Court dismisses Board of Franz West Foundation

In the ongoing legal feud over the estate of the Austrian artist Franz West, the Austrian Supreme Court has dismissed the board of the Franz West Private Foundation, which currently controls the artist’s estate. The court found that the three person board paid themselves “suspicious" six figure sums in 2012.

According to Austrian daily Der Standard, the board members voted themselves onto the board of “Franz West Werknutzungs GmbH,“ a subsidiary company of the Franz West Private Foundation which received payments from the sale of West’s works.

Museums and the art trade: dangerous liaisons?

The foggy world of art dealers’ historical relationships with museums is coming into sharper relief. When the National Gallery in London acquired the archive of the dealers Thomas Agnew and Sons in 2014, it marked a growing interest in exploring this history, following the Los Angeles-based Getty Research Institute’s acquisition of the Knoedler Gallery’s archive in 2012 and the Colnaghi archive’s installation at Waddesdon Manor.

The National Gallery’s conference on 1 and 2 April, Negotiating Art: Dealers and Museums 1855-2015, will explore this relationship through the latest research, taking a broad historical sweep, fr om mid-19th-century London to fin-de-siècle Paris and 1930s Detroit. It is an opportunity, says Alan Crookham, Research Centre manager at the National Gallery, to look at a complicated relationship. “How does it manifest itself in the exchange of expertise, or helping develop collections… And are people reluctant to talk about that because of the public nature of museums?”