Litigation and Regulatory Compliance

Art and Museum Law

Wiggin and Dana's Art and Museum Law Practice Group represents museums, universities, galleries, dealers, private collectors, insurers, foundations, and national governments in the concerns unique to owners of art and artifacts. In addition to domestic clients, we frequently advise foreign clients, both in connection with disputes or transactions in the United States, and when U.S. law becomes relevant in foreign disputes or transactions.

When disputes over art arise, clients turn to us for counsel and representation in matters involving provenance; restitution; cultural property issues; copyright disputes; claims involving theft, loss, and physical damage of art works; the treatment of abandoned art loans to museums and other institutions; sales of forged or improperly accredited work; and government investigations, including forfeiture issues. Our team of experienced art litigators—including the former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Prosecutor for the FBI's Art Crime Team—has handled some of the most significant art disputes in recent years. We are comfortable in both the art world and the courtroom, and we take pride in working closely with clients on strategic decisions that occur at the intersection of those two worlds.

We also assist clients in a range of transactional matters related to art, including advising and structuring deals for the purchase and sale of art; agreements for site-specific artworks; agreements with artists' fabricators; exhibition and loan agreements; counseling institutions on the commercial use of art-related intellectual property; and structuring agreements between museums or between museums and other organizations.

Finally, we assist clients with inter-generational planning for art. Wiggin Art and Museum Law Practice Group attorneys serve as the trustees of estates with large art holdings; represent artists, dealers, and their heirs in estate planning matters involving decisions on the preservation and tax-efficient disposition of collections, whether modest or holding nine-figure values; and provide counsel on the establishment of private foundations and private museums, both inside and outside the U.S.