UNITED STATES

Golden Coffin on Display at the Met Is Going Back to Egypt
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s golden coffin is worth nearly $4 million and originally held the remains of an influential 1st century BC priest, Nedjemankh. Recent investigations determined that the coffin was stolen from the Minya region in Egypt in 2011 during a political uprising. Smugglers took the object to Germany by way of Dubai, then to France where a Parisian dealer sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in July 2017.

Continue Reading Golden Coffin to Be Returned to Egypt and Other Headlines

UNITED STATES

Mercedes-Benz Suit Against Street Artists Allowed to Proceed
Mercedes-Benz brought a declaratory judgment action against four street artists who saw their work prominently displayed on social media as background for the automaker’s G-Class track ads. Mercedes is seeking a declaration that its use of the artworks was not a copyright infringement as it was either fair use or because the claim is precluded by the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (1990).  Continue Reading A Week of Surreal Headlines: A Charging Bull Smashed by Man Wielding Banjo, A Stolen 18-Karat Gold Toilet, and a $20 Million Consignment Decided by a Game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

UNITED STATES

Local Patrons Donate Impressionist Collection to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta
Doris and Shouky Shaheen donated their collection of Impressionist paintings to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, constituting one of the largest donations in the museum’s history.  The gifted collection includes 24 Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and Modernist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Édouard Vuillard. The High Museum will open a gallery later this year named after the Shaheens to display the works.

Continue Reading Atlanta’s High Museum of Art Receives Landmark Donation of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modernist Paintings & Other Art World Headlines

UNITED STATES

Dealer’s Suit Against Gallery Owners for Declaring Agnes Martin Works Fakes Is Dismissed
New York Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit by the London-based The Mayor Gallery (The Mayor) against the owners of the Pace Gallery based on allegations that defendants “unlawfully declared that thirteen authentic Agnes Martin artworks are fakes, resulting in a loss … of more than $7 million.” The lawsuit asserted that defendants were financially motivated to exclude the works from their catalogue raisonné. Continue Reading Lawsuit Against Pace Gallery Owners Over Agnes Martin Works Dismissed & Other Art World Headlines

The following are summaries of news reports pertaining to art law and art markets, organized by geographic regions for your browsing convenience.

UNITED STATES

Andy Warhol Foundation Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Prince Portrait
Photographer Lynn Goldsmith sued the Andy Warhol Foundation alleging that Warhol unlawfully used her photograph of Prince in a series of 1984 silkscreen works.

 

 

Continue Reading Andy Warhol Foundation Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Prince Portrait & More Art World Headlines

Just a few days after the Second Circuit held that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art could keep in its collection the monumental work by Pablo Picasso entitled The Actor, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, upheld the return to the heirs of the original owners of art allegedly looted by the Nazis during World War II. Both of these recent decisions touch upon the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act), the 2016 legislation that expanded the timeliness for actions to recover artworks lost during the Holocaust.

Continue Reading New York’s Appellate Division Upholds Return of Artworks to Heirs

On June 26, 2019, the Second Circuit upheld the 2018 decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that allowed New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Museum) to keep in its collection the monumental work by Pablo Picasso entitled The Actor, 1904−1905. The work was originally owned by Paul Friedrich Leffmann, a successful German-Jewish entrepreneur, who owned a manufacturing business and multiple properties as well as a sizable art collection. In the 1930s, after the newly adopted Nuremberg Laws deprived all German Jews of the rights and privileges of German citizenship, Leffmann was forced to sell his home and business and flee from Germany to Italy.

Continue Reading Second Circuit Holds New York’s Met Museum Can Keep Picasso’s The Actor

UNITED STATES

SCOTUS May Get a Say in the Fate of the Guelph Treasure
The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz or SPK), which operates Berlin’s state museums, plans to seek review by the United States Supreme Court of the issue of U.S. courts’ jurisdiction to hear the case of the 1935 sale of the famed Guelph Treasure by Jewish art dealers to the Prussian government. The Guelph Treasure is a collection of 82 pieces of medieval ecclesiastical art originally housed at Brunswick Cathedral in Braunschweig, Germany. The Treasure is presently dispersed between private and museum collections, including the Bode Museum in Berlin. In 2015, the heirs of the Jewish dealers filed a lawsuit against the German government in the United States, alleging that the 1935 sale occurred under duress. SPK unsuccessfully moved to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds and their appeal was rejected his month when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the petition to rehear en banc.

Continue Reading Sotheby’s Goes Private & More Art World Headlines

UNITED STATES

MFA Boston Bans Two Visitors, Reviews Internal Procedures Following Allegations of Racist Comments Directed at Students on a School Trip
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston completed its internal investigation into the complaint that children on a recent school trip to MFA were allegedly subjected to racist comments by visitors and profiling by staff. After reviewing video footage, MFA banned two visitors and revoked their memberships. MFA also committed to changing its protocols and procedures to clarify expectations for visitor and staff behavior.

Continue Reading Lost Lewis Chessman Stored in Drawer Could Fetch $1.3 Million at Auction & More Art World Headlines

UNITED STATES

Computer Viruses as Contemporary Art
Chinese internet artist Guo O Dong created the artwork titled “The Persistence of Chaos” by infecting a 2008 Samsung notebook with six of the worst computer viruses in the world. Now, the artwork is to be sold at auction and potential buyers have already made several hundred bids on the laptop, increasing the current going price to $1.2 million. Luckily the computer, presently “quarantined” in solitary confinement in New York, is firewalled from other computers and cannot spread its malware.

Continue Reading The Deadliest Laptop in the World Is Up for Art Auction & More Art World Headlines