Art Law Report

Conference in Cambridge—“From Refugees to Restitution: The History of Nazi Looted Art in the UK in Transnational Perspective”

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on January 31, 2017 at 10:55 AM

I am speaking at a conference on March 23-24, 2017 at the University of Cambridge (UK) entitled “From Refugees to Restitution: The History of Nazi Looted Art in the UK in Transnational Perspective.”  My presentation will address the various national panels created in response to the Washington Conference by European countries to address claims for Nazi-looted art in state collections.  The roster of speakers is impressive (present company excluded), and it promises to be a fascinating two days.  The program is available here, and the conference website is here

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Topics: Wiesbaden, London, Holocaust Art Restitution Project, Paris, Art Recovery Group, Constantine Cannon LLP, Emily Löffler, Pierre Valentin, Events, Johannes Nathan, Karlsruhe, Marc Masurovsky, Sotheby's, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Emmanuelle Polack, Leopold Museum, Frankfurt, Jewish Claims Conference, Victoria Louise Steinwachs, Debbie De Girolamo, Tabitha I. Oost, Bianca Gaudenzi, Jewish Museum Prague, Robert Holzbauer, Tessa Rosebrock, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Laurel Zuckerman, Shlomit Steinberg, Richard Aronowitz-Mercer, Maike Brueggen, Nathalie Neumann, Simone Gigliotti, Royal Holloway University of London, Anne O. Popham, Ulrike Schmiegelt-Rietig, Isabel von Klitzing, Landesmuseum Mainz, Michaela Sidenberg, Mary Kate Cleary, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Fluchtgut, Diana Kostyrko, Elizabeth Campbell, University of Denver, Evelien Campfens, Leiden University, Angelina Giovani, Jennifer Gramer, Agata Wolska, Nathan Fine Art GmbH, Potsdam, Friederike Schwelle, Art Loss Register, Provenance Research & Art Consulting

Restitution of Constable Painting at the Tate Moves Ahead Again

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 16, 2015 at 10:02 AM

After putting on hold its prior recommendation back in March of this year, the United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel has recommended that the Tate Gallery in London should return Beaching a Boat, Brighton by John Constable to heirs of Budapest-based (and Jewish) Baron Ferenc Hatvany. The Art Newspaper reports that the Spoliation Panel concluded that the 1946 export license at issue in the springtime uncertainty (located from the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts) was insufficient to overcome the conclusion that title to the looted painting had not passed lawfully.

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Topics: John Constable, Soviet, Budapest, Worcestershire, Hungary, London, The Art Newspaper, Beaching a Boat Brighton, Nazi-looted art, Red Army, Mrs P.M. Rainsford, Broadway Art Gallery, Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, Restitution, World War II, Baron Ferenc Hatvany, Tate Gallery, Museums, United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel

ABA Journal Opens Voting on “Blog 100”—Here Are My Votes

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 30, 2015 at 6:34 AM

The ABA Journal has opened voting again on its annual “Blog 100,” a roll of notable legal blogs. I’ve submitted votes for the following blogs (in no particular order), which I have bookmarked and consult regularly. The great thing about blogging, I have found, is the ability it gives the reader (and the blogger) to survey multiple perspectives on a subject. So when resale royalties are under discussion, or fair use, I don’t want to read only articles that I agree with or that take the same approach that I would. I also want to hear something I never would have thought of, and expand the conversation.

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Topics: Donn Zaretsky, Paul Howcroft, ABA Journal, Stropheus, Blogs, Judith Prowda, Art Law & More, London, Peter Bert, Fladgate LLP, Richard Lehun, Constantine Cannon LLP, Irina Tarsis, Blog 100, Azmina Jasani, Pierre Valentin, Silberman and Associates, Dispute Resolution in Germany, Art@Law, Boodle Hatfield LLP, Taylor Wessing, Natalia Mikolajczyk, Private Art Investor, The Art Law Blog, Art Law London, Becky Shaw, Tim Maxwell, Center for Art Law, Frankfurt

Postwar Export Permit Apparently At the Center of Shift in Tate Restitution Dispute

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on April 20, 2015 at 12:13 PM

We reported recently on the possible change in the anticipated restitution of a John Constable painting in the Tate Gallery, London. After the United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel recommended that Beaching a Boat, Brighton be returned to the heirs of Baron Ferenc Hatvany, the Tate issued a statement that it had received new information and was reviewing the recommendation.

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Topics: John Constable, Budapest, The Daily Mail, Karola Fabri, London, Baron von Herzog, Beaching a Boat Brighton, Nazi-looted art, Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, Restitution, World War II, Baron Ferenc Hatvany, Tate Gallery, Museums, Zürich, United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel

Tate Backtracks on Restitution of Constable Painting

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 31, 2015 at 5:58 AM

As if there weren't enough controversy with national advisory commissions' recommendations about Nazi-looted art, the Tate Gallery in London is apparently reconsidering a recommendation last year by the United Kingdom’s Spoliation Advisory Panel that Beaching a Boat, Brighton (1824) by John Constable should be restituted to heirs of Budapest-based Baron Ferenc Hatvany, who was Jewish.

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Topics: John Constable, Soviet, Budapest, Worcestershire, London, The Art Newspaper, Beaching a Boat Brighton, Nazi-looted art, Red Army, Mrs P.M. Rainsford, Broadway Art Gallery, Restitution, World War II, Baron Ferenc Hatvany, Tate Gallery, Washington Principles, United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel

Development May be Coming Soon In Klimt Beethoven Frieze Case

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 4, 2015 at 8:27 AM

Der Standard in Austria reported this week that a recommendation is expected on Friday in the claim by the heirs of Erich Lederer to the famous Klimt Beethoven Frieze in the Secession Museum in Vienna. The issue in this case is not a Nazi-era theft per se, but the effect of Austria’s post-war restitution law, which returned ownership to the Lederer family (it was looted from Erich Lederer under the Nazi) but forbade export, leading to a sale. The Lederer family has argued that that amounts to a second taking. As I made no secret last week with regard to Germany’s intended National Cultural Property Designation for the Welfenschatz that my clients have sued to recover, this kind of export prohibition is now recognized for what it is: an effort to hinder restitution. The same kind of claim was made against the Leopold Museum in Vienna for Portrait of Wally, namely, the allegation that the post-war sale was not valid under the circumstances because of the export prohibition. That case settled in 2010, the painting remains in Vienna.

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Topics: BGBl. I Nr. 181/1998 i.d.F. BGBl. I Nr. 117/2009, Erich Lederer, London, sales under duress, Nazi-looted art, Beethoven Frieze, Jugendstil, Restitution, Austrian Cultural Ministry, World War II, Leopold Collection, Switzerland, Secession Building, Der Beirat gemäß § 3 des Bundesgesetzes über die R, Portrait of Wally, Austria, 14th Secession Exhibition, Wiener Secessionsgebäude, Zürich, Gustav Klimt, (Kunstrückgabegesetz), Vienna, Anschluss, Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Leopold Museum, Limbach Commission, New York, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Reminder: “Art Finance and Law” in Geneva Monday January 26, 2015

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on January 8, 2015 at 7:14 AM

A reminder of this month’s marquee event in Geneva, the second in a two part series “Art Finance and Law” organized by the Art Law Foundation at the University of Geneva (the first, in London last November, is recapped here). My ticket is booked, so I hope to see you there. If you’ll be in attendance, drop me a line so we can connect either at the conference or in Genveva. Bon voyage!

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Topics: Pierre Gabus, William Pearlstein, Prof. Xavier Oberson, Université Lyon, Art Finance, Sotheby’s Financial Services, Alexandre Quiquerez, Philip Hoffman, Myret Zaki, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance, Frédéric Dawance, Tim Hunter, Art Business and Research Unit at Sotheby’s Instit, Art Law Foundation, London, Melanie Gerlis, David Arendt, The Art Newspaper, Geneva, The Fine Art Fund, Fine Arts Expert Institute, Philipp Fischer, Oblyon Art Business Intelligence, Manuela de Kerchove, Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA, Luc Thévenoz, Sandrine Giroud, Lalive, Natural Le Coultre, Yan Walther, Jan Prasens, Farrer & Co LLP, Paul Aitken, Marco Mercanti, Falcon Fine Art, Events, Sebastian Fahey, Stefanie Berloffa-Spadafora, Rebecca Hawkins, Bilan, Tutela Capital, Private Art Investor, Abels Avocats, James Carleton, Sotheby's, borro, Li Jun Xian, Université de Genève, Yves Bouvier, Schroders, The Luxembourg Freeport, Fabian Bocart, Fine Art Fund Group, Art Finance And Law Conference Series

Art Finance and Investment, London Recap and January 26, 2015 Geneva Preview

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 15, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Last month we posted word of an exciting two-part series hosted by The Art Law Foundation. The first session of “Art Finance and Law” took place on November 26, 2014 in London. The Thanksgiving holiday kept me from attending, but a thorough recap has been written by Rebecca Hawkins at Private Art Investor of the day’s conference, entitled “Risk, Rules and Opportunities in Art Investment.” Hawkins writes, “The key themes that reoccurred throughout the day’s discussions were those of regulation and reputation.” To put it another way, the conference seems to have focused on the timely issues of where art fits into financial planning and secured finance as an asset class, and on a discussion on the proper role of regulation (there being a decided lack of it, compared to other asset classes in the same order of magnitude). The conference also made the presentations themselves available, here. The recap reminded me that I wished I had been able to attend.

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Topics: William Pearlstein, Art Finance, Sotheby’s Financial Services, Philip Hoffman, Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance, Tim Hunter, Art Business and Research Unit at Sotheby’s Instit, Art Law Foundation, London, Melanie Gerlis, David Arendt, The Art Newspaper, Geneva, Oblyon Art Business Intelligence, Lalive, Paul Aitken, Marco Mercanti, Falcon Fine Art, Events, Sebastian Fahey, Stefanie Berloffa-Spadafora, Rebecca Hawkins, Anna Dempster, Bilan, Private Art Investor, Sotheby's, borro, Li Jun Xian, The Luxembourg Freeport, Fine Art Fund Group, Art Finance And Law Conference Series

Austria Restitution Advisory Commission Defers Klimt Beethoven Frieze Decision, No Reasons Given

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

There was a curious non-development today in Austria concerning the dispute over Gustav Klimt’s famed “Beethoven Frieze” located in the Secession Building in Vienna. At issue is whether a post-war sale by Jewish survivors to Austria of a famous painting that the law of the time did not allow to be exported can be considered a sale under duress and justify restitution.

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Topics: Erich Lederer, London, sales under duress, Nazi-looted art, Beethoven Frieze, Germany’s Limbach Commission, Jugendstil, Restitution, Austrian Cultural Ministry, World War II, Leopold Collection, Switzerland, Gesamtkunstwerk, Secession Building, Der Beirat gemäß § 3 des Bundesgesetzes über die R, Portrait of Wally, Austria, 14th Secession Exhibition, Museums, Wiener Secessionsgebäude, Zürich, Gustav Klimt, (Kunstrückgabegesetz), Vienna, Anschluss, Dr. Rudolf Leopold, New York, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Graffiti Litigation Update: Settlements and Procedural Wrangling

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 3, 2014 at 5:50 AM

Back in October, we surveyed some developments in lawsuits over public art and protection available under copyright law in graffiti art. There has been some movement, and other developments, in these cases.

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Topics: trademarks, Ahol Sniffs Glue, Zero Theorem, Digital Milennium Copyright Act, David Anasagasti, Zappos.com Inc., Monty Python, Sara Bareilles, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), London, Terry Giliam, the Lanham Act, DMCA, Jason 'Revok' Williams, 17 U.S.C. §1202 et seq., Public Art, Graffiti Art, Romania, Vogue, Nordstrom Inc., Chicago, Trademark, Amazon.com Inc., unfair competition, Robert Cavalli, Victor 'Reyes' Chapa, Jeffrey 'Steel' Rubin, Copyright, Buenos Aires, Litigation, Ocean Grown, Wal-Mart, New York Magazine, Graffiti, California Business and Professions Code § 17200, Staff USA Inc.

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