Relates to the authenticity, attribution and authorship of fine works of art; defines the term authenticator and stipulates that in a civil action regarding authenticity, the claimant must specify with particularity the facts and prove the elements by clear and convincing evidence; entitles the authenticator to recover reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses if he/she prevails.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9016
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in
relation to opinions concerning authenticity, attribution and authorship
of works of fine art
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To enhance protections under the law for individuals who are employed as
art authenticator in the visual arts community
Section one adds a new subdivision 2-a to section 13.01 of the arts and
cultural affairs law.
Section two adds a new section 13.04 to the arts and cultural affairs
Section three sets forth the effective date.
In general, artwork is authenticated by a trained person through
documentation, stylistic inquiry, and/or scientific verification. No one
method is perfect as oftentimes authenticity is difficult to determine.
While each authentication method has its own drawbacks, the role of
authenticators as drivers of the art market cannot be overstated. Art
authenticators reduce the risk of counterfeits and imitations flooding
the art market that could potentially devalue the work of millions of
In recent years, the work of authenticators has come under pressure from
meritless lawsuits against those who render opinions in good faith. Such
defense of expensive and frivolous lawsuits have left many in the indus-
try reluctant to lend their expertise in authenticating art works.
This bill would clarify the role of art authenticators to ensure that
those who practice their profession, in good faith, would be afforded
protections under the law to ensure that only valid, verifiable claims
against authenticators are allowed to proceed in civil court.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT:
This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law and shall apply to all opinions as to the authenticity,
attribution. or authorship of a work of fine art provided to someone
other than the authenticator after such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK
March 6, 2014
Introduced by M. of A. ROSENTHAL -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development
AN ACT to amend the arts and cultural affairs law, in relation to opin-
ions concerning authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The arts and cultural affairs law is amended by adding a
2 new section 13.04 to read as follows:
3 § 13.04. Opinions as to the authenticity, attribution or authorship of
4 works of fine art. 1. In any civil action brought against an authentica-
5 tor that arises from or relates to the authenticator's opinion or infor-
6 mation concerning a work of fine art, the claimant shall:
7 (a) specify with particularity in the complaint facts sufficient to
8 support each element of the claim or claims asserted; and
9 (b) prove the elements of such claim or claims by clear and convincing
11 2. In any action described in subdivision one of this section, the
12 authenticator shall be entitled to recover his, her or its reasonable
13 attorneys' fees, costs and expenses if and to the extent that the
14 authenticator prevails in such action.
15 3. "Authenticator" as used in this section shall mean, subject to the
16 limitations in the final sentence of this paragraph, a person or entity
17 recognized in the visual arts community as having expertise regarding
18 the artist or work of fine art with respect to whom such person or enti-
19 ty renders an opinion in good faith as to the authenticity, attribution
20 or authorship of a work of fine art, or a person or entity recognized in
21 the visual arts or scientific community as having expertise in uncover-
22 ing facts that serve as a direct basis, in whole or in part, for an
23 opinion as to the authenticity, attribution or authorship of a work of
24 fine art. "Authenticator" shall include, but not be limited to, authors
25 of catalogues raisonne or other scholarly texts in which an opinion as
26 to the authenticity, attribution or authorship of a work of art is
27 expressed or implied. "Authenticator" shall not include a person or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 9016 2
1 entity that has a financial interest in the work of fine art for which
2 such opinion is rendered or in any transaction concerning such work of
3 fine art for which the opinion is rendered, other than to be compensated
4 for services such person or entity engaged in to provide an opinion as
5 to the authenticity, attribution or authorship of such work of fine art
6 or to provide information on which such an opinion is based in whole or
7 in part.
8 § 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
9 have become a law and shall apply to all opinions as to the authentici-
10 ty, attribution or authorship of a work of fine art provided to someone
11 other than the authenticator after such effective date.