Hearty v. The Bonfoey Company, 1:18-cv-00015 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 3, 2018) Plaintiffs, a married couple, have filed suit against the Bonfoey Gallery, the Bonfoey Company’s president, and an art dealer in Florida that Bonfoey sold the painting at issue to. Plaintiffs stored their painting, Shades of Evening by George Inness, at their 94-year-old mother’s home, after Defendant Bonfoey failed to sell the painting under a consignment agreement. Four years later, Defendant president approached the mother,without informing Plaintiffs, and had her sign a new consignment agreement and sent the painting to Defendant art dealer in Florida. Defendant art dealer allegedly had a buyer for the painting when Plaintiffs demanded the painting’s return. Consequently, Plaintiffs brought this suit alleging replevin, conversion, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, breach of bailment, civil theft, and civil conspiracy. Plaintiffs seek to enjoin and restrain Defendants from transferring the painting to a third party, and request return of the painting, damages, attorney’s fees, and costs of this action. The Complaint is available here.
Equinox Gallery Ltd. v. Dorfman, 360 F. Supp. 3d 560 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 3, 2018). The Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver, Canada, against Fred Dorfman, famous New York art dealer facing civil charges for selling stolen work by Jasper Johns. More information here.
Berkshire Museum Lawsuits, (Mass. App. Ct. Jan. 16, 2018). After the Massachusetts Appeals Court granted a thirty-day injunction to halt the sale of forty works from the Berkshire Museum, appellate briefs have been filed on behalf of the heirs of Norman Rockwell and the Berkshire Museum trustees. Both filings contest the Superior Court’s decision to allow the sale of the Museum’s artworks to proceed and reiterate the arguments put before the trial court. As part of the ongoing saga, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has been investigating the Museums’ planned sale. The AGO recently filed a motion to extend the injunction and have further time to review the plan. On February 1, 2018, the Appeals Court granted the AGO’s motion and continued the injunction until February 5, 2018.
Native Am. Church of N. Am. v. Transp. Sec’y Admin., 5:17-cv-00108-OLG (W.D. Tex. Jan. 26, 2018). A settlement agreement (available here) was reached on January 26, 2018between the Native American Church of North America and the Department of Homeland Security, namely the Transportation Security Administration, who mishandled religious artifacts while the NACNA was traveling.