A few weeks ago some interesting speculation started circulating about the possibility of a new forgery operation in Germany, which was home to the now-infamous Wolfgang Beltracchi. Beltracchi successfully fooled buyers for years with forged Expressionist and Modernist paintings, going so far as to invent a fictional “Jäger Collection” (including a staged photograph of Beltracchi’s wife purporting to show a painting on the wall of an ancestors home). The most interesting thing about the current story is that it is impossible to tell yet whether there is really a problem; the most detailed efforts to date have been unable to confirm whether Kurt Waldmann, the artist in question, even existed. Many of the indicia of concern are there, but they are hardly conclusive.
Topics: Jäger Collection, Kurt Waldmann, Brussels, Forgery, “Künstliche Tatsachen / Boundary Objects", authentication, authenticity, Pascal Polar, Strasbourg, Bauhaus, Dada, Berlin Wall, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Jean Milossis, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Kunsthaus Dresden, Museums, Berliner Kurier
The Art Law Foundation in Geneva (Fondation pour le droit de l’art), together with the Banking Law Centre at the University of Geneva, hosted a sterling event on Monday in Geneva. This was the second part in a series spearheaded by the Foundation, the first day was held in London in November. While I was not able to attend the London event, it was very well received, and together with this week’s event it must be said that the organization is up to great things. Their events page (here) is something anyone interested should book mark. In particular, these events have showcased sophisticated insights into market-based aspects of art and law, which whether we like it or not is what is driving the discussion (and will continue to). A real hats off to the organizers, in particular Attorneys Sandrine Giroud of Lalive, and Pierre Gabus of Gabus Avocats, a director and president, respectively, of the Foundation.
Topics: China, Pierre Gabus, Art Finance, Sotheby’s Financial Services, Fremdverwaltung, leverage, Xavier Oberson, Alexandre Quiquerez, Philip Hoffman, Frédéric Dawance, Art Business and Research Unit at Sotheby’s Instit, authenticity, Art Law Foundation, Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act, The Art Newspaper, Geneva, artgenève, Fine Arts Expert Institute, Manuela de Kerchove, Sandrine Giroud, Lalive, Supervised Qualified Investors, Natural Le Coultre, Yan Walther, feeder funds, Jan Prasens, Abel Avocats, Farrer & Co LLP, Lombard Odier, Events, Tutela Capital, James Carleton, Sotheby's, U.C.C., Yves Bouvier, Schroders, Fabian Bocart, Fine Art Fund Group, Art Finance And Law Conference Series
A lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey about the authenticity of a painting sold more than 20 years ago that the gallery allegedly represented was a Norman Rockwell (himself a client of my firm long before my time), but which the plaintiff now alleges was not by the American legend. The case underscores the precarious position of authenticators, and the upside of the bill that has been pending in New York for almost a year now.
Topics: authentication, authenticity, “Mending his Ways”, Harold Anderson, Laurence Casper, Gallery 63 Antiques, Norman Rockwell, Mobil Oil, Galleries, Isabel Knispel, U.C.C., Barry Knispel, “Patching Pants”
As the ball teeters above Times Square, and the Glühwein begins to mull on the Art Law Report stove (don’t forget the cinnamon!), a gimmicky but apropos act of reflection is to look back at the biggest stories of 2014, both in art law generally and for yours truly and Sullivan & Worcester LLP. In highly subjective, unverifiable, and immediately criticizeable order, here they are. Thanks as always for reading, and best wishes for in interesting, prosperous New Year. If you agree, disagree, or otherwise, please continue to stay in touch and carry the conversation forward.
Topics: Comedy Central, Deaccession, Schwabinger Kunstfund, Charitable Foundations, National Gallery of Art, Knoedler, Cornelius Gurlitt, Blogs, authentication, authenticity, parody, William Corcoran, Moral Rights, Above the Law, Germany, George Washington University, Glühwein, Nazi-looted art, Gurlitt Collection, Norton Simon, Graffiti Art, Superior Court, Cy Pres, Washington DC, VARA, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Corcoran College of Art + Design, Dumb Starbucks, Preemption, Asher Edelman, DIA, Restitution, Marei Von Saher, Artmentum GmbH, Bavaria, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, World War II, Copyright, Times Square, Art Fairs, Kunstmuseum Bern, Corcoran Gallery, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Museums, Raubkunst, Detroit Bankruptcy, Fair Use, Münchner Kunstfund, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity, Graffiti, Civil Forfeiture, Art Law Report
In the course of our work here, I like to call out books and articles that I feel are worthy of praise, usually the in the course of a particular post or issue. After a too-long stay on the corner of my desk awaiting time to read it, I finally finished a book published last year that should be an essential for any collector, or lawyer dealing with clients across borders. Entitled The Art Collecting Legal Handbook (Thomson Reuters), the book is edited by Bruno Boesch and Massimo Sterpi, both notable European practitioners in art and cultural affairs law, at Froriep in London and Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati in Rome, respectively.
Topics: Legislation, The Art Collecting Legal Handbook, the Middle East, looted property, Forgery, Auctions, VAT, Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati, authenticity, London, Sam Keller, Julien Anfruns, droite de suite, Froriep, Moral Rights, Europe, North America, Holocaust claims, California, Fondation Beyeler, Howard Kennedy FSI, Thomson Reuters, Asia, Rome, Restitution, International Council of Museums, Massimo Sterpi, United States, World War II, Sabina von Arx, 1970 UNESCO Convention, Morgan Stanley, Art Fairs, Publications, Litigation, due diligence, Immunity from Seizure Act, Museums, Bruno Boesch, 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Ex, Daniel McClean, New York