Our teenage friend Jay is a renowned amateur birder whose feathers aren’t easily ruffled. Still, he was dismayed to spot an unflattering picture of himself taken without his parents’ permission and posted online by a fledgling rival. Worse, other birders were flocking to the rival’s website to purchase posters of the offending photo. Our young pal had cried foul, and his mother, Robin, was itching to sue. She phoned us to see if they had a case. Continue reading “Brothers in Law: A Photographer’s Artistic Freedom v. an Individual’s Rights to Privacy”
We received the penned note from Miranda at the end of a punishing day. It was just two sentences long, but it raised a slew of legal issues and a few other concerns. “I am about to commission a sculpture of my husband, Carlo, for a 10-year anniversary,” she wrote. “Anything I should consider?” We didn’t know Miranda but were happy to assist. Continue reading “Satisfaction Guaranteed: Brothers in Law on Commissioning a Work of Art”
Ashley was passionate about Conceptual art, but her pyromaniacal son had a different burning enthusiasm. After the firemen left, our client discovered that the extensive documentation on her collection had gone up in flames. A smoking mad Ashley phoned us with heated questions early the next day.
“Since Conceptual art is all about the idea being expressed in an artwork rather than its physical form, what exactly did my idiot son lose in the blaze?” Continue reading “Brothers in Law: When Conceptual Art Certificates of Authenticity Go Up in Smoke”
It’s possible that our client Boris was, as he claimed, just a small-time florist from Moscow—but we had our suspicions. How many Russian florists own a Gulfstream G650? Boris also had a thorny legal problem: His insurance company had just determined that five expensive paintings he had bought from Madame Chardon, an elderly French dealer, might be fakes. Continue reading “Brothers in Law: What’s in a Name?: Legal Options When Authenticity is Challenged”
All is not cool in California. The state’s Resale Royalty Act, which gave artists or their agents (including their heirs) a 5 percent royalty on any resale of their art over $1,000 if the seller resided in California or the transaction took place there, was struck down by a federal court in 2012. The law was both welcomed and reviled, depending on whom you asked: Proponents claimed the law gave much-deserved compensation to artists for their efforts, especially for work bought cheaply and later sold at a big profit; critics countered that artists did not deserve special treatment and that the law put a damper on the art market while benefiting successful artists who didn’t need help. The gulf between these two views was—and remains—as wide as the Pacific. Continue reading “Brothers In Law: Royalty Pains”
Hi, guys! My boss, Herb (copied above), asked if you could give some quick, free legal advice on our corporate art collection. I am running to a deposition, but let me know. Thanks!
INFO@DANZIGER We don’t usually give free advice to nonclients via e-mail, but what’s your question?
JOE@PONZICORP Our SVP of marketing is buying a series of photographs from our company that he originally purchased for our corporate massage room. He offered us the original purchase price, but wouldn’t the photos have appreciated in value since then?
P.S.: No need to loop in Herb (poor guy—he was fired during lunch). Continue reading “Brothers in Law on Corporate Affairs — When Art and Business Mix”
The call came from Tuscaloosa, and it was quite memorable. Our ivory-collecting client, Horton, had heard that a small museum with a colossal netsuke collection might be going broke. He wanted to swoop in and snap up the collection immediately—for peanuts. Continue reading “Opportunity Knocks: Brothers in Law on Deaccessioning”
Our client Leon was a short Corsican art dealer with a huge ego and grand ambitions. He also had an interesting legal problem he wanted to discuss with us over a plate of his favorite mille-feuille at a neighborhood patisserie.
Continue reading “Error Apparent: Brothers In Law on Mutual Mistake”
Auctioneers are regulated but the business is not always transparent.
SHHHH. DON’T TELL ANYBODY…We first spied our prospective new client in a dark corner of a midtown restaurant. “The name is Bond,” he lied. “Seymour Bond.” Seymour claimed to be a hosiery importer-though he looked more like an aging Navy SEAL-interested in trading in the contemporary art market, where he had dabbled for some time. Our mission: to enlighten him on the often secret ins and outs of the auction room and other hidden crevices of the art world. Continue reading “Open Houses”
Sandy caused havoc for galleries, artists, and collectors; thousands of works were damaged or destroyed. Now what?
THE SILVER LINING BEHIND writing this column-in addition to the random fan letters we get from bored museum guards and our mother-is receiving interesting questions from our readers. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, queries flowed in concerning the sometimes arcane laws affecting damaged works of art. Continue reading “After the Storm”