Art Scholars Fear Liability for their Opinions on Authenticity

According to a recent article in the New York Times, one of the downsides of the booming art market is that many art scholars no longer feel they have the right to be wrong when opining on the authenticity of works.  Because there can be so much money at stake, some experts have found themselves the target of lawsuits due to unfavorable opinions.

In fact, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, as well as other museums and institutes have stopped authenticating works in order to avoid litigation.    Although art experts have been sued for years over their opinions, the amount of exposure due to the value of many works has created the current problem.  And whether insurance responds to such lawsuits is, in some cases, unclear.

Whether this leads to the sale of more fakes, or causes experts to sit idly by when a known forgery is being sold remains to be seen.  But we will continue to follow this development.  Please write to Mike Bono at mbono@wcmlaw.com if you would like further information.