By Lano Williams and Christine Steiner

The recent news that the Andy Warhol Art Authentication Board, Inc. will dissolve in early 2012 brings the role of authentication boards in the art world to the fore once again. The Board, which has been charged with authenticating the works of Andy Warhol since 1996, has been the subject of controversy, probably owing more to the nature of Andy Warhol’s art-making process and his fame rather than anything the Board may have done. Warhol was famous for industrializing the art-making process, frequently directing others to execute works on his behalf. The question of what makes a Warhol is subjective and is open to changing interpretation as scholarship develops, as it involves current thinking on what steps of the art-making process the artist must control in order for a piece to be considered attributable to that artist. The Warhol market is also gargantuan. ArtTactic reports that his art accounted for 17% of contemporary art sales at auction in 2010 and 12% of the total contemporary art sold in the first decade of this century.Continue Reading Authentication Board to Death by Lawsuits

By Jessica Kantor and Christine Steiner

Attention shifts to Los Angeles this Fall, thanks to Pacific Standard Time, a stunning tribute to the Los Angeles post-war art scene. Pacific Standard Time (PST), spearheaded by the Getty Trust, presents simultaneous exhibitions and events at more than 60 Southland cultural institutions. PST provides an ideal opportunity for a closer look at practical business and legal considerations that preserve and shape an artist’s legacy.
 Continue Reading Pacific Standard Time – The Artist’s Legacy

For over three decades California courts and lawmakers have attempted to achieve an equitable balance between the rights of former owners and good faith purchasers of stolen works of art. In true Hollywood fashion, the thief has played his part and left the stage. Only the original owner and the good faith purchaser remain, and the legal question California has struggled with is how to allocate the risk of loss between them. In late September, 2010, California presented its latest resolution when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2765 into law, effectively doubling the time an aggrieved party can recover an object of “historical, interpretive, scientific, cultural, or artistic significance” that has been stolen or taken by fraud or duress.
 Continue Reading California AB 2765 Stops the Clock for Recovery of Wrongfully Appropriated Works: The Ramifications for Museums, Owners, Collectors and the Art Trade

Decades ago, profit-driven business ventures such as McDonald’s paved the way for international franchising – bringing the Big Mac to over 119 countries worldwide.  In the late 1940’s, the Guggenheim Foundation followed suit, paving the way for the international franchising of world class museums.Continue Reading Would You Like Fries With That Picasso? The International Franchising of World Class Museums

According to an old Roman proverb, "art has no enemy except ignorance."  Common usage of the proverb frequently references non-conventional works of art that break with the status quo by challenging aesthetic and/or cultural norms, and are subsequently decried by the establishment.  However, in light of recent high-profile court cases to recoup rare cultural icons from world class museums, the proverb takes on new meaning with respect to collectors of antiquities.  Indeed, remaining ignorant with respect to a work’s provenance can be a costly mistake (and a public relations nightmare) for museums, galleries, and collectors alike.Continue Reading Rethinking Antiquity Collections