Showing posts with label ARCA alum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCA alum. Show all posts

December 15, 2016

Meeting ARCA's Alumni: Samer Abdel Ghafour - Class of 2015

Samer Abdel Ghafour is a Syrian cultural heritage specialist and founder of ArchaeologyIN, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of archaeological preservation world-wide. His professional experience includes working both as a museum curator and a field director and chief conservator for archaeological missions in Syria. 

What were your motivations behind enrolling in the ARCA post-graduate program? What did you value about the program as a whole? 

Each course offered by the ARCA program expands academic knowledge by tackling topics from different angles, while the experience as a whole opens gates and provides networking opportunities. Through the program, I was introduced to a community of specialists whose work is interrelated with ARCA, its mission, program, academic publications, and journal of art crime. The specialized courses offered develop a platform for engagement that addresses ten different elements, ten domains, ten fields. The specificity of the program supports research and engagement with varied topics that otherwise receive little academic attention and range from sites management, to the conservation of mosaics. 

How does your academic and professional background correlate with the work you did in the program?

In 2011, Syria experienced a whirlwind of lawlessness on all levels, including irreversible damage to cultural heritage. Following the looting of open archaeological sites, the illicit trafficking of looted objects, and the destruction of historic monuments and museums, both Syrian and international experts organized several initiatives to mitigate damage to the best of our ability. Improving academic knowledge through participation in this and other programs is an essential part of our commitment to save and protect.

In Dick Ellis’ course on Policing, I studied art in the black market and in organized crime, researching methods of tracing illicit trafficking. In Art and Heritage Law with Duncan Chappell, we became better equipped to apply both national and international law, and following Marc Balcells’ Criminology course, I now feel more comfortable addressing organised crime. As crime itself is getting stronger, it is important that we too strengthen ourselves and our knowledge. Amidst the chaos in Syria, we are preparing for the aftermath, trying to maintain stability through networking, documenting damage, and collecting data for analysis.

Networking is a vital component in your current work, correct?

Yes, I use social media as a platform that provides information for the public, not just academics. In July 2011, I attended an international symposium in Berlin in which archaeologists digging in Syria wanted to know whether or not they could continue their work.  Relationships can be ruined by the current inability to excavate in Syria, but the loss of these connections can be avoided by communication through a free platform in which awareness is raised and accumulated knowledge is disseminated to whoever is interested.

Founding the ArchaeologyIN, the Archaeology Information Network has not only provided an opportunity to raise cultural heritage awareness, in Syria, but also in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Turkey and Italy.   In the conflict-plagued countries it has also served to create a space for the collection of data about current damage and has highlighted the good work of others who are invested in cultural heritage protection. I also maintain a Twitter account for those that want to follow me at: @SamAbdelGhafour

Some of the principle pages of the ArchaeologyIn Network are:

Facebook: ArchaeologyinSyria  Twitter: @AinSyria
Facebook: ArchaeologyinIraq  Twitter: @AinIraq
Facebook: ArchaeologyinYemen  Twitter: @AinYemen1
Facebook: ArchaeologyinLibya  Twitter: @AinLibya
Facebook: ArchaeologyinTurkey  Twitter: @AinTurkey
Facebook: ArchaeologyinItaly  Twitter: @AinItaly

and our Mother page
Facebook: ArchaeologyIN  Twitter: @Archaeology_IN

What has been your favorite thing about the program? About living in Amelia?

I valued the conference itself being held in the middle of the program- it was like a shot of espresso in the middle of the day. The experience solidified and contextualized a lot of the work we had been doing in the classroom, and provided ARCA students with the opportunity to take the next steps in our respective fields, to network, and to build solid connections and foundations.

As far as Amelia goes, hosting the program in Amelia is like combining American academia with an Italian spirit. If our work here is the body and Amelia contributes to the spirit, the two form a living entity, imbued with a depth of historical value from the surrounding environment. The walls of Amelia do not separate it from the natural landscape and cultural heritage surrounding it. These walls, which historically served as means of defence for Amelia, now play the role of  connecting the program to the city and its vivid history. It is a striking example and experience of intercultural engagement. 

Since completing the ARCA summer coursework, what have you been doing?

I have been solidifying the research for my PhD on "Ideologies of the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Ancient and Modern Near East" at La Sapienza - Università di Roma with the Facoltà: Dipartimento di Scienze dell'antichità.

I also served as Rapporteur for the Capacity Building Activities and Future Needs workgroup at the UNESCO 2016 Emergency Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage meetings in 2016.

Thirdly I have been working with IIMAS – The International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies as an Associate Director for Institutional Communications.

ARCA is accepting applications for the 2017 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.  For more information on how to apply, please click here.

For information on who is teaching this year, please see our earlier blog post. 

September 18, 2014

ARCA's Lauren Cattey Monroe ('09) Hiring Facilities Assistant at Burke Museum in Seattle

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

ARCA graduate Lauren Cattey Monroe has a job opening at the Burke Museum in Seattle. In 2009, Ms. Monroe completed ARCA's certificate program on the study of art crime and cultural property protection in Amelia, Umbria. She published "Revolutionizing Security in the Art World One Photograph at a Time: Photomacrography and its Application to Protecting Cultural Property" in The Journal of Art Crime in the Fall 2010 issue.

What is your current position and your responsibilities? What do you hope to accomplish?

Ms. Monroe: My current title is the Security and Facilities Manager at the University of Washington's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, WA. I oversee the security and facility operations of the Burke Museum. I am responsible for opening/closing the museum, coordinating building maintenance while ensuring the safety and protection of staff, patrons and the museum's collection. I supervise the Facilities Assistant and Operations Assistant. I am first responder to off hour alarms and emergencies. I organize and control access to the building by maintaining current, organized inventories of badges, keys and off hours access cards.

I hope to accomplish well-established programs, such as security, access, disaster preparedness, safety and facility operations so that they will translate seamlessly into the new building that we are in the very early stages of planning.

How did you get this job? What did you do in the field while you were waiting for an opportunity?

Ms. Monroe: I was originally hired at the Burke Museum as the Operations Assistant. Shortly after arriving, the previous Facilities Manager vacated the position, and I was asked to fill in as the Interim Facilities Manager while also applying for the permanent position. I saw my opportunity as Interim Facilities Manager as my chance to prove that I would succeed in this role.

Before working for the Burke Museum, in my free time, I worked as a gallery monitor at the Seattle Art Museum in order to not lose focus on my career goals.

What is the position you're now hiring for?

Ms. Monroe: I am looking to hire a new Facilities Assistant. This position is my evening closer as well as my backup. We're looking for a person who will interlace the Facilities department with the Visitor Services and Facility Rentals departments by wearing many hats and acting as onsite manager in the evenings and on the weekends. A Jack or Jill of all trades who can do some physical labor (tool work, climb ladders, water plants), has excellent customer service (interacting with visitors and event rentals) and is computer savvy (data entry and creating manuals). Someone who has a can-do attitude, will anticipate the needs of others while fostering relationships with co-workers and contractors, and will be committed to the Burke and the direction we are heading. For more information or if interested in applying, you can find the job description and apply through the UW Jobs website by Friday, September 19th.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

June 3, 2014

Kirsten Hower reviews Rick Gekoski's book "Lost, Stolen or Shredded: Stories of Missing Works of Art and Literature" in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Rare book dealer Rick Gekoski's published his book on loss in art and literature with Profile Books in 2013. Kirsten Hower, ARCA's Social Networking Correspondent and List-Serve Manager, begins her review:
It starts with the theft of a mysterious smile and ends with the unbuilt architectural wonders of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Rick Gekoski, a rare book dealer and writer, brings together the worlds of art and literature to explore their hidden pasts. Often kept separate when discussing the arts—the exception being illuminated manuscripts—in his book Gekoski groups them together in considering their dark and hidden pasts. There is, understandably, a bias towards literature in the text, but not enough to detract from the tales concerned with works of art. 
“I am anxious about the destruction of the historical record. We live, understand and accumulate a sense of ourselves as a culture through the preservation of the pieces of paper that record what we truly are, and have been.” (p 120) 
Rather than taking a purely academic and stiff approach to recounting the tales of his chosen works of both art and literature, Gekoski instead takes the more passionate and narrative approach of a storyteller chronicling his favourite stories. In this way, Gekoski’s book acts more like an anthology of crime stories rather than a diatribe concerning art crime. The story of each work of art and literature, ranging from the nearly infamous theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa by Vincenzo Perugia in 1911 to the almost non-existent poem Et Tu, Healy by a very young James Joyce, is told with the detail, suspense, and passion of a novel. Gekoski’s attention to detail and ability to bring each tale to life makes his book an easy and enjoyable read for readers with or without a background in art or literary crime. 
An additional intrigue to this book is Gekoski’s ability to look at the loss of literary works from the perspective of a book lover who is saddened by the cultural loss as well as the rare book dealer who can see the monetary loss of each work. This intriguing dual perspective adds an interesting twist to narratives that could have instead been dripping in patronizing rhetoric; instead, Gekoski’s narration brings both a practical and intimate nature to the tales he recounts. Each of the crimes he recounts carry both of these tones and draw the reader further into the tale.
You may continue reading this review in The Journal of Art Crime by either subscribing through ARCA's website or ordering it through

May 13, 2014

ARCA Alum ('13) Gerald Fitzgerald publishes opinion piece in Art Papers on art market due diligence concerning provenance and the public record

ARCA Alum '13 and trial lawyer Gerald Fitzgerald published an opinion piece, "Give Us CPR" (May/June issue, 2014) in Art Papers (here's the first two paragraphs, you can read the rest of the text online):
A call for art market due diligence, concerning provenance and the public record. 
Provenance is the origin and history of ownership of a painting or object, and it is essential to determining the object's authenticity, monetary value, and secure title. Although reveling in sales boosted both by new market interest and freshly minted dotcom billionaires, the international art and antiquities market will soon stumble badly unless it embraces new technologies to centralize and to radically increase the scope, quality, and authority of provenance research.
The art market currently generates about $60 billion annually. It does so without meaningful regulation and is myopic in the intelligent use of contemporary tools. It functions almost precisely as it did in the early 19th century. Trust still governs in an increasingly untrustworthy environment. As a result this market is rife with forgery, fakery, looting, and sales of stolen objects, all accompanied by a morass of litigation. The way out of this quagmire lies not with increased legal action but in sewing shut the gaping holes in provenance research that permit such chicanery. The creation of a nonprofit Center for Provenance Research (CPR), funded by a small levy on market sales, is sorely needed to vet the legitimacy of what is traded. The greatest deterrent to fraud on the market is a decreasing ability to get away with it.

July 23, 2013

Work of textile conservator Julia Brennan (ARCA '09) featured in new book on "The Turkish Ambassador's Residence and the Cultural History of Washington, D.C."

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The work of textile conservator Julia Brennan (ARCA '09) is one of the many features in the recently published book by Istanbul Kültür University, The Turkish Ambassador's Residence and the Cultural History of Washington, D.C., authored by Skip Moskey, Caroline Mesrobian Hickman, and John Edward Hasse.

Here are link's to Ms. Brennan's posts in 2011 on the Everett's House Ottoman-style wall fabrics in the ballroom and the project to conserve them.

The residence of the Turkish Ambassador in the American capital is a early 20th century mansion (1910-1915) buildt by Ohio-industrialist Edward Hamlin Everett (1851-1929) and designed by George Oakley Totten, Jr. The Turkish government purchased the home during the Great Depression and undertook a restoration of the residence between 2001 and 2007 under the direction of interior designer Aniko Gaal Schott and architect Belinda Reeder.

Mr. Skip Moskey writes on the 'intersection of politics, architecture, and social structure in the early history of Washington' and used primary research materials to write about Edward Hamlin Everett. Ms. Caroline Hickman wrote about the architect Totten and the interior decoration of the house using diplomatic records in the national Archives. John Edward Hasse documents the musical history of the residence, once the childhood home of the co-founder of Atlantic Records:
An important chapter in the history of the house was the decade between 1934 and 1944, when the sons of Ambassador and Mrs. Mehmet Münir Ertegün, Ahmet and Nesuhi, brought noted African-American musicians home for jazz sessions in the Embassy. There they broke racial barriers and enriched Washington's music scene through their passion for African-American music.
Ms. Brennan worked on the cleaning and conservation of the embroidered and appliqué silk architectural textiles that decorate the upper sections of the ballroom walls, as she describes here:
an extraordinary complex technique of appliqué of silk sateen cutouts (think matisse) on top of contrasting silk sateen ground, with each motif outlined with a cording that was stitched and glued on. The pattern, an architectural niche containing a tall bulbous 'vase' shape, alternates the red and gold silk, so the eye moves along as if following a series of decorative windows.
YouTube has a series of videos on the book launching at the Turkish residence in early July, including a discussion by Ms. Caroline Mesrobian Hickman.  

May 17, 2013

Padma Kaimal, author of "Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis" traveled to museums to study the legacy from a lost temple in South India

Kait Murphy (ARCA '11) in front of 10th
Kanchipuram yogini
at the Sackler Galleries of Art in
Washington D.C. 
Kait Murphy (ARCA 2011) interviews Padma Kaimal, the Author of “Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis” which examines the cultural history, theft, and reunion of South Indian temple sculptures.

What happens to sacred objects lost over the centuries? What stories can they tell? Does their meaning change? Padma Kaimal, professor of art and art history and Asian studies at Colgate University, dreams of reuniting 10th century goddesses from a temple in South India. She chronicles the journey of these objects and their collective meaning.  Their creation, dispersal, theft, sale, and museum acquisitions paint a colorful history that has been pieced together to explore how and why objects travel around the globe.

In Kaimal's new book, "Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis," we can look at the storied past of most (but not all) goddesses that once graced a now-lost temple in Kanchipuram, India.

Through Kaimal’s outreach to museums and scholars around the world, 19 sculptures re-emerged from the original 64 in museums and private collections planting the beginnings of a reunion and telling the tale of their travels, theft, sale, and current locations.

Some highlights from an interview with Padma Kaimal:
KM: How did you get involved in this project? 
PK: I became involved while looking at another 8th century monument in the same region and noticed the goddesses were really important.  Starting in 2003, I emailed museums and a bunch responded and invited me to look at their files. They would email scans of their images and I started diagramming and mapping where they all were. 
KM:  What is the history of the statues? 
PK: The only information to go on for dating them is from their style and comparison to carved objects in northern Tamilnadu in the first 3 quarters of the 10th c.  Sometime between the 10th c -19th c, the temple was broken into and each of the goddesses was damaged to some degree with features hacked off like their noses and hands.  Evidence from other research shows that all other religions were afraid of this sect of Hindu tantric goddesses.  This was a secret sect so most people viewing seductive powerful women were frightened and didn’t understand their message. 
At some point in the early 20th century, seven goddess sculptures were salvaged and reassembled into a new temple.  In 1926, a poor laborer reported to a French archeologist about interesting objects he found.  This archeologist sent photos and descriptions to an art dealer back in Paris, which traced the objects directly from India to France. 
Back in Paris, France, C.T. Loo was the single most important art dealer with access to Asian art. His markets were Europe and the United States.  He had high standards for the works he acquired. He re-educated museums on what they needed to be buying in terms of high art.  He got the museums on board and changed the collections.  His goal was about the art preservation and education in addition to being a profitable businessman.  Loo was behind the French archaeologist’s research in India and he paid his travel and room and board to find art.  Also perhaps involved in the acquisition of these objects was the British director of the Madras Government museum.  He was probably aware of the extraction and was able to retain two of the objects so that they would stay in Madras (now Chennai), India.  In 1926, Loo began to sell the objects to various collectors and museums with the last one sold in 1960. 
With the dispersal of the objects, the book exposes fragments along the path and helps   connect the vectors to figure out where the objects were and ended up.  There are still two goddesses that haven’t been found and it is thought that they are in private hands somewhere.  Further research will help continue the chase.  There is theft and rescue in this story but there is no separation between the good and bad guys.  The same people were acting with motives we admire as well as those we deplore. The goddesses will always be somewhere else, even if they are some day repatriated to India.  All trace of their original home has been lost. 
KM: What is the status of the project?
PK: I am continuing to travel around to the different museums I went to for the research where the statues are located. Now some of these museums want me to return to share with their communities the stories of these objects on permanent display. But they are displayed by themselves and have lost their context. 
One of my current projects is to go to each museum and re-contextualize the objects for curators and communities and those who support their museums.  I want them to be on board and know they have amazing objects.  Since government funding is disappearing and museums rely more on local buy in, that education is important. 
Some places identify the museums as the bad guys in cultural property theft appropriation, which is an unfortunate tendency of the blame game.  Museums are the last stop and we have to think about the whole chain of transport and extraction as well as the museums themselves. How do we support the museum’s responsibility and their response to the histories? We need to support them so they take care of the objects.  We also need to convince them to tell the journey of objects in the display.  Adding photographs and describing the long road of their history are important factors in leading to a reunion. 
KM: What's next?
PK: I will continue to speak to museums as long as they want me and I would be happy to help to broker some trades to begin to reunite the objects.  Each museum has one or a few object from various sites.  It may be possible to facilitate some switches to reassemble the goddesses in an historical recreation.  When you see these goddesses with each other, it is very exciting and they mean something different together than apart.  They are variations on a theme and share the same basic physical format but with different objects in hand, seated on platforms, different hair and eyes.  When the pattern emerges, it makes clear that visualizing Shakti, feminine force/power, was the part of the intent of the artists. 
The Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art in Washington DC, have put together an exhibition on yoga as a tantric practice which will open this October 2013. Kaimal is a consultant on which sculptures might join the Sackler Gallery’s Kanchipuram yogini. The exhibition will be open October 19, 2013 through January 26, 2014. 
Details on the exhibit can be found:

April 23, 2013

Leila Amineddoleh Begins First Month as Executive Director for the Lawyer's Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Leila Amineddoleh (Cappadocia)
Leila Amineddoleh (ARCA Alum '10) is the new Executive Director for the Lawyer's Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation as of April 1.

Ms. Amineddoleh is of counsel at Lombard & Geliebter LLP and Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law. In addition, Leila has been a frequent contributor to the ARCA Blog and a presenter at ARCA's Art Crime Conference. Leila, a pianist, also created "Classical Twist" with ARCA classmate and violinist Daniella Fischetti.

What will you be looking forward to this year in your role as Executive Director?
I am so excited about this position because the LCCHP is a great organization. The committee is in the midst of planning an exciting conference in NYC (tentatively planned for Nov 1-2,2013); submitting a written statement and testifying in support of the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between China and the US; continuing our call for the return of the ancient golden table at issue in In Re: Riven Flamenbaum; supporting the work of the Cambodian and US governments in repatriating a looted statue from Cambodia; and various other advocacy projects that are in the works.
Will we be seeing you in Amelia and are you presenting?
Unfortunately I will not be at the 2013 ARCA conference, but I will be spending time in Italy as I'll be teaching Art & Cultural Heritage Law in Rome for St. John's School of Law's summer program. What other upcoming conferences or panels will you be attending? Earlier this month I moderated a panel at Fordham Law School entitled "Defining Cultural Ownership: Shifting Focus, Shifting Norms..." It was well-attended and absolutely fascinating, as we had a fantastic line-up of speakers. My time in Italy this summer will also be busy with events, as my course includes tours around Rome, a field trip to the Roman Forum (led by an archaeologist), and various other events. I haven't committed to any other major events scheduled for after my time in Rome, due to the demands of my litigation practice. However, things in NY generally start getting hectic again in the fall.

March 7, 2013

Wall Street Journal article highlights work of textile conservator Julia Brennan (ARCA Alum 2009)

An article in The Wall Street Journal by freelance writer Joanne Lee-Young, "A Guardian of Rare, Exotic Fabrics", highlights the work of textile conservator Julia Brennan who attended ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection in 2009.

Ms. Brennan's professional highlights include conservation work on Abraham Lincoln's coat, Babe Ruth's kimono; a 19th century Thai robe gifted by the King of Siam to the only foreign naval officer charged with leading the Royal Thai Navy; and teaching textile conservation techniques to monks in Bhutan. 

August 10, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012 - No comments

Newly created list-serv for ARCA alum

Amelia, Umbria
by Kirsten Hower, Academic Program Assistant

We at ARCA are pleased to announce the launch of our newly created list-serv. This group will serve as an outlet of information for current ARCA students and alumni, as well as anyone interested in keeping up with ARCA. It has been created at a rather busy part of the year for us here at ARCA—as the summer certificate comes to a close and we sadly say goodbye to Amelia until next year—but our hope is that this list will serve to communicate interesting projects that we are undertaking, potential conferences and job announcements in the field, as well as a way for current students and alumni to keep in touch with ARCA and each other.

If you are interested in joining our list-serv, please follow this link:!forum/saveart.

May 4, 2011

Wednesday, May 04, 2011 - ,, No comments

ARCA 2010 Alum Leila Amineddoleh Establishes the Art Law Group at Lysaght, Lysaght & Ertel in New York

Leila Amineddoleh inside a church in Cappadocia
This year ARCA 2010 Alum Leila Amineddoleh founded the Art Law Group at Lysaght, Lysaght & Ertel in New York. The group specializes in visual art and intellectual property. The acquisition and ownership of artwork involves many complex transactions, Ms. Amineddoleh told the ARCA Blog.
“The Art Law Group at Lysaght, Lysaght & Ertel counsels clients on all legal issues related to the acquisition, retention, and disposition of fine art, and rights to works of artistic creation. The firm handles litigation, alternate dispute resolution, and transactions that concern works of art, the art market, and the art world. It assists clients with the purchase, consignment, sale, and auction of art, organizing and implementing major exhibitions, structuring business agreements, drafting contracts, complying with customs procedures, recovering stolen work for collectors and insurance companies, and advising clients on criminal matters.”
The partners at Lysaght, Lysaght & Ertel approached Leila about joining the firm after she had returned from her studies with ARCA.
“The members of the firm have had great success in both litigation and transactional work, including recovering large monetary judgments in complex litigations. In addition, the founding partners of the firm are avid art collectors and involved in the art markets in both New York City and Chicago.”
ARCA Blog: What has been the most challenging part of forming a new practice group at a law firm?
Leila: The most difficult task is marketing the group. There are a few very well-known law firms in the US that have wonderful art law groups, and naturally clients turn to those firms first. Being the new kid in town is challenging, but we’re hoping that members of the art community will begin to recognize LLE as one of New York’s top art law firms.
ARCA Blog: What advantages does a smaller firm like LLE offer?
Leila: Because we’re a smaller firm, we have lower operating expenses, meaning that we’re able to charge less for our services. Clients will be able to get high-level work, but for lower prices.
ARCA Blog: How does an art law group function?
Leila: Basically, the same as any other group. Clients call us with questions about their legal situations, ranging from negotiating contracts between galleries and artists, litigating for the sale of paintings, filing trademarks, or dealing with criminal investigations regarding provenance. Clients can be very emotional about their legal issues, and it’s our job to analyze their situations rationally to find the best solution for each unique situation. We do our best to use legal tools to properly advise our clients and protect their interests.
ARCA Blog: Are your clients concerned about the provenance of their artworks? Are you ever asked to substantiate the ownership of an object or painting against claims of theft?
Leila: Clients are concerned about the provenance of their objects. Collectors are beginning to realize that provenance is extremely important. If they do not complete their due diligence of provenance research, they could have much bigger and more costly problems later down the line. In order to substantiate ownership, LLE works with provenance researchers in the US and Europe.
ARCA Blog: Do you see any issues regarding Holocaust-era art restitution?
Leila: I haven’t yet worked on any Holocaust-era art restitution cases, but it’s an area that I’m deeply interested in, and I would love to work on a matter related to World War II looted art.
ARCA Blog: Would you advise clients to document the history of ownership of their objects?
Leila: Certainly, it’s very necessary, and it’s a rule that I follow myself. As an art collector, I always research a piece’s history, and I keep dated receipts and information about where I purchased an object. It is necessary for clients to research the history of an artwork. If there isn’t a history attached to the piece, then purchasers should keep all current records: receipts, information about the seller of the object (whether it be a business card or name of the seller), etc.
ARCA Blog: In negotiation contracts between galleries and artists, what are some of the main concerns that have to be addressed?
Leila: As you can imagine, the artists are most concerned with their art. They need to be guaranteed that their art will be safe and protected against theft, fire, and damage. In addition, they need to be ensured that they will have unsold items returned and that they will receive proper credit for their work. And artists need to feel comfortable with their agents and galleries—they must know that these individuals respect their art and their craft.

On the other hand, gallery owners are most concerned about having products delivered to them. Artists have the reputation of being unreliable, and gallery owners need contracts that specifically set out dates and deadlines to ensure that artists deliver their works safely and securely with enough time for the galleries to properly organize shows.
To read more about LLE, you may visit their website:

March 11, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011 - ,, No comments

ARCA Alum Profile: Catching up with Emily Blyze, Class of 2009

Emily Blyze, ARCA Class 2009
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, Editor

Emily Blyze graduated from ARCA’s Master’s Program in Art Crime Studies in 2009. She completed her undergraduate work at Indiana University with an Art History major and a Communications and Business minor. After college, she worked for the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the Development department where she worked towards securing gifts for the Membership and Annual Fund programs. Currently, she works at The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She manages all aspects of the Center’s Endowment Campaign including working with and managing key volunteers, execution of prospective donor strategies including interacting with high end donors, and developing proposals for philanthropic support.

We caught up with her recently to ask about her professional experience in fundraising and development. Although her job is not directly involved in studying art crime, she has been informally advising ARCA on seeking donors and supports to assist in spreading the word about art crime.
ARCA blog:     Emily, you were an art historian and a museum employee when you entered the Art Crime Studies program.  How much did you know about art crime when you began the program and did your perspective change?
Ms. Blyze: As an Art Historian, the saying "to the victor go the spoils", was always a caveat. But honestly, I had never thought of art crime in the context of a “crime” before the program. I took away a very different perspective of the actual repercussions of an art crime and its effects on those harmed. Art is a reflection of one’s culture - socially, politically, economically - and the fact that when a work is stolen, so is ones sense of who they are and what they represent. 
ARCA blog: I entered the ARCA program with an interest in museum theft then learned a lot about stolen antiquities, but left the program skeptical about the value of the secondary art market. Did you have the same concerns?

Ms. Blyze: Yes, I think that when dealing with the secondary market, the best way to approach it is "buyer be aware". Not all works are stolen, but as a buyer, you are at risk for enabling black market antiquities to continue to prosper if not taken with caution.

ARCA blog: How can a buyer know that the Raphael up for sale is really a Raphael? Or that it will still be one in 30 years and not just another painting by his master, Perugino? 
Ms. Blyze: As a responsible buyer, make sure the work you are buying has proper documentation and is purchased from a legit dealer and or an auction house. Involving a third party to do due diligence on the work is another action step to curb improper trafficking of stolen goods. 
With a high level name such as Raphael, ownership history or provenance should typically accompany the work. As a well-known and respected artist, Raphael had financially strong benefactors that would allow his work to be properly documented. That might help ease your conscience knowing that the work is truly by Raphael and not by the hand of his teacher, Perugino. However, over time there could be an important discovery depicting otherwise and you now become the proud owner of a Perugino. To me, that is still fantastic. 
ARCA blog: You work in the development end of nonprofit fundraising. What do you think organizations like ARCA can do to raise money to support research into crimes against art? 
Ms. Blyze: The concept of raising money can be a daunting and very overwhelming task. A great place to start is to create a money plan. Writing down financially realistic goals can help drive resources, such as time, staff, volunteers, etc. in the right direction. I am going to stick with Individual support at this time. To create this plan of attack, write down who your players are – identify your network. Code these individuals as either a prospective donor, volunteer, or link (someone to connect you to your prospective donor). From there, you will naturally start to form a pipeline. This pipeline will be a visual reference of who you can engage and cultivate for securing impactful, organizational changing gifts. 
There are plenty of other ways to raise money and I will use ARCA as an example. They have already taken several significant steps in securing gifts by establishing membership dues, tuition costs for the academic program, and honorariums for lectures. 
Ultimately, an organization needs to seek out others that have the same passion, cause and story to share as the institution and support will follow through financial and personal involvement.
Emily’s thesis, “Nazi-Era Provenance Research: Moral Responsibility has Established a Common Practice”, covered the conventions and policies that American museums have tried to adopt and institute in identifying Nazi-looted art and subsequent restitution. The ARCA blog will publish an article by Ms. Blyze on this topic this weekend.

November 3, 2010

ARCA Alum to speak at Sotheby's Institute of Art

Leila Amineddoleh, Class of 2010 in ARCA's postgraduate program, is presenting a 1-hour overview about art law on Thursday, November 4th, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Sotheby's Institute of Art (570 Lexington Ave.) The event is held by the New York State Bar Association's Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law Section. Further information may be accessed at: