on May 12, 2016 If not actually illegal, their procedures are very sleazy at the least. I sometimes go to their "shows" while on cruises, just for amusement. Of the art and artists with which I have some familiarity, it's obvious that what they're offering is waaaaay overpriced, even if genuine. You also have to listen closely to their patter to catch certain terms like "open edition" (= unlimited number of prints can be made, no rarity at all), and other obfuscating or oddly phrased descriptions that indicate the works are not particularly collectible, but maybe let them claim to have met the letter of the law in disclosure.
The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA), a non-profit organization in New York, was ahead of its time in the early 1960s when it established perhaps the first art theft registry (a list of paintings known to have been stolen) not maintained by a law enforcement agency or an insurance company. The registry allowed ADAA members to determine if works brought to them had been reported missing by their owners.
We have continuously followed stories in the news and in the courts about the continuing efforts of the art market to deal with the problem of forgeries.  From the Knoedler scandal to the concerns about counterfeit Old Masters being peddled on the European market, this issue is clearly not going away anytime soon.  Today, we take note of developments in three more cases that shine a spotlight on this ongoing challenge.
9. The suit also named (1) Arnold Glimcher, managing editor of the AM Catalogue Raisonné LLC and CEO of the Pace Gallery, which represents Martin’s estate; (2) Tiffany Bell, editor of the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné; and (3) “Members of the authentication committee of the Agnes Martin Catalog Raisonné, i.e., John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6.” In compiling the Catalogue Raisonné, the authentication board did not reveal the names of the authenticators, which is why they are named as “John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6” in the complaint.

Meyer’s amended complaint, which can be found here, names as defendants the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma; David Boren, the University’s President, who is named in both his individual capacity and his capacity as President of the University; the University of Oklahoma Foundation; several New York art galleries and related entities; and the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors.
More typically, provenance will be scrutinized where questions of authenticity arise. A few years back, an issue arose concerning the authenticity of a century-old sculpture attributed to a 20th-century artist of iconic stature. The work was sold to a prominent collector through an auction house with a certificate of authenticity from a qualified and appropriately-credentialed scholar of the artist’s work. According to the provenance provided at the time of sale, the work had been acquired in Paris after World War II by an art history professor from an Ivy League university. When questions of authenticity arose several years later, an Internet search and a few telephone calls to the university revealed that no such art history professor ever existed. Also left off the provenance was the fact that just months prior to the multi-million dollar sale to the prominent collector, the work had been purchased from an obscure antique store owned and operated by someone who had served jail time for art insurance fraud. Had these “errors and omissions” in the provenance been discovered at the time of the sale, the sale itself and several years of costly litigation would have been avoided.
9. The suit also named (1) Arnold Glimcher, managing editor of the AM Catalogue Raisonné LLC and CEO of the Pace Gallery, which represents Martin’s estate; (2) Tiffany Bell, editor of the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné; and (3) “Members of the authentication committee of the Agnes Martin Catalog Raisonné, i.e., John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6.” In compiling the Catalogue Raisonné, the authentication board did not reveal the names of the authenticators, which is why they are named as “John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6” in the complaint.
13. Collectors are required to submit an Examination Agreement, which was initially submitted by the purchaser of Day and Night. Because the Mayor Gallery believed that the rejection of Day and Night may have been due to various errors in the Examination Agreement, James Mayor – on becoming the owner of the painting – submitted and prepared his own Examination Agreement and hand-delivered it to defendant Tiffany Bell in connection with the work. See Cmplt., paragraph 28.
A federal judge sentenced art investor Thomas Doyle to six years in prison and ordered him to pay restitution to a victim from whom Doyle fraudulently solicited $880,000 to purchase a painting by 19th century French artist Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. Doyle had told the victim he could buy the work from a third party at its alleged market value of $1.1 million. In return, the victim would have an 80 percent interest in the painting, which Doyle said he could re-sell for a $1.7 million. In fact, Doyle had paid only $775,000 for the painting, and no one was willing to buy it for any more than that. Source: FBI
  

The following month, while the Greek agency was still gathering information about the object’s provenance, Sotheby’s and the sculpture’s consignors, the estate of Howard and Saretta Barnet, sued Greece. The auction house’s legal move, commonly known as declaratory judgment, inverted the dynamic of the case, making the original claimant, Greece, the defendant because of financial losses Sotheby’s incurred as a result of what it alleges was an unjustified claim. In November, attorneys for Greece filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out, arguing that the U.S. District Court where Sotheby’s filed its suit doesn’t have the jurisdiction to hear a case involving a foreign nation, per the terms of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
In our ongoing coverage of case law involving Nazi-looted artworks, we have written before about the long-running lawsuit over a Pissarro painting, Rue St. Honore, après midi, effet de pluie. Back in 2015, we wrote about a district-court decision that dealt a possibly-fatal blow to the claimants, who were seeking to recover the work from a collection controlled by the Spanish government. Earlier in July, however, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, meaning the painting’s claimants can continue their fight in the federal courts.

A recent painful memory made this task harder. Only four months earlier, O'Keeffe had discovered that three of her paintings were missing from An American Place, the famed gallery Stieglitz had founded to promote their work and others' amid the excitement of New York's new position as art capital of the world. But because Stieglitz's health was deteriorating, O'Keeffe did not tell him of the loss, which she then valued at $150. Neither did she tell the authorities.


"If art worth at least $5,000 is stolen and crosses a state or international boundary, we handle it under the National Stolen Property Act, also known as the interstate transportation of stolen property statute [Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2314-2315]," Magness-Gardiner said. "However, if the art is stolen in a single jurisdiction, and the thief doesn't move it across a state line, the FBI won't have jurisdiction unless the object was taken from a museum, which is governed by the theft of major artwork statute [Title 18, United States Code, Section 668]. Last, art-related crimes involving wire or mail fraud also fall within the FBI's purview."
The exquisite painted limestone bust of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s wife, was discovered in 1912 by the German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt, who claimed to have done a deal with Egypt to share rights to half his findings; it entered Berlin’s Egyptian Museum in 1923 (it’s now in the Neues Museum). But a recent document suggests Borchardt lied about the sculpture’s composition and true value in order to keep his most treasured discovery. Egypt has requested its return since 1933; Germany insists its ownership is not in doubt. In 2009 two historians claimed – to widespread outrage – that the great beauty queen was a fake.

9. The suit also named (1) Arnold Glimcher, managing editor of the AM Catalogue Raisonné LLC and CEO of the Pace Gallery, which represents Martin’s estate; (2) Tiffany Bell, editor of the Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné; and (3) “Members of the authentication committee of the Agnes Martin Catalog Raisonné, i.e., John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6.” In compiling the Catalogue Raisonné, the authentication board did not reveal the names of the authenticators, which is why they are named as “John Doe or Jane Doe ##1-6” in the complaint.
A complicated restitution case involving two Egon Schiele watercolors tested the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in December 2016. Acting on the claims of three heirs of Franz Friedrich “Fritz” Grünbaum—a Viennese cabaret singer who was killed by the Nazis in 1941 at the Dachau concentration camp—authorities had seized the two Schieles, Woman In a Black Pinafore (1911) and Woman Hiding Her Face (1912), collectively estimated at $5 million to $7 million, from the booth of London-based dealer Richard Nagy at the Salon of Art + Design fair in November 2015. In April of this year, a New York judge found in favor of the Grünbaum heirs.
The pursuit of the arts and the preservation of cultural heritage are noble causes, but that does not make them immune to dispute. Quite the contrary – conflicts in this area are as abundant and multi-faceted as the wealth of works they concern. From fine or applied arts to sculpture or musical creations, from historical or contemporary works to traditional cultural expressions (TCEs, or “expressions of folklore”) or commercial blockbuster films – no area is untouched by discord.
The ruling—which Wolkoff appealed—is particularly significant because it marked the first time that the protections afforded by the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) had been extended to the work of graffiti and street artists (described in the lawsuit as “aerosol artists”). VARA was adopted in 1990 to protect “works of recognized stature” from being distorted, damaged, modified, or destroyed. The 5Pointz ruling extended those rights to works that were both temporary and had been created on someone else’s property. Judge Block’s opinion in the case also cited the significance of blog and media coverage and “social media buzz” about 5Pointz as factors that gave the lost murals “recognized stature,” thereby helping to clarify and modernize one of the more ambiguous phrases in VARA.
Such conflicts of interest—hired by one side but paid by both—are more common than one might think. In one of the Knoedler lawsuits, for example, John Howard paid $4 million for a fake Willem de Kooning. Howard’s art advisor Jaime Frankfurt handled the transaction. Knoedler’s invoice to Frankfurt required him to pass on only $3.5 million of Howard’s money, so Knoedler effectively paid Frankfurt a $500,000 commission. (Frankfurt refunded Howard’s money and denied wrongdoing.)
Lena C. Saltos is an associate in the firm’s art law group.  She provides counsel to auction houses, art collectors and museums and has represented clients in art-related litigation involving provenance and copyright infringement.  Ms. Saltos also maintains an active pro bono practice in representing an array of visual artists and is an Associate Board member of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
On a recent cruise, one of their girls tried to tell me things about their somewhat worthless "millennium edition" Rembrandt etchings that I knew were not true. During the auction, she came over and used "time-share" type verbal prods to try to get me to bid. You'd have to be pretty naive, unduly trusting, or unfamiliar with art to buy anything from these guys.

The Kandinsky is currently on display at the Beyeler Foundation, a private museum in Basel, Switzerland, which was founded by Ernst Beyeler Ernst Beyeler , a veteran and highly successful Swiss art dealer-collector now in his 80s. Beyeler has said that he purchased the painting in 1951 from Ferdinand Moller, known to be one of the four notorious dealers to whom Hitler granted dealing rights for "degenerate art."
“I write computer algorithms, i.e. rules that calculate and then generate a work that could not be realized in any other way. It is not necessarily the system or the logic I want to present in my work, but the visual invention that results from it. My artistic goal is reached when a finished work can visually dissociate itself from its logical content and convincingly stand as an independent abstract entity.”
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