Art Law Report

Knoedler Gallery Owners May be Liable for Forgery Scandal, Jury Will Decide

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 14, 2019 at 9:11 AM

The sprawling saga of the M. Knoedler & Co. Gallery forgery scandal is approaching a full decade since the storied gallery closed abruptly in 2011 (fuller background further below). The last pending civil suit related to the case is now headed for trial in July after the U.S. District Court denied a motion for summary judgment by the gallery’s shareholders that argued that they could not be responsible for the company’s liability. Judge Paul G. Gardephe of the Southern District of New York ruled that there were factual disputes on whether those shareholders indeed could be responsible for alter ego liability that can only be resolved at a trial. The court did award Defendant Michael Hammer summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ fraud, fraudulent concealment, aiding and abetting fraud, aiding and abetting fraudulent concealment, conspiracy to commit fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraudulent concealment, RICO, and RICO conspiracy claims.

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Topics: Ann Freedman, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Southern District of New York, RICO, Glafira Rosales, M. Knoedler & Co., Abstract Expressionist, Gardephe, piercing the corporate veil, Monsanto, Roundup, Michael Hammer, 8-31, Knoedler LLC, alter ego

Knoedler Forgery Cases Foretell New Battleground Over Art Dealer Diligence

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

For more than two years now, the collapse of the M. Knoedler & Co. Gallery in New York amidst allegations of forged paintings by well-known 20th Century artists has sent ripples in all directions: legal, art historical, legislative, and connoisseurship. Several recent developments have drawn focus to the likely litigation fallout among those affected by the scandal.

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Topics: Andy Warhol Foundation, Daedalus Foundation, William K. Rashabaum, Forgery, Knoedler, Ann Freedman, Wolfgang Belctracchi, Marco Grassi, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Patricia Cohen, The New Yorker, Litigation, Glafira Rosales, New York Times, M. Knoedler & Co., connoisseurship, New York Magazine, National Public Radio

Artist-Endowed Foundations

Posted by Judith Edington on November 11, 2011 at 6:53 AM

A fascinating panel discussion on "artist-endowed foundations" was held on November 8, 2011 at the Sackler Museum at Harvard University. The panel was convened to share and discuss the findings of the Aspen Institute's National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations (the “Study”). The Study defines an artist-endowed foundation as a private foundation created or endowed by a visual artist for use in furthering charitable and educational activities serving a public benefit. The foundations are generally funded with any combination of art collections, archives, libraries, intellectual property and investment assets.

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Topics: Carolyn Somers, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Charitable Foundations, Jack Cowart, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Christine J. Vincent, Robert Motherwell, Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Sackler Museum, Aspen Institute's National Study of Artist-Endowed, Marion R. Fremont-Smith, Harvard University Art Museums, Dedalus Foundation, Charles C. Bergman

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About the Blog


The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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