ArtWatch International is a non-profit 501(c)3 incorporated in the state of New York in 1992 as an international advocate for the voice of art in the conservation and stewardship of historically significant works. It was founded by Columbia University art historian Professor James Beck to serve as a watchdog organization in the arena of cultural policy, protecting works of art and the public interest from vested private and institutional interests. We operate on a project by project basis, establishing task forces to determine the levels and methods of engagement in specific conservation, restoration and cultural policy issues and problems. Some problems have been addressed through scholarly work and publications, other through advisory and consulting arrangements, still others by symposia, debate, lecture forums, and intensive work with the media.

Master Plan? Or Master Disaster? The Nation’s Arts Community Reacts to the Berkshire Museum’s Plan to Sell 40 Works.

Albert Bierstadt Giant Redwood Trees of California

Ruth Osborne The argument for museums and cultural institutions established by generations past to be more relevant to the needs of communities has been going on for years. It appears when museums find themselves without the resources to keep the lights on or repair major structural damages to their historic buildings. When philanthropy and funding […]

UPDATE: Mucha’s “Slav Epic” in Transit

2017-02-13 Mucha Slav Epic Installation 2011

Readers – An update on our post of February 2017 – Mucha’s “Slav Epic” On Tour –  is in order, as the works by now have opened in exhibition in Tokyo, and the risks inherent in their travel will be made evident soon.  Patrick Connors, a painter with 35 years of extensive professional practice, has written to ArtWatch, […]

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Review: Center for Art Law Event “F for Fake”

2017-04-28 de Soles Knoedler Trial

Ruth Osborne Last week, the Center for Art Law hosted an event at the Brooklyn Law School regarding the (unfortunately) highly relevant topic of fakes and forgeries on the art market. Irina Tarsis, Esq., Founder and Director of the organization, introduced Orson Welles’s 1973 film “F for Fake” to begin a discussion on the various […]

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: Rodin’s Fragile “L’Absolution” Treated for Display & Travel?

2017-04-11 Conservator Rodin Absolution

Ruth Osborne The Art Newspaper reported last month on an extremely fragile piece by sculptor Auguste Rodin, held in the collection of the Musée Rodin in Paris, that is now to go on exhibition and on the road. The work, titled “L’Absolution”, was created from plaster and cloth by Rodin, approximately around 1900. Its complicated construction consists of over […]

Mucha’s “Slav Epic” On Tour: What Story Will the Canvases Tell after Two Years of Traveling?

2017-02-13 Mucha Slav Epic Veletrzni Palac Prague

Ruth Osborne In one month, an exhibition of turn-of-the-century Czech artist Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic (1910-1926) will open to the public at the National Art Center in Tokyo. The artist’s grandson, John Mucha, has been fighting this action for the past several months.  The contracts have been signed, the decision gone to court, and the massive works will now likely be flown from their […]