1st Edition

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

Edited By Sharon Hecker, Peter J. Karol Copyright 2022
    252 Pages 10 Color & 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 10 Color & 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 10 Color & 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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 at odds with contemporary, market-driven approaches.

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


    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, Translated by Cole Swensen

    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 R. 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, Translated by Deborah Shannon

    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


    Sharon Hecker is an independent art historian and curator specializing in modern and contemporary Italian sculpture.

    Peter J. Karol is Professor of Law at New England Law | Boston, where he is also Director of the school’s Intellectual Property Law Certificate Program.