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Art Law: Selected Problems - Seminar

[Course number 200020013-LAW-9855-A-31]

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March 6 March 13: Buying & Selling: An Introduction to the Art Market 

Excerpts from Merryman & Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts (3rd ed.1998) were distributed in class and are also available in the Librarian's Office, fifth floor of Areeda, above the Library Reference Desk.

Debate Topic: Should the US pass legislation granting artists resale rights in their works? Bernhard Berger

Debate Topic: Should artists who donate their work to a museum be allowed to deduct the fair market value of their work? Allison Reed

Readings:

Art as Investment

William G. Morrison, Economics and Economic Perceptions of the Art Market.

Valuation

Art as a Security

Excerpts from Merryman & Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts (3rd ed.1998) available in Librarian's Office, fifth floor of Areeda. The Art Market [pages 729-38], including 

Stenger v. R.H. Love Galleries, Inc., 741 F.2d 144 (7th Cir. 1984)

Insurance

No readings. But consider this situation: A private collector lends a painting to a museum to include in a retrospective exhibition of an early 20th century artist. Within the past year, the collector has obtained an independent appraisal and insured the painting for $125,000. The museum has taken out a separate policy for $1,000,000 covering all 28 works loaned to it for the exhibition, said policy covering risk of damage or loss during shipment and while at the museum. On the opening day of the exhibit, an irate patron, claiming the artist was a Nazi sympathizer, slashes the painting. With the permission of the owner, the museum turns the painting over to its curatorial staff who effect a marvelous repair to the painting. From the front, the slash is hardly discernable to the naked eye. From the rear, the repairs are obvious. The owner wants to be reimbursed for the lessened value of the painting. What is that new value? How should it be determined? Who should pay the owner? Who should pay the lawyers? 

Taxation

An overview of deductions for contributions of art can be found in Aaron M. Milrad, Artful Ownership. See also Senator Leahy Introduces Bill To Restore Tax Deduction For Artists Who Donate Works.

Should artists who donate their works to charitable institution be able to deduct the fair market value of their works? Allison Reed

Should secondary sales of art be taxed for the benefit of the artists? Bernhard Berger

Lawyers and Agents

In the Matter of the Estate of Andy Warhol, 629 N.Y.S. 2d 621 (Surr. Ct. 1995)

Collectors

Excerpts from Merryman & Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts (3rd ed.1998) available in Librarian's Office, fifth floor of Areeda. The Collector and the Artist [pages 758-61], including unpublished opinion in

Factor v. Stella, No, C 58832, Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California (unpublished 1978)

Dealers

Excerpts from Merryman & Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts (3rd ed.1998) available in Librarian's Office, fifth floor of Areeda. Dealing With Dealers [pages 739-42]. See also New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Article 12. Artist-art merchant relationships (SS 12.01-12.03) and Article 13. Express warranties (SS 13.01-13.07).

Experts

No readings

Consumer Protection

No readings

Antitrust

Ronald Alcala, Two Houses, Both Alike In Dignity: Alleged Collusion at Christie’s and Sotheby’s [available from Librarian's Office for those interested]

Auctions

Excerpts from Merryman & Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts (3rd ed.1998) available in Librarian's Office, fifth floor of Areeda. Dealing with Auctioneers [pages 761-92], including 

Kohler v. Hindman, 80 F.3d 1181 (7th Cir. 1996) and 

Greenwood v. Koven, 880 F. Supp. 186 (S.D.N.Y. 1995)

 

Unless otherwise noted, all material is Copyright © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.  All rights reserved.
Last updated on 03/09/01 by Terry Martin.