Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market : The Afterlife of Art book cover
1st Edition

Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market
The Afterlife of Art

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 12, 2022
ISBN 9781032028972
April 12, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
264 Pages 10 Color & 46 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book takes an interdisciplinary, transnational and cross-cultural approach to reflect on, critically examine, and challenge the surprisingly robust practice of making art after death in an artist's name, through the lenses of scholars from the fields of art history, economics and law, as well as practicing artists.

Works of art conceived as multiples, such as sculptures, etchings, prints, photographs and conceptual art, can be – and often are – remade from original models and plans long after the artist has passed. Recent sales have suggested a growing market embrace of posthumous works, contemporaneous with questioning on the part of art history. Legal norms seem unready for this surge in posthumous production and are beset by conflict across jurisdictions. Non-Western approaches to posthumous art, from Chinese emulations of non-living artists to Native American performances, take into account rituals of generational passage and emotional aspects foreign to Western ideas.

The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, the art market, art law, art management, museum studies, and economics. 

Table of Contents


Sharon Hecker and Peter J. Karol

Part One: Stage Setting

1. Posthumous Casts in the Twentieth Century: An Overview of the Wide Range of Situations

Elisabeth Lebon and Eve Turbat

2. The Challenges of Posthumous Moral Rights

Guy A. Rub

3. Posthumous Editions: Does the Market Value the Presence of the Artist?

Sharon Chrust and Amy Jebrine

Part Two: Intentions and (Mis)understandings

4. Behind the Scenes: Legitimation and Marketing Strategies of Brancusi’s Posthumous Bronze Casts

Alexandra Parigoris

5. Dead-Hand Guidance: A Preferable Testamentary Approach for Artists

Eva E. Subotnik

6. Collaborations in Absentia: An Artist’s/Founder’s View of the Posthumous Cast

Andrew Lacey

Part Three: Museum Stewardship

7. Condition Issues

Martha Buskirk

8. The Cost of Decommissioning

Peter J. Karol

9. Patterns on Maya’s Veil: The Distinction Between ‘Lifetime’ and ‘Posthumous’ Casts as Fetish

Arie Hartog

Part Four: Unruly Afterlives

10. Forged of Paper: The Busy Afterlives of Xuande Incense Burners

Bruce Rusk

11. Unique Forms & Different Versions: Cataloging Boccioni’s Sculptures

Rosalind McKever

12. Medardo Rosso’s The Emperor Vitellius: An Artist’s Posthumous Copy (of a Copy) of an (Unknown) Original

Sharon Hecker

13. AI, IP, and Artistic Legacies

Andrew Gilden and Taylor Hurwitz

14. An Economic Strategy to Exploit the Rent of Notoriety in an Emblematic Case Study: François Pompon

Nathalie Moureau and Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux

Part Five: Continuity and Community

15. Reproductions of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Vatican Pietà as Experiential Mediators

Lisa M. Rafanelli

16. Lineages and the Posthumous Lives of Chinese Paintings

Michael J. Hatch

17. Indigeneity and the Posthumous Condition

Lara M. Evans and Mique’l Dangeli

Epilogue. Personal Reflections on NFTs & the Death of Art

Brian Frye

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Sharon Hecker is an independent art historian and curator specialized in modern and contemporary Italian sculpture. Peter Karol is Professor of Law at New England Law | Boston, where he is also Director of the school’s Intellectual Property Law Certificate Program.