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Category Archives: Litigation Issues

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The Knoedler Gallery Litigation – Can Art Buyers Rely on Dealer Representations?

Posted in Art Authentication, Litigation Issues

The once renowned art gallery – the Knoedler Gallery – is embroiled in lengthy litigation out of the district court for the Southern District of New York involving an alleged forgery conspiracy. The Knoedler litigation places a spot light on the issue of caveat emptor/buyer beware and when there can be reasonable reliance on a… Continue Reading

Gagosian Gallery And Qatar Royal Family’s Agent In Dispute Over Ownership Of Prized Picasso Sculpture

Posted in Art Museums, Litigation Issues

As recently reported by the International New York Times, prominent art dealer Larry Gagosian of the Gagosian Gallery and the royal family of Qatar’s agent, Pelham Europe, Ltd. (run by Guy Bennett), each claim that they purchased Pablo Picasso’s work of a 1931 plaster bust of his French muse/mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, which is currently featured… Continue Reading

Notorious RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Cultural Icon

Posted in Litigation Issues

“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” co-authored by MSNBC reporter Irin Carmon and recent law graduate Shana Knizhnik, was released this week. (Source: notoriousrbg.tumblr.com) The new book reimagines the Tumblr page and nickname created by Knizhnik in 2013 as a tribute to Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in Shelby County v. Holder, a… Continue Reading

Toledo Museum Of Art To Return Four Antiquities Purchased From Art Dealer Accused Of Smuggling And Providing False Histories Of Provenance To Purchasers

Posted in Art Museums, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

In a recent press release issued on September 22, 2015 by the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA), the museum announced that it will return four antiquities purchased from Subhash Kapoor, a New York City art dealer currently under investigation by the United States Departments of Justice and Homeland Security for illegally importing and selling stolen… Continue Reading

Ownership Dispute Between The Getty And The Armenian Apostolic Church Over 13th-Century Manuscript Pages Resolved

Posted in Litigation Issues

As recently reported by ArtNews, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America have reached a settlement in a dispute over the rightful ownership of eight 13th-century manuscript pages separated from the Zeyt’un Gospels and in the Getty’s collection since 1994. According to the museum, the medieval… Continue Reading

Jasper Johns’ Longtime Assistant Sentenced To Prison For Stealing The Celebrated Artist’s Art Work And Profiting $4M From Same

Posted in Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

In the art news this week, it was reported that celebrated artist Jasper Johns’ longtime assistant James Meyer was sentenced to 18 months of prison by a Manhattan Federal Judge on Wednesday for stealing and profiting from the sale of 37 of Johns’ art works in excess of $4 million.  Meyer was also ordered to pay… Continue Reading

Seller Be Ware – Valuable Banksy Mural Inadvertently Sold For Only $174

Posted in Art Finance, Art Recovery/Theft, Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

A valuable Banksy mural entitled the Bomb Damage that appeared on the front door wreckage of a home that was bombed in the Gaza Strip is at the center of an ownership dispute.  According to reports, the work, which depicts Niobe, a Greek goddess who weeps for her dead offspring, was painted by Banksy during… Continue Reading

High-Profile Swiss Art Broker And Businessman Arrested For Alleged Manipulation Of Prices On Art Market In Global Investigation

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

As recently reported here, Yves Bouvier, the high-profile Swiss art broker and businessman, who is head of an international art shipping and storage business, was arrested last week in Monaco in connection with alleged fraud relating to works of art.  The investigation that led to Bouvier’s arrest is believed to have centered on the inflation… Continue Reading

Sotheby’s Caravaggio Controversy – Sotheby’s Specialists Prevail

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Sotheby’s UK prevailed recently in a court dispute over an Old Master attribution. At the heart of the dispute was a painting entitled The Cardsharps, which Sotheby’s attributed to a follower of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and sold for £42,000 in 2006 on behalf of consignor, Lancelot Thwaytes. Following the 2006 sale, it was… Continue Reading

More Trouble for Former Director of the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries

Posted in Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

Leigh Morse, former director of the now infamous Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, may be incarcerated again for failing to timely pay restitution to the galleries’ defrauded clients, which include celebrity clients like Robert DeNiro.  It has been reported that more than three years have passed since her sentencing but Morse has only paid $22,000 of the $1.73… Continue Reading

Fate Of The Treasured “Cranachs” Continues – Part 2 And The Act Of State Doctrine

Posted in Art Museums, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

As noted in the below post, last week the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) declined to hear an art provenance case, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena et al. v. Marei Von Saher, which has a rather long history as well as the artworks at issue.  The claims involve the fate of… Continue Reading

California Museum Denied Cert by SCOTUS on Dispute over Looted Art

Posted in Art Museums, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to deny cert on The Norton Simon Museum’s appeal, Marei Von Saher, descendant of Jewish relatives who fled Holland during the Holocaust, will get another day in court on claims involving the ownership of Renaissance artist, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s, life-sized diptychs of Adam and Eve (circa… Continue Reading

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence

Posted in Litigation Issues

In a recent case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion that claims against Park West Galleries, Inc. for fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty could move forward despite West Galleries’ statute of limitations argument. Time Line: 1999 – Purchase by buyer aboard cruise ship of Salvadore Dali’s Divine Comedy, complete set… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Trustee Probe: Robert Truland’s Purchase of Company Artwork for Fair Price?

Posted in Litigation Issues

The Washington Business Journal recently reported that the bankruptcy trustee for Truland Group Inc., D.C.’s area’s largest electrical contractor, is investigating whether the company’s CEO, Robert W. Truland, paid fair value for the dozens of pieces of artwork that he purchased from the company just four months before it suddenly shut down.  Read full article… Continue Reading

Update in Terry Gilliam Infringement Lawsuit: Plaintiff’s Seek Preliminary Injunction

Posted in Litigation Issues

In August, we posted about the federal lawsuit filed by three street artists against film director (and Monty Python actor) Terry Gilliam for allegedly plagiarizing their mural in his latest movie, The Zero Theorem.  Read post here. On September 22, plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking the court to bar defendants, including… Continue Reading

“Blatant Misappropriation”: Terry Gilliam Sued for Alleged Use of Street Mural in His New Film

Posted in Litigation Issues

On August 12, 2014, a trio of street artists filed a lawsuit in federal court against film director (and Monty Python actor) Terry Gilliam for allegedly plagiarizing their mural in his latest movie, The Zero Theorem. The mural, or “Copyrighted Artwork,” was painted collaboratively by the artists in 2010, in the zona de graffiti on… Continue Reading

‘Save the Corcoran Coalition’ Files Complaint and Petition to Intervene

Posted in Litigation Issues

On July 2, 2014, the Save the Corcoran Coalition, a Washington D.C. non-profit corporation, filed a complaint and petition to intervene in the cy près proceeding of the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The complaint alleges that the Trustees breached their fiduciary duties, mismanaged fundraising efforts, wasted assets, and made misleading representations in support of… Continue Reading

New Expert Appraisal Reveals That The Detroit Institute Of Arts’ World-Class Collection Could Be Worth In The Multi-Billions

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Having grown up in Michigan as a young child, I fondly recall a number of visits I made to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as well as to the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) with my family.  I felt so fortunate to live in relatively close proximity to such two world-class art institutions in the… Continue Reading