Thursday, December 28, 2017

If You Buy an Artwork, Can You Legally Eat It?

Artsy's Isaac Kaplan runs through the menu of possibilities.

"A New York lawsuit asks: Is graffiti art protected under federal law?"

The LA Times has a piece on the 5Pointz lawsuit, which is still awaiting decision, including an interesting point from Columbia's Pippa Loengard.  She says even if the artists win, "it’s going to be a Pyrrhic victory. These individual artists may be compensated, but what is going to be the long-term effect [is] buildings don’t allow public art because they don’t want to face damages."

Criminal Charges for Chowaiki

Brian Boucher has the details.  Earlier post here.  "The indictment ... alleges that Chowaiki sold his victims a stake in works of art that he did not own and sometimes sold shares that totaled more than 100 percent of the work’s value."

Will Goetzmann tweets:  "First rule of investing: avoid fraud."

If you've got information that would lead to the recovery of the Gardner works ...

... now's the time to share it:  the $10 million reward offer goes down to $5 million on Jan. 1.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How the new US tax law affects the art world (UPDATED)

Martha Lufkin's take.

UPDATE:  Artsy's take is here, focusing especially on the elimination of like-kind exchanges of art.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Join the crowd

Felix Salmon imagines an "alternative universe" where a better solution to the Berkshire Museum's financial difficulties was ... deaccessioning artwork:

"In this alternative universe, once the board decided to get a real grip on its finances, it could start quietly talking to the Norman Rockwell Museum, down the road. Some kind of deal could surely be done whereby a donor would effectively fund the move of two great Rockwell paintings into the place where his legacy is most studied and celebrated. Technically, that would still have meant the deaccession of one or two Rockwells, but in practice no one would have minded very much, because the paintings would have stayed in a Berkshires museum."

No one would have minded very much?  I doubt that.

But in any case:  welcome to our crowd, Felix!

Berkshire Museum Injunction Extended to Jan. 29

Story here.  A spokeswoman for the attorney general said the extension "will provide enough time for attorneys to finish their investigation."

Recall what the trial court judge had to say about the AG's "investigation":

"He points out that the AG was 'made aware of the proposed sale' in June, at which point it 'commenced a detailed and thorough review':  it 'requested and reviewed numerous documents, conducted over 20 informal interviews, met with Museum officials in Pittsfield, had no fewer than 20 conference calls with Museum counsel and fielded more than 400 contacts by individuals interested in the transaction.'  In September, when the November sale was announced, the AG 'took no steps to intervene or even express dissatisfaction.'  It wasn't until Oct. 30, two days before the court hearing, that the AG got involved, and even then did not 'assert the the Museum breached its fiduciary duties, only that it has "concerns" and needs more time to complete its investigation.'  'Putting aside the issue of why four months was insufficient to complete this inquiry,' the Court continued, the AG failed to specify 'what information is necessary to complete its review, what attempts it has made to obtain such information, and when it will be in a position to offer its opinion.'"

Tuesday, December 05, 2017