Damage Control

According to Art+Auction’s editors, our Brothers In Law column generates tons of fan mail. Unfortunately, almost all of it is from our mother. We also get the occasional serious question (or threat) from readers who are curious about art insurance for works consigned Continue reading

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A Genuine Dispute

Authentication is valuable and not always easily granted.

Bunny G. (not her real initial) appeared in our office hopping mad. She had been the personal assistant (not her real function) to a famous sculptor, Max (no real reason for a parenthetical). Bunny now wanted to sell a signed sculpture her employer had given her shortly before his death. Continue reading

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Planting a Johns ‘Flag’ in a Private Collection

by Carol Vogel

Published in NY Times March 18, 2010

Less than two months before Christie’s will be selling one of Jasper Johns’s signature “Flag” paintings, the hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen privately scooped up a larger and earlier example of that artist’s seminal image. He bought it from Jean-Christophe Castelli, son of Leo Castelli, Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Kitties

An epic journey to clear copyright for an artist’s work ends happily.

Faithful readers of our column (Hi, Mom!) know that we usually manage to find interesting legal topics in the art world to discuss and distort. This month, however, we ran out of story ideas. Rather than disappoint our editors, we Continue reading

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The Unkind Truth

Since one of our favorite activities is lunch, it’s not surprising that among our best clients are famous chefs. But when they dabble in the art world, some can find themselves in a jam — and that’s where we come in. Continue reading

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In Favor of Artists

Some thought our client Vinnie was nuts, but we preferred to think of him as merely impressionable, or perhaps just absinthe-minded. The Parisian painter e-mailed us in a panic with a pressing problem: He had consigned pictures to several American galleries and was terrified that if they suddenly went bust (as famously happened to dealer Salander O’Reilly), Continue reading

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Of Particular Import

New U.S. Customs regulations on Chinese antiquities require case-by-case consideration.

Our father used to say that people usually worry about the wrong things in life — so, to be safe, we advise our clients to worry about everything.

This turns out to be especially good advice for collectors of Chinese antiquities, who are now faced with controversial new U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations ostensibly intended to curtail the looting of Chinese cultural patrimony. Our concern here: In trying to curb the illicit trade in Chinese artifacts — clearly a laudable goal — the U.S. government has inadvertently created a minefield for legitimate collectors, dealers and scholars. Continue reading

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Restoration Drama

Beware of botched repair jobs that can’t be undone and wind up devaluing works of art.

In the art world, those who forget the past are destined to repeat it — often for the benefit of a bored court stenographer. This is especially true in the area of art restoration, where mistakes by prior owners can haunt those down the line. Continue reading

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When Ishmael Called

While pursuing that catch at auction, don’t forget to read the catalogue’s fine print.

Ishmael perfectly epitomized the old art market: He was blind and rich, and he collected works with the abandon of a drunken sailor. Unfortunately, he didn’t fully understand the dynamics of the auction process, which in today’s floundering economy turned out to be a whale of a mistake. Continue reading

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Keizaikai Interview with Charles Danziger

The attached article is an interview published on January 13, 2009 with Charles Danziger. Keizaikai is one of the most well respected business magazines in Japan.

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