Wednesday, January 29, 2020

“The attitude, often unarticulated but persistent, that art is being bought in a context of appreciation for its intrinsic and aesthetic merit, may perpetuate reluctance to regulate the art market. Wrongly.”

The manner in which certain artists are being promoted by the press and other media and how their prices are being monitored in indexes and databanks indicates the existence of a market. As a result, the chance that an art dealer turns into an investment consultant who defends the interests of the buyer, increases. The attitude, often unarticulated but persistent, that art is being bought in a context of appreciation for its intrinsic and aesthetic merit, may perpetuate reluctance to regulate the art market. Wrongly. If purchasing art is no longer caused by a spontaneous injection of aesthetics but becomes a calculated risk, then regulation become inevitable.

Very interesting article by Oliver Lenaerts, Belgian art lawyer and teaching assistant at the institute for corporate and financial law at the Catholic University of Leuven, on the application of securities law on art sales in Belgium. Although the article is specific to Belgium (a civil law jurisdiction), the essay raises interesting points and questions, primarily, which art purchase conditions trigger the application of financial disclosure laws ?

The article is published in Art, Antiquity and Law Journal (London) and will be published in a Belgian academic journal on banking and finance law.

Many thanks to Oliver for sending my way.


Stanley Fish agrees…

“Athletes can express their views everywhere except on the field and rostrum.” Via the WSJ (subscription needed)


Art & Law Program 2020 Spring Dates/Topic Announced

The Spring 2020 three-day intensive/colloquium will take place on the weekend of April 17, 18 and 19, each day from 10am to 6pm. The three-day intensive will be held at the Cornell Art Architecture Planning headquarters at 26 Broadway in New York City.

In the Spring 2020, the Program will examine the effects of law on visual art, with a particular emphasis on the previous 20-years. We will question whether art is hindered or aided by the direct or indirect impact of law, legal discourse, and legal practice on art. In effect, we will discuss whether, and to what extent, artists should engage with the law.

The rolling-admissions application deadline is March 27, 2020. All application and Program information is available here:

Applicants and admitted fellows shall take note that the Program is fully committed to freedom of expression.


Divorce triggers mega auction

Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips were invited to submit proposals to sell the collection of Harry and Linda Macklowe, two octogenarians in the middle of a bitter divorce. A judge ordered the couple’s 65 most valuable works to be sold and the proceeds split.

More here.


Financial Innovation, Tax Law, and the Making of the Contemporary Art Market

This essay focuses on the efforts of an enterprising art gallerist, Leo Castelli, to aggressively promote his stable of Pop artists through the development of several financial structures, including some designed to leverage the relatively generous income tax deductions and anemic enforcement regime of the time. In doing so, Castelli not only seeded the ground for the international ascendance of American visual art, but also engineered financial arrangements that fostered the development of a lucrative and resilient art market that endures to this day. With the aim to provide insights into both the legal-political and the art historical registers, this essay describes a tax law framework that provides a key piece missing from the art historical puzzle.

Looking forward to reading this new article.


Why some Harvard Law students ignore Trump appointees

Some Harvard Law students opt out of applying for coveted federal clerkships because certain federal judges hold ideological and political beliefs opposed to the students (not to mention that these judges were also appointed by President Trump). But, according to the Boston Globe, “some legal scholars worry that the reluctance of students at one of the nation’s premier law schools to clerk for Trump-appointed judges, first reported by Bloomberg Law, could further polarize the legal profession and do the country more harm than good.”


‘Mall of America? Kardashian residence?’ Prof fired for joking

Babson College: “Based on the results of the investigation, the staff member is no longer a Babson College employee. As we have previously stated, Babson College condemns any type of threatening words and/or actions condoning violence and/or hate.”

Maybe they should hire Dave Chappelle.

More here.


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