Category Archives: Museums

The portrait of Greta Moll, the National Gallery and ‘quintessentially’ British statements

Posted on: January 16, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

Oskar and Greta Moll were two German students of Henri Matisse. In 1908, they purchased a portrait of Greta painted by the Master himself (the Portrait). Later, having survived the Second World War but concerned of the impeding partition of Germany, they decided to move to Wales in 1946. In preparation for the move, Greta […]

IAL training course for Qatar Museums

Posted on: November 24, 2017 by Alexander Herman

The Institute of Art & Law was in Doha, Qatar last week providing an in-house training course on art, law and collections management for Qatar Museums, the governmental body that oversees the state-owned museums in the small Persian Gulf state. The course included one day on intellectual property and collections, another on contracts, acquisitions and […]

Last-minute development in Berkshire deaccession dispute

Posted on: November 13, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The Sotheby’s sale of the Berkshire Museum’s artworks, scheduled for the 13th of November, has now been put on hold following the Massachusetts Appeal Court’s decision reversing the previous judgment by the Superior Court, which had cleared the way for the sale. On Friday the 10th of November, the Court of Appeals granted the Attorney […]

Berkshire decision: Rockwell sales to proceed

Posted on: November 9, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Judge John J. Agostini of the Pittsfield Superior Court gave his decision on Tuesday in the widely publicised deaccession case brought by the sons of Rockwell and others against the Berkshire Museum. As a brief reminder, the Berkshire Museum’s financial situation had been bleak for many years and wealthy donors had all but disappeared.  The […]

Hearing in the Berkshire Museum deaccession case

Posted on: November 3, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

On 1st November, Judge John Agostini, presiding over the Pittsfield Court remarked that people “don’t often see a large crowd here,” but a large crowd had indeed gathered that day. As previously discussed, the case before him involved two separate hearings for preliminary restraining orders against the Berkshire Museum and its Trustees to stop the sale of a […]

Legal action brought by Rockwell heirs against Berkshire Museum

Posted on: October 25, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Following our recent post on the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, legal action has now been taken by Norman Rockwell’s heirs against the Museum in relation to the upcoming auction sale of works from the collection. On 20th October, Norman Rockwell’s sons, Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell, along with other museum members and donors, filed a […]

Deaccessioning at the Berkshire Museum

Posted on: October 11, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

A storm has been brewing since the summer in the quiet town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  The town’s Berkshire Museum announced in July that it intended to put up 40 works of art for sale at Sotheby’s over a period ranging from November 2017 to March 2018. The Museum justified its decision by its dire financial […]

Two recent antiquities cases in the US

Posted on: July 7, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A warning for museums? There have been two interesting recent developments relating to antiquities: one regarding allegedly looted antiquities, the other regarding artefacts at the centre of a legal storm that has been brewing for some 15 years; both involve the United States of America. The first is the action brought by US District Attorneys […]

Old Flo is staying put – what can we learn?

Posted on: June 7, 2016 by Emily Gould

It was interesting to see that the judgment in the important ‘Old Flo’ case on which we reported in July 2015 has now been upheld by the Court of Appeal. You might recall the story. Old Flo – or Draped Seated Woman, to give Henry Moore’s 1,500 kg bronze figure her proper title – was […]

Everyday Ethics for the Museum Sector

Posted on: April 25, 2016 by Emily Gould

The launch event for the new Museums Code of Ethics took place at the Wellcome Collection last Friday, 22nd April. You would be forgiven for thinking that a Friday afternoon event to explore an ethics code might not be the greatest crowd-puller; but on this occasion, you’d be much mistaken. Almost 150 delegates came to […]