Category Archives: United States

U.S. Court of Appeals Finds The Met is Rightful Owner of Picasso’s The Actor

Posted on: July 12, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

The great-grand niece of a Jewish couple from Cologne, the Leffmanns, has again received an adverse ruling in a New York federal case in which she seeks possession of a painting sold by the Leffmanns after Nazi-rule necessitated their departure from Germany. In its June 26, 2019 decision, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld […]

From Mapplethorpe to Iowa, through New Hampshire and California: US rules on obscenity and nudity in art

Posted on: May 29, 2019 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Even though there is currently an ongoing lawsuit in Iowa to determine what materials containing nudity prisoners should be granted access to, this is a debate that actually began much earlier. Our story begins in New Hampshire in 1942, when a ground-breaking precedent was set: the freedom of expression right granted by the constitution of […]

The incredible copyright legacy of Vivian Maier

Posted on: May 24, 2019 by Alexander Herman

For those who haven’t heard of her, Vivian Maier was a secret photographer. She lived and worked in Chicago throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s largely as a nanny in well-to-do suburbs. She had no close family of her own and died in 2009 with little fanfare. But she had spent most of her adult […]

Judicial review undertaken for HMS Victory salvage

Posted on: April 10, 2019 by Rebecca Reynolds

Treasure, bounty, pirates – these words conjure up romantic adventures in peoples’ minds, none the more so than when they relate to historically important wrecks. An example of this is the HMS Victory which sank in 1744 in the Channel on its way back from a mission to relieve British ships blocked in the River […]

The MET in the spotlight again: Due diligence dissected

Posted on: March 20, 2019 by Emily Gould

We reported late last year how busy the New York authorities have been in recent times in seizing and returning looted artefacts. The pattern has continued into the new year, with the widely reported return to the Egyptian Government of a first-century BC gilded coffin, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the centre […]

Recent American Restitutions

Posted on: December 14, 2018 by Alexander Herman

American prosecutors have been busy of late. Not only has New York Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos been active over the past 18 months in seeking seizure and forfeiture orders for stolen or looted property, but the US Attorney’s office has been busy as well. Added to this is the favourable stance the US courts […]

UK Museums Bid to Save Titanic Artefacts

Posted on: September 26, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

Hedge funds are competing with a consortium of British museums to purchase 5,500 artefacts salvaged from the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 with the loss of 1,500 lives. The current owner of the artefacts, Premier Exhibitions, is selling them after filing for bankruptcy in the United States in 2016.  The […]

Update on the US – China Trade War and its implications to the art world

Posted on: September 23, 2018 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

In a welcome development, it has been reported by the Art Newspaper earlier this week that Chinese art and antiques will no longer be subject to the increased tariffs we had discussed here in the ongoing trade war between the US and China. This is the result – at least in part – of the […]

The US – China Trade War… and why it matters for the art world

Posted on: September 6, 2018 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

In the latest of a series of controversial decisions for which the Trump administration has become renowned, the US Government has raised the stakes in the ongoing trade war with China with the result that 25% tariffs are now being applied on what is reported to be $16bn worth of imports on both sides. At […]

Berkshire Museum Deaccession Nears Completion

Posted on: August 30, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

After more than a year of press coverage, protests and condemnation of the Berkshire Museum Board of Trustees, the Berkshire Museum’s deaccession of 40 works from its collection is nearing completion. In addition, the Board of Trustees finally came to an agreement with the Attorney-General of Massachusetts. Here are the salient points: The Attorney General is […]