The Artist’s Resale Right
Presentations & Discussion
Artists Space Books & Talks
Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 7pm
In light of recent action at the congressional level concerning artists’ resale rights, this event will provide a public forum for discussion around the proposed legislation of secondary market art sales in the US, and will locate these developments in relation to historical and international precedents and alternative models.
In 2014 and 2015 Congressman Jerrold Nadler (Democrat, 10th District of New York) introduced into congress theAmerican Royalties Too Act, or ART Act, which would grant visual artists a resale right enabling them to collect a percentage of any works re-sold for a profit at public auctions over a value of $5000. While there have been many previous unsuccessful attempts to pass such legislation in the US, this current bill brings with it indications of a potentially different outcome: the Copyright Office recommended in a 2013 report that a federal resale royalty for visual artists should be adopted, this past May the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld portions of the California Resale Royalty Act concerning in-state sales of visual artworks, and this month the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) announced that they will discuss visual artists’ resale rights in December 2015.
In order to stimulate discussion, and to ask what artists and the broader art community might want—or not want—from such legislation, this event brings together speakers from backgrounds in art, art history, and law for a series of presentations and discussions. Dr. Theodore Feder and Janet Hicks of the Artists Rights Society will outline the ART Act and the work they have done lobbying for the bill, followed by curator and art historian Lauren van Haaften-Schick, who will provide a historical perspective concerning artists’ contracts and the legal history of art in the US. These presentations will be followed by a discussion between art dealer Maxwell Graham, artists Hans Haacke and R. H. Quaytman, and Justice Barbara Jaffe, New York Supreme Court, New York County, moderated by van Haaften-Schick.
The evening will conclude with an open floor debate, at which all present are welcome to share thoughts and experiences. Even if the 2015 congressional session does not vote on the bill, or if it fails to pass, the recurrent interest in the issue of resale rights for artists merits greater involvement and consideration of the issue from those who stand to be impacted most—artists.
This event is the first in a series organized by the recently formed W.A.G.E. Artists’ Resale Rights Working Group:
Lauren van Haaften-Schick