Wiggin and Dana's Art and Museum Law Group represents museums, universities, and other cultural institutions, galleries and dealers in art, private collectors, insurers, foundations and national governments in the concerns unique to owners of art and artifacts.

We handle disputes over ownership and provenance, claims involving foreign and international law, the treatment of abandoned art loans, sales of forged or improperly accredited work, tax, gift and estate-planning matters, financial transactions, intellectual property issues, not-for-profit governance issues, government investigations including forfeiture issues, and the public relations and ethical considerations often associated with these matters.

We also represent museums and other non-profits on a broad array of charitable funds issues, including charitable gifts and complex planned giving. We advise clients about the investment, management and expenditure of endowment and other charitable funds, provide counsel on compliance with gift restrictions, and represent them in cy pres actions seeking modification of gift restrictions. On fundraising, we advise clients on compliance issues related to charitable solicitation laws. With regard to complex structured transactions, we help clients with bond issuance and with deals that allow a museum or other non-profit borrow without restricting endowment investments.

We have assisted clients in a wide range of matters, including some of the most significant art law disputes to have emerged in recent years. Our Art and Museum Law group consists of experienced attorneys committed to providing our clients with superior service at competitive prices. We take a hands-on approach to our representation, maintaining frequent contact with clients, becoming knowledgeable about their particular circumstances and making ourselves readily available to answer any questions.


05/01/2015 Art and Museum Law Update
11/04/2014 Who Owns the Monkey Selfie?
08/05/2014 Insurance News, Summer 2014 (Excerpt on Art Law)
04/26/2013 Is Art Infringement? (Cariou v. Prince, 2nd Cir., April 25, 2013)

Published Works

12/13/2017 Stolen Cultural Property: A Due Diligence Primer Delaware Lawyer
11/17/2017 US changes the rules for claims of Nazi-looted art against foreign sovereigns and foreign public museumsInternational Bar Association: Art, Cultural Institutions and Heritage Law
03/19/2015 Stolen Cultural Property: A Risk Management PrimerThe Legal Guide for Museum Professionals, Rowman and Littlefield

We have assisted clients in a wide range of matters, including:

  • Representation of an auction house owner in connection with a grand jury investigation
  • Representation of a university in a dispute with a Latin American government over archeological artifacts
  • Representation of insurers in connection with a university's claims for coverage for damage to "fine arts"
  • Representation of a collector in disputes over provenance of artwork and furniture
  • Counseling on cultural property and provenance issues with regard to Asian jewelry
  • Representation of a Manhattan gallery owner in a dispute with an investor over joint ventures in various works of art
  • Representation of a university in a claim by a foreign citizen to a Van Gogh painting nationalized by Russia and received by the university via bequest
  • Representation of a private arts foundation in a dispute with a major art museum involving copyright issues and sales of reproductions of American modernist works
  • Representation of art dealers in dispute with the estate of a major artist over ownership and possession of commissioned art works
  • Representation of a president of a major New York gallery on trust and estate matters
  • Representation of a major private art collector in a dispute with a gallery over commissioned art works
  • Counseling an educational institution in the analysis of cultural property and provenance issues with regard to an offered gift of Tsarist objects d'art and European paintings
  • Representation of a bank in connection with loans secured by art as collateral
  • Representation of a preeminent abstract expressionist painter in art related litigation, establishment of a charitable foundation and estate planning
  • Representation of collectors and gallery owners in structuring gifts of art to a charity and family members
  • Representation of a Philadelphia area artist in connection with a dispute with a consignee

© 1998-2018 Wiggin and Dana LLP   |   Disclaimer Notice   |   Attorney Advertisement   |   Privacy Policy   |   Contact
© 1998-2018 Wiggin and Dana LLP