Martha Lufkin

What counts as ‘fair use’? Debate over Warhol's appropriation of Prince photograph rumbles on

Photographer Lynn Goldsmith says recent Supreme Court ruling on Google supports previous decision that went against the Pop artist's foundation

Virtual museum law conference shows how the pandemic has affected institutional administration

From dealing with cyberattacks on newly implemented digital offerings, to figuring out how to renegotiate a postponed loan, the coronavirus has raised a whole new crop of issues for museums

US Supreme Court sides with Germany in Guelph Treasure case

In a unanimous opinion, it found the country cannot be sued for taking property from its own citizens, making it harder for the heirs of some Holocaust victims to recover art through the US justice system


US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Guelph Treasure claim

The case centres on whether Germany’s taking of a trove of medieval church reliquaries from its own Jewish citizens was a violation of international law—potentially opening the door for other reparations


Germany’s arguments to toss Guelph Treasure case raise concerns from US lawmakers

In Supreme Court filings, the country claims the sale of a valuable collection at a deep discount during the Nazi-era did not violate international law


US Supreme Court and its impact on the arts: 1990-2020

From freedom of speech trials to Holocaust restitution cases , the country’s highest court regularly weighs in on issues that affect the art world

US Supreme Court agrees to hear Berlin museums' appeal in lawsuit over restitution of medieval treasures to Jewish heirs

Panel will consider museums' argument that a trial over rightful ownership of the Guelph Treasure cannot be heard in American courts

US government recommends that the Supreme Court hear German museums’ appeal on Guelph Treasure claim

The solicitor general’s recent filing suggests the Nazis’ looting of Jewish collections in Germany was a domestic rather than international crime

US coronavirus legislation could do more for the arts, Boston museums say

The coalition is asking for $6bn in federal aid, and to permanently expand the charitable giving deduction to encourage US taxpayers to donate to non-profits

Supreme Court delays Guelph Treasure appeal so US government can add its views to case

The German state museum agency has argued that it cannot be sued in American courts by heirs of Jewish dealers who sold the works during the Holocaust


Italy sues for return of antique pottery which they claim to own under national law because they are objects of archaeological interest.

The US has filed a complaint in a federal district court to determine who owns 230 antiquities produced in ancient Italian pottery workshops


US government intervenes as Israel bombing victims issue lawsuit asking for Iranian antiquities from museums

Iran argues that artefacts housed abroad should have immunity since they originate from a foreign sovereign state

Historians bake sourdough bread with yeast that could date to ancient Egypt

The loaf, made with yeast extracted from an artefact at the MFA Boston, could provide valuable insight into ancient civilisations


Collector wins $1.7 million in damages from New York Gallery over violation of lending contract

Jean-Pierre Lehmann was denied “the right of first refusal over everybody”


Protesters, influencers and AI: what museums need to think about today

Legal experts discussed the pressing topics for institutions at a recent conference in Washington, DC

Boston College mascot identified as Meiji bronze

The monumental bronze eagle was donated in 1954 by a gardener who inherited it from a diplomat and collector


Hermitage and MoMA heads seek end to US-Russian loans freeze

Diplomats hint at future cooperation between the countries at Texas conference

Martha Lufkin. with additional reporting by Alison Cole

Rule of law: Legal tips for art lovers

From new exhibitor regulations at Art Basel in Miami Beach to questions over insurance and taxes


Legal battle over Met's famous Picasso reignited by estate

The museum stands by its ownership of The Actor, which it says was never in the hands of Nazis


Getty says it will appeal Italian court order to return Victorious Youth

An Italian judge has found that the work was discovered in Italian water, despite decades of rulings to the contrary


The dark web, surveillance dolls and Van Gogh’s zombie ear: technology’s role in art debated at Boston conference

While artists and museums embrace futuristic tools, legal experts point to a number of pitfalls with cutting-edge work


Rhode Island School of Design denies claim on Picasso by Alphonse Kann heirs

Provenance research commissioned by the university has found that-while the work was once owned by the legendary collector-it was not looted by the Nazis


Terror victims cannot seize Iranian antiquities, US Supreme Court rules

A 2008 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act does not open a foreign nation's assets to claimants, the justices unanimously decided


How the new US tax law affects the art world

President Trump today signed sweeping changes to the tax system that will impact wealthy individuals, art businesses and museums


Supreme Court hears arguments in claim against Iranian antiquities

Victims of a 1997 suicide attack want to seize ancient Persian tablets from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71m judgment in their favour

Vincent Scully, fervent professor of art of architecture, has died, aged 97

His lectures at Yale University inspired generations to think about “the humanity within architecture”, says former student Maya Lin


How Trump’s new tax plan could affect the art world

GOP proposal could result in fewer gifts to museums and less art on the market


US court to decide on terror victims’ claim on lent artefacts

Eight US citizens injured in a terrorist attack are trying to seize Persian antiquities on loan from Iran to a museum in Chicago

Artists’ commissions, tech gifts and guns: the legal issues facing US museums

Delegates at a Smithsonian-sponsored law conference in Dallas heard about the challenges testing institutions as they move into the “new future”


From drones to fair use: the hottest topics in museum law

Nationalistic appropriation, brand control in reality TV shows, YouTube take-downs: American Law Institute’s annual course covered it all


How to get on with artists, handle mergers and avoid lawsuits

Legal conference tackles issues facing US museums, from commissioning work to developing diversity

Married same-sex couples to get art tax breaks

Museums could benefit, as well as spouses who inherit works

Married gay couples to get art tax breaks

Museums could benefit, as well as sponsors

March 2012archive

US grants copyright protection for foreign artists

The Supreme Court has upheld the right of Congress to remove works by foreign artists from the public domain


Possible US sanctions on Iran could create back door for commandeering of museum antiquities as damages

Persepolis tablets on loan to Chicago's Oriental Institute since the 1930s compromised in lawsuit brought by victims of Jerusalem suicide bombing

US Supreme Court to consider copyright extension for foreign artists

Artists argue that law could adversely affect works involving appropriation


Chicago courts refuse Israel suicide bombing victims request for antiquities to be seized from US museums

Iran was gratified by the ruling that a foreign state's property in the US is exempt from such inquiries

Calder in Chicago’s Willis tower in legal battle

Former owners of the building stake their claim over the 1974 piece Universe

California’s controversial restitution bill

Move to make it easier for claimants to recover looted art is dividing the state


Restored 18th century parlour from Connecticut open for public viewing at Yale University Art Gallery

Yale prepares for the 2012 installation of its decorative arts galleries by reconstructing a period room

Bringing back the Baroque—colonial style

Yale prepares for the 2012 installation of its decorative arts galleries by reconstructing a period room

June 2010archive

Animal cruelty law rejected

US Supreme Court rules that ten-year-old statute, designed to outlaw "crush" videos, is unconstitutionally broad

Restitution case targets Thyssen museum

But it may not be legally possible to sue Spain in the US courts


Vermont Church to sell Tiffany window for the homeless

Unless they find themselves subject to divine miracle

Artists and academics fight animal rights activists in US Supreme Court

Anti-censorship group believes law against images of cruelty limits artistic freedoms


Representation and diversity: America is changing, but are its art museums?

Most major institutions are still run by white people, are supported by them, and tailor their exhibitions to suit them


Collector and Madoff associate Ezra Merkin finds himself in court

He is accused of defrauding his investors, which include charities


New York- and Miami-based dealer Giuseppe Concepcion accused over multiple forgeries

Concepcion is alleged to have sold fake Matisses and Calders among others, complete with forged certificates of authenticity

Park West sued by customers who demand refunds for "fake" works

The gallery dismisses the suit as a “smear campaign”

Minneapolis hands Léger to collector’s family

The painting was stolen from its Jewish owner during the Nazi occupation of France

The increasing role of the market in settling restitution claims

Shakeouts of Nazi-looted occurring increasingly in the marketplace


Artist John Chamberlain can be sued over disputed Warhol, says Judge

Former Factory assistant claims he made the disputed work

Stedelijk returns five Malevich works to artist’s heirs

Museum retains 79 works on long-term loan from the City of Amsterdam

Rauschenberg gallery to continue lawsuit after artist’s death

Case seeks to punish defendant for selling works found in trash

Leopold Museum in Vienna accused over Nazi-looted art

Institution says restitution laws don’t apply as it is a private gallery

Rauschenberg sues artist for selling his trash

Robert Francis Montgomery's dumpster diving has landed him in litigation

Dutch restitution group to carry on for three more years

Former vice-president of the Dutch Supreme Court is named chairman