Art Law Report

New Authentication Lawsuit Filed Against Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 21, 2016 at 11:45 AM
For several years the topic of litigation against appraisers and authenticators has been a controversial issue, causing a number of artists’ foundations and independent professionals to refrain from giving opinions for fear of litigation, even in which they eventually prevail.  A new lawsuit against the Agnes Martin Authentication Committee underscores the importance of a pending bill in New York to shield such authenticators from liability, and the problems inherent in the status quo.  This lawsuit appears likely headed for failure just like every other similar authentication lawsuit, but that will come as cold comfort to the defendants years hence.
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Topics: authentication, catalogue raisonné, Alexander Calder, Keith Haring Foundation, New York City Bar Association, connoisseurship, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Mayor Gallery Ltd, Agnes Martin, Peter Doig

Knoedler Forgery Cases Foretell New Battleground Over Art Dealer Diligence

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

For more than two years now, the collapse of the M. Knoedler & Co. Gallery in New York amidst allegations of forged paintings by well-known 20th Century artists has sent ripples in all directions: legal, art historical, legislative, and connoisseurship. Several recent developments have drawn focus to the likely litigation fallout among those affected by the scandal.

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Topics: Andy Warhol Foundation, Daedalus Foundation, William K. Rashabaum, Forgery, Knoedler, Ann Freedman, Wolfgang Belctracchi, Marco Grassi, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Patricia Cohen, The New Yorker, Litigation, Glafira Rosales, New York Times, M. Knoedler & Co., connoisseurship, New York Magazine, National Public Radio

Art Law Day at NYU Next Friday, November 9, 2012

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Although this week's Restitution and Repatriation conference at DePaul was washed out by Hurricane Sandy, another terrific event is on the horizon next week. "Art Law Day" at New York University, hosted by the Appraisers Association of America, will be held on November 9, 2012 at NYU's Kimmel Center. The condensed schedule from the event's website is below. Wishing everyone in New York continued safety, we hope to see you there.

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Topics: John Silberman Associates, Holland Dunn, Yuri Yanchyshyn, Jack Flam, Aurora Advisory Group, Karin Gross, Magdalena Dabrowski, AAA, John Cahill, Donn Zaretzky, Hurricane Sandy, Inc., Ella Newman, McLaughlin & Stern, Art Law Day, LLP, Jane C. H. Jacob, Peter Stern, ARIS, Ralph Lerner, Withers Bergman, Michael Ward Stout, Appraisal, ETN Associates, NYU, Events, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies LLP, Dorit Straus, Nicola Walter, Elizabeth von Habsburg, Jacob Fine Art, Ron Fiamma, Appraisers Association of America, J.P. Morgan Securities, Restitution and Repatriation, IFAR, Kimmel Center, Dedalus Foundation, connoisseurship, Christiane Fischer, Winston Art Group, Gloria Velandia, Sharon Flescher, Judith Bresler

“Flea Market Renoir” May Have Been Stolen Decades Ago, Confusion Abounds

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM

What was the feel-good, ersatz Antiques-Roadshow story of the summer may soon be one of the most prominent art law issues in the country. A painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir entitled “Paysage Bords de Seine” that was purchased at a flea market in 2010 for $7 and authenticated this year as genuine may turn out to have been stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art.

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Topics: Forgery, Sadie May Collection, Antiques Roadshow, Renoir, Doreen Bolger, Collections, Baltimore Museum of Art, Standing, Washington Post, connoisseurship, Paysage Bords de Seine, Potomack Co.

Ruminations on Connoisseurship, Forgery, Knoedler and Litigation in the News

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 9, 2011 at 5:02 AM

We’ve been following a number of prominent stories for several weeks now and thinking about what they mean in the crossover between art and the law. It’s fair to say that a theme is starting to develop, namely, that after the Beltracchi forgery trial in Cologne, the Warhol Foundation’s decision to close its doors to authentication requests, and the brewing scandal over the authenticity of paintings sold by Knoedler and other galleries, the legal significance of knowing—and even asking—the age-old question from Art History 101—“who made that?”—has come again to the fore.

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Topics: Cologne, Forgery, Knoedler, slander, The Art Newspaper, Riah Pryor, Pierre Lagrange, Inc., Degas, Jackson Pollock, libel, catalogue raisonné, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Collections, Francis Bacon, The Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, defamation, Georgina Adam, The Art Law Blog, connoisseurship

Beltracchi and Forgers Sentenced in Cologne

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 28, 2011 at 5:44 AM

The forgery trial in Cologne ended yesterday with the sentencing of Wolfgang Beltracchi and his co-defendants for their now-infamous forgeries and sale of the fictional "Werner Jäger" collection-the name of his wife's grandfather. Beltracchi was sentenced to 6 years, consistent with the deal struck last month with prosecutors, the other defendants (including his wife) to various lesser terms.

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Topics: Cologne, Forgery, Max Pechstein, Germany, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Helene Beltracchi, Heinrich Campendonk, connoisseurship, Max Ernst

The Art Law Report at Ellis Boston Antiques

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 6, 2011 at 8:23 AM

During the upcoming Ellis Boston Antiques Show, I will be on a panel on Friday night, October 21, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. entitled “Essentials for the New Collectorabout collecting antiques and fine art in today’s market. I will be joined by PBS “Antiques Roadshow” appraiser Colleene Fesko and John Fiske, Editor of New England Antiques Journal. The panel is presented by ARIS Title Insurance Corporation.

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Topics: New England Antiques Journal, Ellis Boston Antiques Show, Antiques Roadshow, PBS, John Fiske, Collections, Nicholas O'Donnell, Colleen Fesko, Customs, connoisseurship, Art Law Report

Confession in German Forgery Trial

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 28, 2011 at 8:31 AM

On the heels of yesterday's interruption and pressure from the presiding judge to accept a six-year sentence, the accused leader of a forgery ring in Germany apparently confessed today to 14 forgeries. It's been reported that he said that he enjoyed fooling collectors and experts. It is anticipated that the other defendants will receive similar sentences, though it is not yet certain.

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Topics: Forgery, Lempertz, Max Pechstein, Germany, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Restitution, Helene Beltracchi, Heinrich Campendonk, intellectual property, connoisseurship, Max Ernst

German Forgery Trial Update-Deal Offered?

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 27, 2011 at 9:14 AM

We have been following with interest the trial in Cologne, Germany of four accused forgers. The trial began at the beginning of the month. Wolfgang Beltracchi, 60, is accused of organizing a scam that defrauded art collectors out of millions of dollars. Comedian, actor, and writer Steve Martin is among the most high-profile victims. The 47 forgeries mimicked 20th century paintings by Kees Van Dongen, Max Ernst, Max Pechstein and Heinrich Campendonk.

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Topics: Cologne, Forgery, Lempertz, Van Dongen, Max Pechstein, Germany, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, Wolfgang Beltracchi, Restitution, Helene Beltracchi, Heinrich Campendonk, intellectual property, connoisseurship, Max Ernst

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