Monday, December 11, 2023

Will the Real Warhol Please Stand Up?

Law student Gareth Lacy, from the University of Washington School of Law, has just published a law review article concerning the Simon-Whelan v. Andy Warhol Foundation authentication lawsuit. The article, Standardizing Warhol: Antitrust Liability for Denying the Authenticity of Artwork, also covers what Lacy calls the “rise of class action lawsuits in the artworld.” The article was published in the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts. Here’s the abstract:

Art authentication boards are powerful; their determinations
of authenticity can render artwork worthless or add
millions of dollars to market value. In the past, boards that
denied authenticity of artwork typically risked tort liability
for disparagement, defamation, or fraud. In Simon-Whelan v.
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., however,
an art collector alleged monopolization and market restraint
after an authentication board denied the authenticity of his
Andy Warhol painting by stamping “DENIED” on the back of
it. The case is the first antitrust lawsuit against an authentication
board to survive the defendant’s motion to dismiss.
The decision therefore suggests potential liability exposure
under the Sherman Antitrust Act for art professionals who
render opinions on the authenticity of artwork. This Article
discusses how Simon-Whelan provides a framework for
pleading antitrust claims against authentication boards and
considers what standard could be appropriate for analyzing
similar claims at trial. This Article also describes how
antitrust law governing standards setting and product
certification outside the art world could apply to art authentication
and organizations setting authenticity standards.


Tags: , , , , ,

Comments: 2

Leave a reply »

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Clancco: Art and Law, Kate Sutherland. Kate Sutherland said: Will the Real Warhol Please Stand Up? | @Clancco_ArtLaw […]

  • Thanks for the nod! We love your reporting.

    Gareth Lacy
    Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

  • Leave a Reply
    Your gravatar
    Your Name


Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law,, and Art & Law are trademarks owned by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. The views expressed on this site are those of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento and of the artists and writers who submit to They are not the views of any other organization, legal or otherwise. All content contained on or made available through is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to treated as confidential.

Website Terms of Use, Privacy, and Applicable Law.

Switch to our mobile site