputed, was a seminal figure of Nazi persecution. 

Read More

Topics: Nuremberg laws, Cologne, Cornelius Gurlitt, Germany, The Art Newspaper, Köln, Nazi-looted art, Düsseldorf, The New York Times, A Tragic Fate, Max Stern from Düsseldorf to Montreal, McCord Museum, Reichskammer der bildenden Künste, Dr. and Mrs. Max Stern Foundation, Max Stern Restitution Project, Girl from the Sabine Mountains, Max Stern, Haifa, Francis Xavier Winterhalter, Mädchen aus den Sabiner Bergen, The Artist’s Children, Wilhelm von Schadow, Düsseldorf Kunstpalast, Andreas Achenbach, Sicilian Landscape, Norwegian Landscape, Galerie Max Stern, Mayor Thomas Geisel

Event—Wealth Management Strategies for Art Collectors

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 27, 2017 at 9:34 AM

I’m looking forward to taking part in an event on Thursday hosted by Fortress Museum Quality Storage in Boston discussing art collecting in the context of wealth management.  Panelists are listed below, RSVPs can be sent to info@artadvisors.org by today.

Read More

Topics: Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Fortress Museum Quality Storage, The College Club of Boston, Margaret Bussiere, U.S Trust, Henry B. Greenberg, Megan Fox Kelly, Thomas Burns

Members of the Berkshire Museum Appeal Ruling on Planned Sale of Critical Pieces of its Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Sullivan & Worcester LLP has filed an appeal on behalf of its clients, the members of the Berkshire Museum who sued to enjoin the museum’s sale of 40 works of art and sculpture.  The appeal is brought as a result of the Berkshire County Superior Court’s November 7, 2017 denial of their request for an injunction, and dismissal of the case (before the Appeals Court utlimately enjoined the sale until at least December).  That Superior Court order denied not only the members’ request, but also a motion by another group that include Norman Rockwell’s sons and the motion by Attorney General Maura Healey to pause the sale originally scheduled for November 13, 2017 at Sotheby’s in New York—a sale that would have included Rockwell’s Shuffleton’s Barbershop and other masterpieces. 

Read More

Topics: Norman Rockwell, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Sotheby's, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Berkshire Museum, Zenas Crane, Shuffleton’s Barbershop, Attorney General, Maura Healey, Berkshire County Superior Court

Appeals Court Stays Sale of Berkshire Museum Paintings

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 10, 2017 at 10:43 PM

Attorney General’s Motion, Supported by Private Plaintiffs, is Allowed on the Eve of Auction

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has stopped the imminent auction of paintings owned by the Berkshire Museum.  Late Friday, a single justice of the Appeals Court issued the following order:

ORDER: After reviewing the parties' submissions, the request for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendant, Trustees of the Berkshire Museum from selling, auctioning, or otherwise disposing of any of the artworks that have been listed for auction commencing on November 13, 2017, is allowed. The balance of the risk of irreparable harm to the petitioner and the respondent in light of each party's chance of success on the merits weighs in favor of the petitioner.

Read More

Topics: Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Pittsfield, Berkshire Museum, Attorney General, Maura Healey

Massachusetts AG Asks Appeals Court to Halt Monday's Berkshire Museum Sale

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 10, 2017 at 2:21 PM

The Massachusetts Attorney General has moved the Appeals Court of Massachusetts for an emergency injunction pending appeal of the November 7, 2017 decision denying the motions by the AG, my clients, and others, seeking to enjoin the auctions beginning Monday of 40 paintings and works of art belonging to the Berkshire Museum.

Read More

Topics: Norman Rockwell, Berkshire Museum, Attorney General

Members of Berkshire Museum File Suit Seeking Injunction Against Sale of Art Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 26, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Forty Masterpieces of American and European Art Scheduled for Auction

Read More

Topics: Norman Rockwell, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Sotheby's, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Pittsfield, Zenas Crane, Trustees of the Berkshire Museum, Hudson River School, Frederic Edwin Church, Pieter de Hooch, Shuffleton’s Barbershop, Shaftsbury Blacksmith Shop

Germany Identifies Painting from Gurlitt Collection as Nazi-Looted, Progress and Credibility Still Uncertain

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 25, 2017 at 3:28 PM

Only Sixth Work Revealed As Looted Since 2013

Read More

Topics: Cornelius Gurlitt, Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste, Gurlitt Task Force, Nazi-looted art, Munich, Salzburg, NS Raubkunst, Kulturgutschutzgesetz, Kunstmuseum Bern, Monika Grütters, Taskforce Schwabinger Kunstfund, German Center for Cultural Property Losses, Portrait of a Seated Young Woman, Porträt einer sitzenden jungen Frau, Thomas Couture, Georges Mandel, Rose Valland

Event at DePaul—Human Rights and Cultural Heritage: A New Paradigm.

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 4, 2017 at 5:41 PM

Few institutions are as reliably at the forefront of issues of cultural property law as the DePaul University School of Law in Chicago.  Not surprisingly, they have another terrific event coming up.  I’ll be at the street art CLE I am giving at the New York City Bar Association, but otherwise I would make every effort to be there and I encourage anyone interested to do the same.  The presenters are experts and luminaries of the highest order.

Read More

Topics: Thomas R. Kline, Lori Breslauer, Alessandro Chechi, Rebecca Tsosie, DePaul University College of Law, Events, Patty Gerstenblith, Human Rights and Cultural Heritage, Karima E. Bennoune, Lubna S. El-Gendi, Stacey Jessiman de Nanteuil, Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak

New York Event—“Off the Wall: Legal Issues Involving Street Art”

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 22, 2017 at 1:50 PM

I am pleased to be among distinguished colleagues and practitioners presenting a CLE at the New York City Bar Association on November 2, 2017.  Entitled “Off the Wall: Legal Issues Involving Street Art,” the panel will cover some of the hot button legal issues affecting the art world today, and this year’s program will center around the legal issues involving street art. This program is intended for those who practice art law, litigation, copyright, and trademark law, as well as those with clients in the art, fashion, advertising, and real estate industries.

Read More

Topics: New York City Bar Association, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Dean Nicyper, Steven R. Schindler, Beryl Jones-Woodin, Amelia K. Brankov, Off the Wall: Legal Issues Involving Street Art

About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities.

Meet the Editor

Learn more about our Art & Museum Law practice

Subscribe to Blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all