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The Legal Guide for Museum Professionals

Edited by Julia Courtney

Museums are multifaceted institutions that reach across all disciplines and encounter a complex range of legal questions. Experts in museum and art law join forces in this essay-format volume. These unique, nonprofit cultural organizations face a myriad of legal concerns as they launch into the twenty-first century and will continue to require specific guidance. From intellectual property law to navigating waters of social media, de-accessioning concerns to governance law, copyright, and rights and reproduction questions to issues of public domain and public trust, The Legal Guide for Museum Professionals seeks to provide answers and courses of action for museums of all disciplines. This book will assist professionals in determining when to seek professional legal counsel and when to educate themselves and proceed on their own.

The book was inspired by a panel of experts who have presented at numerous regional and national conferences for museum professionals are especially practiced at providing insight into current legal concerns, including: Gil Whittemore Esq. of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C. and former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Museum Law Committee; Katherine E. Lewis Esq. Chair of the American Bar Association’s Museum Law Committee and practicing New York attorney; Mark S. Gold Esq. practicing attorney in Williamstown, MA with the firm of Parese, Sabin, Smith & Gold LLP who has written and edited extensively on all aspects of museum and art law. All three contributed to this volume.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 316Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-3041-5 • Hardback • March 2015 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-3042-2 • Paperback • March 2015 • $37.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-3043-9 • eBook • March 2015 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
Julia Courtney has more than twenty years of experience in the museum field, first as a museum educator and more recently as Curator of Art for the Springfield Museums in Massachusetts. Courtney became interested in museum law through Harvard University’s Museum Studies Program and served as moderator for several professional conference sessions on legal issues for museums. She has also published articles on art history and art-related topics.

Part 1: Collections and Exhibits

Chapter 1: Found in Collections: Museum Property Statutes to Resolve Abandoned Property Issues in Museums
Gilbert Whittemore, Phd. Esq.

Chapter 2: Stolen Cultural Property: A Risk Management Primer
David L. Hall and Ivana D. Greco

Chapter 3: Museums and Museum Curators: Caught in the Cross-Hairs
Of Authenticity Disputes
Ronald D. Spencer and Judith Wallace

Chapter 4: Nazi-Looted Art—Risks and Best Practices for Museums
Nicholas M. O’Donnell

Chapter 5: A Brief Guide to Provenance Research
Dr. Sharon Flescher

Chapter 6: A Native American Graves Protection Act (NAGPRA) Case Study
Dr. Ellen Savulis

Chapter 7: Road Trip: Reviewing and Creating Contracts for Traveling Exhibits
Julia Hollett Courtney

Chapter 8: Managing Historic Firearms in Museum Collections
Alex MacKenzie and David Arnold

Part 2: Museum Government and Finance

Chapter 9: Monetizing the Collection: The Intersection of Law, Ethics and Trustees Prerogative
Mark S. Gold

Chapter 10: Keeping Deaccessioned Objects in the Public Domain:
Legal and Practical Issues
Stefanie S. Jandl and Mark S. Gold

Chapter 11: There’s No Such Thing as Public Trust, And It’s a Good Thing, Too
Donn Zaretsky

Chapter 12: Endowments and Restricted Gifts: Accessible or “Hands Off ?”
Anita Lichtblau Esq.

Chapter 13: The Fresno METropolitan Museum Story:
Assignment for Benefit of Creditors
Riley Walter

Chapter 14: The Higgins Armory and Worcester Art Museum Integration:
A Case Study in Combining and Transforming Mature Cultural Institutions
James C. Donnelly, Jr. and Catherine M. Colinvaux

Part 3: Museum Operations

Chapter 15: Employee and Independent Contractor Issues in the Museum Context
Ethan S. Klepetar, Esq.

Chapter 16: To Train or Not to Train, Is that a Question?
The Training of Security Officers in Museums
R. Michael Kirchner, CPP

Part 4: Digital Technology and Social Media in Museums

Chapter 17: Social Media: Use Responsibly
Katherine E. Lewis

Chapter 18: Digital and Information Technology at the Museum
Katherine E. Lewis

Chapter 19: Crowdfunding for Museums
Alyssa L. Reiner, Esq.

Chapter 20: Rights and Reproduction: The Rapidly Changing Landscape
Julia Courtney and Katherine E. Lewis

About the Contributors and Editor
This collection of 20 essays is divided into four sections: Collections and Exhibits, Government and Finance, Operations, and Digital Technology and Social Media, all within a legal framework. The authors, mostly attorneys with backgrounds in the art and museum world, explore diverse topics, among them the status of deaccessioned items, legal aspects of traveling exhibits, security staff, endowments, and provenance research. One chapter examines the laws surrounding museum ownership of firearms. Topics are as current as the legal complications related to a museum’s presence on social media. The target audience is somewhat focused: museum employees in particular. However, students and faculty in programs of museum studies will also find the information in this volume (and others recently issued by this publisher, such as The Manual of Museum Learning) of considerable use. Libraries serving these populations should consider this volume.
American Reference Books Annual

This collection is a much-needed resource for those seeking materials on legal issues written for practicing museum professionals, not attorneys or legal scholars. I am delighted to contribute to a work which will be useful to me as a teacher of museum studies and to others as a reference.
Gilbert Whittemore, Instructor, "Museums and the Law", Museums Studies Program, Harvard University Extension School, and Past Chair, Section of Science & Technology Law, American Bar Association

At last we have a practical and accessible resource to understand current and critical issues at the intersection of law and museums today, authored by thought leaders in the field.
Van Shields, Executive Director, Berkshire Museum