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The Art Law Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The Art Law Podcast hosts discussions about topics at the intersection of art and law with art lawyers Steve Schindler and Katie Wilson-Milne and their distinguished guests.

The Art Law Podcast hosts discussions about topics at the intersection of art and law with art lawyers Steve Schindler and Katie Wilson-Milne and their distinguished guests.


New York, NY


The Art Law Podcast hosts discussions about topics at the intersection of art and law with art lawyers Steve Schindler and Katie Wilson-Milne and their distinguished guests.






Arts Nonprofits in the Pandemic

Katie and Steve speak with Jay Sanders, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Artists Space, a vanguard artist-centered arts nonprofit, founded in 1972 and located in New York City, about the devastating impact of the pandemic shutdown on small arts nonprofits, as well as the inspiration and community being cultivated in this moment of...


Art Museums in the Pandemic

Katie and Steve welcome back to the podcast museum director, art commentator, and art historian Max Anderson to discuss what art museums (now closed) are dealing with during the Covid-19 crisis in terms of mission, funding, audience engagement and an uncertain future. They discuss structural issues and practices pre-existing the pandemic that put pressure on museums’ stated missions and appeal, as well as potential shifts in focus and priority that may come out of this current moment of...


Moral Rights in Street Art: The 5Pointz Story - Revisited

In this bonus episode, Steve analyzes the recent Second Circuit decision affirming the 2018 decision awarding $6.75 million to the artists of 5Pointz, whose works were whitewashed and torn down by the building’s owner in 2013. To put this important decision into a broader context, we have re-released our April 2018 episode on 5Pointz, where we discuss the district court case in which the aerosol artists asserted violations of their moral rights under the Visual Artist Rights Act, the U.S....


Art of the Chase: Inside Art Auctions - Revisited

This month, we are updating and rereleasing one of our most popular episodes, Art of the Chase: Inside Art Auctions. In this episode, we take a close look at art auctions – how they work, their place in the art market and the rules and regulations that confine/define them. Auctions at Sotheby’s and Christie’s now regularly net tens and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars for a single work. Christie’s sold Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting for $450 million in 2017, still, by...


Arts Organizations Seek Change Via Deaccessioning: The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art and Painted Bride Art Center

Steve and Katie discuss two recent art world controversies involving small, local nonprofits seeking to raise money through asset divestment. The di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in Napa Valley is attempting to deaccession most of its permanent collection of Bay Area art works in the face of vocal art world opposition. In Philadelphia, the proposed sale of the Painted Bride Art Center building by the organization’s board, including its one of a kind mosaic mural façade, has raised public...


How Artists Mess with the Law

Steve and Katie have a wide ranging conversation with art historian and former lawyer, Joan Kee, about the topic of her new book, Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post-Sixties America. Their conversation probes artists’ embrace and rejection of legal structures in contemporary America, as well as artistic indifference about and dependence on the law. Resources:


Museum Controversies: Reputational Concerns and "Offensive" Art

CORRECTION: After the recording of this podcast, the San Francisco School Board, in the face of community protest, reconsidered its decision to remove the George Washington murals from George Washington High School and will instead cover them. Against the backdrop of global museums distancing themselves from the Sackler name, two highly controversial Whitney Biennials involving activist calls for the destruction and removal of an artwork and, more recently, calls for the resignation of a...


Recent New York Holocaust-Era Art Cases Come Out Differently

Steve and Katie talk about and compare two recent Holocaust-era art cases decided in New York, one in state court on summary judgment and one in federal court on a motion to dismiss grounds. Both cases involve the claims of heirs to recover artwork that left the hands of Jewish owners persecuted by the Nazis, but they otherwise greatly differ. Resources: Reif v. Nagy, Index No. 161799:15 (First Dep’t July 9, 2019) ...


"The Last Leonardo" with Ben Lewis

Katie and Steve talk with Ben Lewis, author of the new book, The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting, about the history and ultimate sale by Christie’s auction house in November 2017 of the painting Salvator Mundi which they attribute to Leonardo Da Vinci for just over $450.3 million. Resources:


Art and Financial Crimes

Katie and Steve speak with Laura Patten and Michael Shepard about financial crimes, including money laundering, involving art. They discuss high profile examples of art-related financial crime, the reality and challenges of compliance for galleries, dealers and other art market participants, and the regulatory landscape in the U.S. and Europe. Laura formerly worked with the CIA and FBI on high stakes art crime investigations. Michael has worked for years on anti-money laundering and...


Technologizing Fine Art

In this episode of the podcast, Steve and Katie are in conversation with Jason Bailey, the founder of the Artnome blog and host of the Dank Rares blockchain art podcast about technology and fine art. With a background in art and tech, Jason is one of the foremost authorities on art and technology. The conversation with Jason is wide-ranging from blockchain, provenance, smart contracts, digital art, cryptocurrency, blockchain-driven auctions, privacy, and generative art. Resources:...


2018 Art Law Litigation Stories

This month Katie and Steve talk about a few important art law cases from 2018 ranging from Nazi looting, to Italian fisherman discovering an ancient Greek statue, to the risks catalogue raisonné committees face when offering even indirect opinions on authenticity. The specific cases discussed are Von Saher v. Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, No. 16-56308 (9Cir. 2018); the Getty Bronze case decided by the Italian Court of Cassation; and Mayor Gallery Ltd. v. The Agnes Martin Catalogue...


The Promise of Blockchain: Transparency in the Art Market

Katie and Steve speak with Nanne Dekking, the founder and CEO of Artory and Chairman of the European Fine Art Fair, about Artory’s efforts to use blockchain to create a transparent registry of art sales, the general challenges to transparency in the fine art market, the problem of detecting fakes and forgeries and trustworthy counterparties, and blockchain’s limitations. Resources:


The Financialization of Art with Philip Hoffman

Katie and Steve speak with Philip Hoffman, founder and CEO of The Fine Art Group, about art funds, art financing, and financial guarantees of auctions sales. They also explore how art is performing as an asset class. Philip started the first “art fund” in 2002, and he is one of the world’s leading experts on the financialization of art. Resources: The Fine Art Group -


Artist Series: Aviva Rahmani’s work with VARA, land use and environmental law

Artist Aviva Rahmani speaks to Steve and Katie about her artistic practice investigating and using the law. Her current work, Blued Trees Symphony, is a musical and visual art work installed along miles of proposed pipeline expansion on land subject to possible eminent domain. Rahmani has copyrighted the work and plans to use the Visual Artist Rights Act to prevent the art’s destruction, thereby frustrating the building of pipeline. Resources: You can learn more about Aviva Rahmani and...


Bonus Episode: Berkshire Museum Litigation Update (It’s not over!)

Katie and Steve get an update from attorney Nicholas O’Donnell about the status of the lawsuit he brought on behalf of certain members of the Berkshire Museum for breach of fiduciary duty, among other claims, in relation to the Museum’s sale of much of its valuable art collection to pay for operating and capital expenses. While much of the art has been sold, the members fight on. Nick explains the unusual posture of the case to our listeners. *Note: On Monday, the Massachusetts Appeals Court...


Nazi Looted Art: Legal Remedies and Limitations

Steve and Katie discuss the Nazis’ complicated and perverse relationship with fine art with attorney and author Nicholas O’Donnell. Nick is the author of the recent book, A Tragic Fate: Law and Ethics in the Battle Over Nazi-Looted Art, which tells the story of stolen and appropriated art in World War II Europe and how the U.S. legal system has been instrumental in dealing with claims for restitution decades later. Steve, Katie and Nick start with the historical landscape in 1930s Europe,...


Bonus Episode: Is Cake “Art” and Entitled to First Amendment Free Speech Protections?

On this bonus episode, Katie and Steve discuss the recent SCOTUS case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018). In this case, a baker claimed his First Amendment free exercise and free speech rights were violated when he was found in violation of a Colorado statute prohibiting disparate treatment based on sexual orientation in public accommodations for refusing to make and sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. The baker refused to make the wedding cake...


Art, Censorship and the First Amendment

On this month’s episode, Steve and Katie dive into the charged topic of censorship. With guest Professor Amy Adler they talk about government and non-government attempts to censor art, what the legal boundaries are and where the law actually has little if nothing to say about censorship of art. They describe applicable First Amendment doctrine, apply it to art and examine particular examples of art “censorship” from the culture wars of the 1990s through today, from both the political right...


Bonus Episode: Berkshire Museum Deaccessioning Begins

Katie and Steve give an update on the first round of auction sales as part of the Berkshire Museum’s court sanctioned deaccessioning plan. They discuss the results of the sales, the museum’s current stance, and where that leaves us (hint: dissatisfied). Resources: ...