Art and Museum Law

STATE-OF THE-ART LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Our Art and Museum Law Practice Group has thorough, first-hand knowledge of the national and international fine arts world, allowing us to offer practical solutions to your complex issues.  We work directly with local, national, and international museums, including trustees, board members, and museum directors, as well as with artists, private collectors, art investors, private foundations, galleries, and auction houses.  Our interdisciplinary team is comprised of attorneys from diverse practice areas and backgrounds—from intellectual property to estate planning and taxation.

WE HAVE AN INSIDER’S VIEW OF THE WORLD OF FINE ARTS, AND WE APPLY THIS EXPERTISE TO OFFER A WIDE VARIETY OF BUSINESS AND LEGAL SERVICES, INCLUDING:

  • Counseling art and museum institutions on issues such as intellectual property, acquisitions, deaccession, publication, merchandising, employment, and corporate formation and governance;
  • Estate planning and charitable giving;
  • Private foundations and philanthropic gifting;
  • Tax services involving valuation, deferred exchanges, sales, and use;
  • Purchases, sales, and loans;
  • Consignments;
  • Auctions;
  • Donor issues;
  • Cultural heritage issues;
  • Intellectual property – protection, licensing, enforcement, and litigation;
  • Artist and gallery agreements;
  • Art insurance;
  • Digital and social media issues; and
  • UBTI Issues.

Our lawyers serve on boards of directors and advisory committees to local and internationally known museums.  One of our lawyers is a primary author of the Massachusetts Art Consignment Statute (M.G.L. 104A).   Our lawyers also received the Massachusetts Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Lawyer of the Year Award (also known as the Robert B. Fraser Award) and the Boston Estate Planning Council Estate Planner of the Year Award.  Our lawyers frequently speak on issues related to the fine arts community, and one of our lawyers is an adjunct professor in the master’s degree program for Arts Administration at Boston University.

Assisted more than 100 artists in securing the return of more than 1,000 pieces of art and unpaid royalties from the bankruptcy estate of a major art consignment business. The case resulted in the drafting of new Massachusetts consignment legislation and precedential case law to protect consigned artwork.

Represented an internationally known museum in deaccession and donor-related issues. Counseled the museum on cutting-edge loan strategies to maintain the integrity of the collection and increase museum stability.

Counseled the heirs of a renowned artist on intellectual property rights and estate administration issues.

Assisted a first-of-its-kind arts festival in all legal aspects of formation and implementation of the festival, including securing all contracts with artists and vendors, obtaining required state permits, securing and protecting intellectual property rights, and drafting merchandising contracts and documentation.

Represented artists in the creation of estate planning documents, foundations, and charitable gifting vehicles and strategies.