As Super Bowl Sunday revealed that Ann Freedman has apparently settled claims against her in the first Knoedler trial over the creation of forged Abstract Expressionist paintings to whose orchestration Glafiria Rosales pleaded guilty, news broke of federal charges against Michigan art dealer Eric Spoutz whom the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has accused of selling dozens of fake paintings. Most distressing is that Spoutz’s website touts a long list of museums to which he claims that he sold paintings as works by Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and others. Those institutions in particular, and any other affected buyer or affected party, should be proactive about their legal rights and options. The government’s complaint does not specify the purchasers or recipients of any work alleged to be fake, making it all the more important for anyone who might be affected to seize the intiative.
A federal court in California has dismissed a claim by a buyer against Sotheby’s that alleged that the auction house sold him a work whose title was clouded because Hermann Göring had once owned it. What seemed liked a interesting new theory of liability was dismissed because the buyer had agreed in advance to litigate any disputes from the sale in the United Kingdom. It is somewhat surprising that the buyer even tried.
Topics: provenance, Louis-Michel van Loo, Auctions, Nazi, California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Christie's, Hermann Goring, Collections, Restitution, section 1750 of the California Civil Code, Allegorical Portrait of a Lady as Diana Wounded by, Sotheby's