Art Law Report

Detroit and Deaccessioning—the Museum Responds

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 11, 2015 at 8:24 AM

We mused recently about (and tried to clarify) the possible tension between the Detroit Institute of Arts’ successful scuttling of any plans to consider selling its collection to satisfy the city’s debts in the Detroit Bankruptcy. The purpose of the post was not guileful: it seemed likely that many readers might be confused about how Detroit could propose to sell artwork when so much coverage had been addressed to the idea of not selling artwork. In fact, the two ideas are entirely consistent with the consensus of museum governance ethics, but we thought it was an occasion to prompt discussion about the policy behind those ethical guidelines. After all, apart from New York, the rules of deaccessioning are not actually law, they are enforced essentially through collective opprobrium. To facilate that discussion, I quoted Donn Zaretsky, a prominent critic of the status quo, for readers to consider on the one hand, against the guidelines themselves on the other hand.

Read More

Topics: Donn Zaretsky, Deaccession, Detroit bank, Graham W. J. Beal, Randy Kennedy, Deaccessioning, Van Gogh, Detroit Institute of Arts, DIA, Museums, New York Times, Chagall, Detroit Bankruptcy, Art Law Report

Analysis and Views Develop on New York Art Authentication Protection Bill

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on June 26, 2014 at 4:34 AM

As we reported back in February, the State Assembly and Senate are considering parallel versions of an amendment to the New York Arts & Cultural Affairs Law that would enhance protections for art authenticators by raising the burden of proof and providing for prevailing-party attorneys’ fees. Our view was, and remains, that the law would be an improvement on the status quo because it would protect the player that often has the least upside in an authentication but who may find herself the target of the disappointed party’s wrath.

Read More

Topics: Donn Zaretsky, Andy Warhol Foundation, Art in America, Daniel Grant, New York State Assembly, authentication, Tracy Zwick, American Rule, Bill No. A09016, Art Law Day, New York Observer, clear and convincing evidence, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Art Law Committee, Chagall Committee, Appraisers Association of America, Keith Haring Foundation, New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, New York City Bar Association, authenticator, M. Knoedler & Co., Chagall, Senate Bill No. S06794

Proposed Amendment to New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law Would Protect Authenticators

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on April 30, 2014 at 6:03 AM

It was first reported at the Appraisers Association of America’s Art Law Day in November, 2013 that the New York City Bar Association’s Art Law Committee had drafted a proposed revision to New York’s Art and Cultural Affairs Law to address the rights of authenticators. That proposal, publicized a month later, has now become an actual bill introduced in the New York State Assembly, as Senate Bill No. S06794 and Assembly Bill No. A09016. The bills were then referred to their respective committees for further deliberation.

Read More

Topics: Andy Warhol Foundation, New York State Assembly, authentication, American Rule, Bill No. A09016, Art Law Day, clear and convincing evidence, Appraisal, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Art Law Committee, Chagall Committee, Appraisers Association of America, Keith Haring Foundation, New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, New York City Bar Association, authenticator, M. Knoedler & Co., Chagall, Senate Bill No. S06794

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

Posts by Topic

see all