If you had suggested in the 1990s that lawyers would become keen users of web logs no one would believe you. Now some of the most insightful art law writing is done by lawyers on their own site.
Here – in no particular order – are some of the blogs we particularly enjoy reading. If we have missed any out (and we are sure we have) please email email@example.com
Updated every few weeks and describing itself as “A weblog dedicated to everything concerning art and law”, the art and artifice blog is run by a team of six lawyers with a variety of different backgrounds. “There didn’t seem to be a single blog which approached art law from a lawyer’s perspective,” says Rosie Burbidge, an intellectual property lawyer at Fox Williams and contributor to the blog. “We started with a strong focus on IP and copyright law but have now grown to include lawyers with interests in both tax and cultural heritage. Not only does blogging encourage us to stay up to date on the latest art law developments but it also helps set us apart from the crowd by showing that we are curious and passionate.”
Generally the posts cover the latest news in key cases in art law, more recently they have covered the crisis of ISIS looting art and cultural property.
The art and artifice team can be found tweeting @ArtArtificeBlog
With an archive of posts since 2009, ARCA blog focuses solely on art crime. Offering insight into the latest cases of looted and stolen art, the blog is written by contributors from the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, an outreach organisation that promote research into art crime and cultural heritage protection. They also offer courses on art crime as well as working with institutions to advocate proper practice in art crime and protection of cultural property.
“The Association for Research into Crimes against Art started a blog as a result in shifts in social media. We found a blog was a simple and easy-to-use platform for connecting with and sharing timely and relevant information in a more immediate way.” Lynda Albertson, CEO of ARCA.
They can be found tweeting @ARCA_artcrime
Always a good read, Art Law Report is especially strong when Nicholas O’Donnell, partner and head of art law at Sullivan & Worcester in New York, writes about cases he is personally involved in.
In March 2014 he hinted that the next step for the Guelph Treasurers could be a case filed under the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Less than a year later his blog covered this filing.
O’Donnell, like any good litigator, is not afraid of upsetting people – particularly those who act against his clients – and when is fighting for his clients it is particularly entertaining. “My goal is to be informative both to lawyers who are well versed in legal details, as well as industry professionals who are well informed about the background to these legal issues, but who may not be knowledgeable about legal concepts,” says O’Donnell.
Nicholas O’Donnell can be found tweeting @NicholasMOD
“The biggest frustration is often not being able to write about my current art cases for reasons of confidentiality!” says Paul Howcroft, head of art law, at UK firm Fladgate and author of Art Law London. His site focused on English law cases.
“The biggest frustration is often not being able to write about my current art cases for reasons of confidentiality!”
Paul can be found be found tweeting at @HowcroftPaul
A new entry from law firm Boodle Hatfield’s art team. The Art Law and More blog covers the top stories in art law, posting regularly. The blog also offers the latest in ‘art news’ and reviews exhibitions as they open.
They said: “By launching the blog and the Twitter account we are able to share and react with art news stories as they happen and connect with new audiences and potential clients.”
They can be found tweeting @ArtLawandMore
US law firm Sheppard Mullin’s take on the key issuesof art law was actually launched before it set up a dedicated practice. “Initially started as a precursor to the launch of our art law practice, we felt that a blog was important in establishing our credibility in the space. It is now an important aspect of our outreach to engaging clients and a broader audience.” Robert Darwell, partner Sheppard Mullin
The content of the blog is strong and posts are uploaded every couple of months. “Sheppard Mullin sees the art law blog as an extension of the art law practice itself, with the am of engaging clients as well as a broader audience interested in art.” Christine Steiner, special council at Sheppard Mullin.
Now in its fifth year, the Center for Art Law has a great URL reading ‘It’s art law’ and a serious strapline: “Art and cultural heritage law aggregator.”
As well as running the blog the Center for Art Law also runs a weekly newsletter and a calendar tracking art law programs around the world. The Center for Art Law’s ‘In Brief’ section offers monthly cover of the stories in the world of art law that the blog doesn’t cover in their full feature posts. The site also welcomes new participants to the blog for those wishing to contribute content.
Irina Tarsis the mastermind behind the blog says “Our goal is to increase awareness of different manifestations of art law and allow those with aspirations of practicing in the field to investigate subjects both for personal education and for the benefit of other readers.”
They can also be found tweeting from @itsartlaw
Based out of New York the Clancco art and law blog specialises in the issues concerning contemporary art and law.
Run by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento an artist practising art law, the blog also offers a bulletin providing announcements about what they describe as a new field of art law, “art and law.”
“I began the blog as a personal project. Since 2005, I have seen a vast increase in interest in this field, from both arts professionals and attorneys. I often get surprising emails and in-person comments from people who loyally follow my blog, this alone makes the hard work and effort worth-while.” Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, founder of the law office of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.
Other contributors include artist and curator Lauren van Haaften-Schick, artist and writer Nate Harrison and artist and lawyer, Alfred Steiner.
You can follow their tweets at @Clancco_ArtLaw
Run by the small New York City law firm Galluzzo & Amineddoleh LLP, this blog has an emphasis on cultural heritage and intellectual property law. The firm is comprised of David J. Galluzzo and Leila A. Amineddoleh who post content regularly on the latest news in art law. The firm itself only launched last year in August 2014 with the blog launching soon after.
“We started the blog as a tool for quickly and efficiently disseminating art news to a wide audience. We understand that many art market professionals cannot invest long periods of time pouring over legal analysis. A blog is a great resource for providing a snapshot of analysis.” Leila Amineddoleh, partner at Galluzzo & Amineddoleh LLP.
“We understand that many art market professionals cannot invest long periods of time pouring over legal analysis”
They can be found tweeting at @ArtandIPLaw
Launched in November 2013, the Institute of Art and Law blog covers every major case and is especially good at linking to other sources.
Run by the Institute of Art and Law, an educational organisation that offers both publishing and courses focussed on art and cultural heritage law. The institute also publishes a quarterly periodical which has been running for 18 years.
“There has been a recent boom in interest for art law. Because of the serious ramifications of falling afoul of legal rules – whether in egards to stolen art, tax or intellectual property – more and more people are looking to instruct themselves.” Alexander Herman, Assistant Director of the Institute of Art Law.
A beautifully named site, Elginism.com focuses on looted art works. Much of the site focuses on the campaign to return the Parthenon Sculptures – better known as the Elgin Marbles – to Greece but it is also a good source for other cases concerning art.
The site defines Elginism as an act of cultural vandalism (it refers to Lord Elgin who bought the Parthenon Marbles from Greece in 1805.)
Art@Law is London firm Constantine Cannon’s blog. The blog has lengthy postings from the team led by Pierre Valentin.
It is also worth signing up for their weekly email which collates stories from around the web using different resources to cover art law news for the week.
Art Law Fox Rothschild is the art law blog run by a team of lawyers from Fox Rothschild. Updated once or twice a week the blog targets issues of art litigation and art finance.
Edited by Daniel Schnapp, the blog is written by a team of four others; Maura L. Burke, Marie C. Dooley, Lisa Karczewski and John A Wait.
The blog of the book Chasing Aphrodite which deals with the Getty museum’s dealings with the illegal antiquities trade. The blog takes this one step further by exploring developments for cases of the illegal trade of antiquities and art work in monthly posts by Jason Felch the co-author of the book.
They can be found tweeting @ChasingAphrodit
Run by Rick St Hilaire, Cultural Heritage Lawyer primarily focuses on the legal issues associated with Cultural Heritage. The blog is updated regularly with content focussing on updates for laws and restrictions on cultural property.
The blog is written as part of Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law & Policy Research Inc which is a non-profit institute comprised of art, museum, and cultural property experts who aim to create solutions to legal and political issues affecting cultural heritage that is threatened by looting and theft.
St. Hilaire a former elected chief prosecutor who served for 15 years, runs a legal practice focused on cultural heritage law and non-profit law.
Rick St Hilare can be found tweeting @RickStHilaire
Started in 2006, this blog is run by Derek Finchum an Associate Professor of law at South Texas College of Law. The blog is updated very regularly and is focussed on art thefts, antiquities looting, and legal developments in art law.
Derek Fincham can be found tweeting at @derekfincham
“To be a good art lawyer you need to be connected to the market”
‘Lawfully Chic’ is an art blog from law firm Mishcon De Reya. Unlike other blogs of its kind, the content is consciously non-legal. Predominately written by Mishcon Lawyers, the blog covers the latest art, fashion and cultural news. “The blog will have been running for five years in October and we are delighted to see other firms following this trend.” says Amanda Gray, Senior Associate in Mishcon de Reya’s dedicated art law team and co-founder of their Luxury Assets Group.
“Lawfully Chic is driven by the passion and interests we share with our clients. Our coverage of art and luxury asset events provides us with a great opportunity to offer our own insight”
They can be found tweeting @LawfullyChic
Run by the Holocaust Art Restitution Project, Plundered art solely looks at issues concerning the holocaust. An extremely relevant topic in light of recent recoveries of Nazi looted art and the comments of Klaus Albrecht Schröder director of the Albertina Museum Vienna about the need for a time limit for restitution.
The blog also often looks at the issues of provenance, detailing the projects involvement in action in cases where works are without the relevant provenance research.
They can be found tweeting @plunderedart
Run by Donn Zaretsky of John Silberman Associates, ‘The Art Law Blog’ has been posting regularly on issues of art and law since 2006.
The blog comments on the latest art law stories as well as linking to relevant articles including referencing other art law blogs. It covers a wide variety of content, often offering a short pinion based insight in to recent cases.
Photo of Harvard Law School Library by Samir Luther under the creative commons license.