Nixon Peabody’s Arts & Cultural Institutions practice offers unmatched experience bringing successful resolutions to high-profile and high-stakes matters to the domestic and international arts and cultural community.
Employing the skillful investigatory and litigation abilities necessary to address historically sensitive claims, our attorneys have led international provenance investigations in Europe and the U.S., earning groundbreaking resolutions and acquisitions for clients. Our experience involves artworks and cultural property allegedly confiscated or lost during times of conflict, and cultural property unlawfully exported or imported from its source country into the U.S. Several of the matters we have handled have shaped the state of the law today and involved masterpieces. Where others have had to settle, Nixon Peabody’s team has an unmatched courthouse record when prosecuting or defending clients’ art related rights.
Our team is equally regarded for its transactional experience. Nixon Peabody attorneys have negotiated and enabled the acquisition or loans of major international artworks and artifacts for numerous institutions and collectors, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Art Institute of Chicago, and Yale University, among others. We have served as counsel on major museum transactions, and museum projects and financing across the United States, from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to SFMOMA and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (LANHM).
We also assist our clients with art authenticity, auction house consignments, copyright, Visual Arts Rights Act (VARA) claims, and the unique issues owning, collecting, and operating in today’s international art world.
Our Arts & Cultural Institutions team
Nixon Peabody’s Arts & Cultural Institutions team combines art-industry-savvy representation with the support of a full-service international firm. We have offices in the key arts cultural centers of New York; Los Angeles; Boston; Washington, DC; Chicago; London; Paris; and Shanghai; and our attorneys also have extensive experience working in Europe; Asia; South America; and the Middle East. Our team includes a former general counsel of a major cultural institution, and a former U.S. District and Court of Appeals law clerk. Members of the team have fostered strong connections with art world professionals across the globe. The firm has sponsored the ALI-ABA Legal Problems in Museum Administration Conference and its attorneys regularly speak and participate in international conferences.
In just the past couple of years alone, foreign sovereigns, collectors, museums, dealers, and art professional have turned to Nixon Peabody’s Arts & Cultural Institutions team to handle significant arts related litigation in federal courts across the U.S., including the United States District Courts for the districts of the Southern District of New York, the Central District of California (Los Angeles), the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), the Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans), the Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit), the Northern District of Ohio (Toledo), and the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.