Museum Controversies: Reputational Concerns and “Offensive” Art

CORRECTION: After the recording of this podcast, the San Francisco School Board, in the face of community protest, reconsidered its decision to remove the George Washington murals from George Washington High School and will instead cover them.

Against the backdrop of global museums distancing themselves from the Sackler name, two highly controversial Whitney Biennials involving activist calls for the destruction and removal of an artwork and, more recently, calls for the resignation of a Board member who made a fortune building a network of defense equipment companies, and numerous other controversies in the United States about the identity of board members, museum donors and artists, Steve and Katie speak with Max Anderson about controversial board members, donors and works of art.  Max is currently the President of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation and was previously the Director of the Whitney Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum, among other leading museum director roles.

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Recent New York Holocaust-Era Art Cases Come Out Differently

Steve and Katie talk about and compare two recent Holocaust-era art cases decided in New York, one in state court on summary judgment and one in federal court on a motion to dismiss grounds.  Both cases involve the claims of heirs to recover artwork that left the hands of Jewish owners persecuted by the Nazis, but they otherwise greatly differ.

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“The Last Leonardo” with Ben Lewis

Katie and Steve talk with Ben Lewis, author of the new 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 of the painting Salvator Mundi which they attribute to Leonardo Da Vinci for just over $450.3 million.

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Art and Financial Crimes

Katie and Steve speak with Laura Patten and Michael Shepard about financial crimes, including money laundering, involving art.  They discuss high profile examples of art-related financial crime, the reality and challenges of compliance for galleries, dealers and other art market participants, and the regulatory landscape in the U.S. and Europe.

Laura formerly worked with the CIA and FBI on high stakes art crime investigations.  Michael has worked for years on anti-money laundering and financial crimes investigations and programs.  Both now work with Deloitte’s art and finance initiative and financial crimes practice.

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Technologizing Fine Art

In this episode of the podcast, Steve and Katie are in conversation with Jason Bailey, the founder of the Artnome blog and host of the Dank Rares blockchain art podcast about technology and fine art.  With a background in art and tech, Jason is one of the foremost authorities on art and technology.  The conversation with Jason is wide-ranging from blockchain, provenance, smart contracts, digital art, cryptocurrency, blockchain-driven auctions, privacy, and generative art.

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