Welcome to the second issue of Canvas, a newsletter dedicated to the art world and its intersections with law, finance, technology, and culture. If you are new here, like what you see and want to keep receiving this newsletter in the future, make sure to subscribe here.

As we enter a new year, artists and scholars are reckoning not only with shifting prospects for the future, but with issues of the past. Technology brings ambiguity, wielding the power to endlessly preserve or destroy art as we know it. Meanwhile, as ownership of cultural heritage becomes a prominent issue, museums are questioning their custody of antiquities. These issues are at the forefront of the conversation surrounding art law.

Delia Violante
Berkeley Center for Law and Business
Serge Gay Jr. - And when it grows, 2011 - Acrylic on canvas
Berkeley Law Professor Sonia Katyal on Technoheritage

In an era where art and cultural heritage are increasingly accessed through electronic media even inside museums, Professor Sonia Katyal's 2017 article Technoheritage is more relevant than ever. She argues that new forms of technology -- virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing -- offer the power to preserve and protect ancient artifacts. At the same time they invite legal conflicts particularly around cultural identity and copyright law. These forms of new technologies, Katyal argues, also offer new possibilities for museums and accessibility by rethinking the way we view legal protections for cultural heritage. Read More>
US and EU Regulation on Fractionalized NFTs – Navigating Uncharted Waters

There is yet another investment trend stirring up the art scene: Fractionalized NFTs. Eagerly discussed, not only by investors, but also by regulators in the US and the EU, fractionalized NFTs promise profit opportunities in the upscale market segment for high-priced NFTs. Antonia von Appen's working paper provides an overview of the technological and regulatory relevance of this token type which poses new challenges under securities laws. Read More>
Art at the Center of a Collision Between Academic Freedom and Religion

The New York Times recently reported on a controversial academic episode. During her class, an Art History professor showed a 14th-century masterpiece depicting Islam's Founder. She was fired. "Diversity involves bringing contradicting, uncomfortable and coexisting truths into conversation with each other,” said the professor. Read More>
Record Art Auction of $1.5 Billion

Christie’s in New York City closed out 2022 with a record art auction, collecting $1.5 billion in a single evening for Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection, featuring works belonging to the estate of the co-founder of Microsoft. Read More>
Vatican Museums to Return Three Parthenon Marble Fragments to Greece

The Vatican Museums announced the return to Greece -- after two centuries -- of three fragments of the Parthenon. Will this "donation," as Pope Francis termed it, inspire the British Museum to do the same? Read More>
Forgery on Display

With Vermeer's Secrets, Washington DC's National Gallery of Art (NGA) put on display a sticky subject in the art world: forgeries. As an exercise in comparison, NGA brilliantly turned the exhibition into a unique learning opportunity by demonstrating what a forgery looks like and why forensics are important. Read More>
Miyazaki on AI-Generated Art

According to titan of Japanese animation Hayao Miyazaki, AI is an insult to life. He added that we are nearing the end of time and that humans have lost faith in themselves. Read More>
Meet the Artist: Serge Gay Jr.

Serge Gay Jr. is a Haitian-American visual artist and creative designer based in San Francisco, California. His skill and experience have grown to span graphic design, art direction, gallery exhibitions, event art, and murals throughout the city. His work speaks with a voice that is crisp and clear, melding the challenges of our time, the culture of his homeland, and his unique life experiences. His aesthetic incorporates the vibrancy of New York, the exuberance of Miami, the grit of Detroit, and the freedom of San Francisco. Read More>
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