Steve and Katie speak with British art lawyer and General Counsel of Phillips auction house Martin Wilson about European anti-money laundering regulations applicable to art market participants and their recent implementation in the UK. Generally, these regulations require art dealers, galleries, and auction houses to register with the government and undertake due diligence on every art transaction over a certain threshold amount, including with respect to the identity of all ultimate beneficial owners of the transacting parties. Steve, Katie, and Martin discuss the practicalities of compliance, the general secrecy of the art market and the reasoning behind such regulations, and Martin’s recently published book, Art Law and the Business of Art. Steve and Katie also discuss the anti-money laundering regulatory environment in the United States as it applies to the art market and what may be just around the corner.
Steve and Katie end 2020 with a few updates on past podcast episode topics, including 5Pointz and moral rights litigation, the Painted Bride mosaic mural battle, deaccessioning in Baltimore, and pandemic related litigation. We look forward to many more interesting topics in 2021!
Steve and Katie discuss the recent deaccessioning controversies at the Brooklyn Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and Everson Museum of Art in light of the ethical guidelines, new AAMD guidance, and the economic and social climate. They also discuss the recent postponement of the Philip Guston retrospective at the National Gallery, Tate Modern, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Museum of Fine Arts Boston due to its depiction of white nationalism and the criticisms of that decision. Please note there have been developments on all these topics since our recording, so please see the resources links for up to date information.
Steve and Katie speak with old master art dealer and scholar Robert Simon about his discovery of the painting Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and sold by Christie’s in 2017 for almost half a billion dollars. They discuss Simon’s purchase of the painting from an obscure New Orleans auction house, the painting’s painstaking restoration and scholarly review, and what we know and don’t know about its history over the last 500 years.
We are re-releasing our podcast with journalist and author Ben Lewis in anticipation of our forthcoming discussion with Robert Simon. We talked with Ben in depth about his book, The Last Leonardo: The Secret Lives of the World’s Most Expensive Painting, about the history and ultimate sale by Christie’s auction house in November 2017 for just over $450.3 million of the painting Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci. Our next episode with Robert Simon will revisit this story from a different perspective.