Friday, March 27, 2015

Artist Files Suit Against Swiss Watchmaker

Via Artinfo:

Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has filed an infringement suit against the Swatch Group, parent company of Omega watches, over an advertisement that bears a similarity to his work[.]


Appeals Court Rules US Post Office Must Pay Artist Another $540,000

Yes, the Gaylord v. US copyright infringement case is still going on. This time the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier decision against the United States Postal Service (USPS) that it must pay Frank Gaylord $540,000 (10%) for the unauthorized reproduction of his copyrighted Korean War Veterans Memorial on a postage stamp. Key here is that this is a ruling concerning only the unused postage stamps sold to collectors, which the trial court, relying on survey data, determined sold for a total of $5.4 million.

Via Artnew News. Background story here.


Target Wins First Amendment Fight with Rosa Parks Nonprofit


Via The AmLaw Litigation Daily,

The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development sued Target in 2013, claiming it illegally profited from Parks’ fame and violated her publicity rights.

Target’s lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels didn’t dispute that the retailer had sold the Parks-themed merchandise in stores and online. But they asserted that Target had a right to sell the products under the First Amendment because they were all biographical works “relevant to matters of legitimate public concern.”

U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins in Montgomery agreed on Monday,  holding that the First Amendment shielded Target’s sales.


Speak What You Want to Speak: The Artwork of Jesse Howard

Jesse Howard, Untitled (God Bless the Owl), 1956.

Jesse Howard, Untitled (God Bless the Owl), 1956.

If you’re in St. Louis, seems like there’s an interesting exhibition over at the Contemporary Art Museum.

By all accounts, self-taught artist Jesse Howard was cantankerous. In middle of the last century, it wasn’t unusual to see hand-painted signs on country roads advertising a traveling fair or a farm sale. But Howard’s signs offered Bible verses. They proclaimed his anger at his neighbors and the government, and his disappointments with the world around him. “Every word I’m saying’s the truth,” the artist said of his work. “Every word.” … Speaking what he wanted to speak didn’t make life easy for Howard, but now at least people are listening.


Call for Applications: Curating Controversy: A Seminar for Art Curators

Tilted Arc

Tilted Arc, by Richard Serra. Originally installed at the Jacob Javits Federal Building, New York City, (1981-1989).

Given that it is curators who frame the context of an exhibition, during a controversy they are usually the ones to also negotiate with the hosting institution and the general public, handle the fallout of controversies, while also making decisions about keeping or removing specific works. The goal of this seminar series is to inform and equip curators with strategic and legal means with which to safeguard their curatorial vision and to negotiate effectively with diverse and interested parties.

This one-day series of four seminars will take place at NYU on March 28th, and offers curators the opportunity to discuss, among colleagues and with experts, the challenges of organizing and presenting exhibitions containing controversial work. The seminar sessions will be followed by an evening panel discussion that will be open to the public.

This seminar series consists of four seminars led by Johanna Burton, director and curator of education and public programs at the New Museum, Laura Raicovich, Director of the Queens Museum of Art, Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, artist and art lawyer, and Robert Storr, artist and curator, Dean of the Yale School of Art.

Please feel free to distribute and disseminate this call for applications. Although the four day-time seminars are open to curators only, please note that the night-time panel discussion is open to the public. Applications are due February 27, 2015.

The workshop is organized by the Arts Advocacy Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Visual Arts Administration M.A. Program, Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU Steinhardt and the Art & Law Program.


Mexico’s Museo Jumex Cancels Hermann Nitsch Exhibition

Hermann Nitsch

Hermann Nitsch

According to Artnet News:

The Museo Jumex in Mexico City has suspended an exhibition by the controversial Austrian artist after an online petition asking for its cancellation gathered over 5,000 signatures.

Nitsch’s Marc Straus gallery comments, here.


NY Art Galleries’ Records Subpoenaed

Several art galleries and dealers have received subpoenas from the Manhattan district attorney’s office requesting sales and shipping records, according to lawyers for the businesses, suggesting that investigators may be revisiting the issue of whether galleries and collectors are properly paying sales tax for art sold in New York[.]

Don’t get excited, this doesn’t mean there will be regulation of the art market any time soon, but what it does highlight is how collectors and art galleries–presumably all politically liberal–don’t exactly practice what they preach.

Via The NY Times.



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