skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Art History Research Seminars Lent Term 2017

A collaboration between the Department of History of Art, Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle's Yard

Every Wednesday at 5:00pm

Lecture Room 2, Department of History of Art


Conveners: Sarah Alexis Rabinowe & Luise Scheidt

Sponsored by the University of Cambridge, Department of History of Art


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Speaker: Jilleen Nadolny (Principal Investigator, Art Analysis & Research)

Connoisseurship, Provenance and the Laboratory: Establishing Authenticity in the 21st Century Art World

While the tools of connoisseurship and provenance have long underpinned authenticity as defined in the art world, the application of scientific techniques and a scholarly knowledge of the material history of art has played an increasingly important role in the process from the beginning of the 20th century. This talk will explore the methods and protocols used by Art Analysis & Research and the industry in general, and how the provision of material analysis, imaging and interpretation through data analysis to a wide spectrum of clientele influences decision making in the art world. It will also examine the various ways that the "hard evidence" that may be obtained from material examination can be used to support authentication and attribution, as well as the limitations of such methods. Scientific investigation plays an essential role in identifying forgeries, supporting authenticity and quantifying condition. Finally, the specific use of scientific examination within the legal context will be reviewed, including both ways in which this “new" material evidence can facilitate a more secure art market and improved due diligence, supporting trust and litigation.

Speaker Biography:

Dr Jilleen Nadolny is a historian of art technology. She obtained a double MA in art conservation and art history at New York University, before completing a PhD at the Courtauld Institute, London. Subsequently, she accepted a position as Associate Professor at the University of Oslo. Since 2000, she has worked in the role of Principal Investigator at Art Analysis & Research, an international firm, based in London, that conducts material studies of paintings, employing a state of the art laboratory and imaging facilities. The services of AA&R span the art market, museum world and legal sectors. Dr Nadolny has published widely on subjects as diverse as medieval painters' guilds, the history of the application of science for the study of art, the histories of art conservation and art forgery.  


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Speaker: Edmund Clark (Award-winning Artist, London)

War of Terror: Terror Incognitus

For over ten years, Edmund Clark has sought aesthetic strategies to explore new and unseen processes of contemporary conflict. His work engages with state censorship and control, and is itself shaped by these processes, as it tries to reconfigure subjects we normally see as distant or threatening stereotypes on our screens. In exploring these issues, Clark examines the relationship between photographs, images and text, and between forms of evidence and visual communication. Clark uses photography and print publications as a vehicle for such experimentation to create objects that represent their subjects through form as well as content, while at the same time creating site-specific installations when given the opportunity to bring these subjects to museum or gallery audiences. In his seminar lecture, Clark will refer to works in his current exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London (on until August 2017) and from his recent exhibition at the Zephyr Raum für Fotografie at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim. These presentations include Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition about the CIA secret prison programme, Letters to Omar and Guantanamo: If the light goes out about the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, and Control Order House about a form of detention without trial for terrorist suspects in the United Kingdom.

Speaker Biography:

Edmund Clark is an award-winning artist whose work links history, politics and representation. His work has been published and exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, and acquired for national and international collections including, in Britain, The National Portrait Gallery, The Imperial War Museum and The National Media Museum. Clark's awards include the Royal Photographic Society Hood Medal for Outstanding Photography for Public Service, The British Journal of Photography International Photography Award and being shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet for the theme of power. His new book Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition recently won the inaugural Photo Text Book Award at the International Rencontres D'Arles Festival in France. In addition to his work as an artist, Clark teaches at the University of the Arts London.

1 February 2017

Speaker: Richard Aronowitz-Mercer (European Head of Restitution, Director, Sotheby’s London)

Hard Facts and Soft Law: Restitution and the International Art Market

Massive efforts towards the repatriation and restitution of art and other cultural assets that had been plundered and sold under duress in Nazi Europe between 1933 and 1945 (a mechanism of asset-stripping and subjugation of Jews and other minorities acted out on a scale unprecedented in history) had been made immediately after the Second World War and in the first decades that followed. These efforts were coordinated chiefly by a group of Allied servicemen and women known as the Monuments Men. By the early 1960s, however, other more pressing imperatives had eclipsed those efforts at restitution and the looting of art and cultural assets appears to have been largely forgotten by the international political and cultural establishment by the 1970s.

In 1998, the landmark Washington-Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets sought to examine the latent effects of the 1933-1945 plundering and to determine what could be done in today's global art market and museum landscape to right the long-unexamined wrongs of the Nazi-era confiscation and appropriation of cultural assets. Out of the 1998 conference came the Washington Principles on Holocaust-Era Assets, a set of non-binding codes with moral and ethical, but not legal, force.

Richard Aronowitz will discuss the interface between restitution and settlement scenarios (chiefly governed by the 'soft law' of the Washington Principles) and the imperatives and dynamics of the international art market. He plans to illustrate his lecture with examples of works whose provenances have revealed unresolved Nazi-era looting or forced sale histories, and show how these histories have been addressed through non-litigative channels. Mr Aronowitz's talk will be based on first-hand experience of these cases and claims, working as a restitution specialist at Sotheby's for the last eleven years.

Speaker Biography:

Richard Aronowitz is European Head of Restitution, Director, Sotheby’s London. Formerly, he was the Head of Research, Europe in the Impressionist & Modern Art Department at Sotheby’s London, before being appointed in 2003 as Director & Senior Curator of the Ben Uri Gallery, the London Jewish Museum of Art. He rejoined Sotheby’s in 2006 as European Head of the Restitution Department and is based in London. Mr Aronowitz has a BA in Modern Languages from Durham University and an MA in Modern Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he specialised in German Expressionism.


8 February 2017

Speaker: Christopher A Marinello, Esq. (CEO, Art Recovery International)

An Art Crime Overview: The Big Business of Art Theft, Plunder and Recovery

Christopher A Marinello, a lawyer and founder of Art Recovery International, will provide an overview of current trends in art crime as well as describe in detail some of the methods he has used over the past 30 years to recover approximately £400M worth of stolen and looted works of art.  Art theft is big business.  Just how big is anyone’s guess, but it is estimated that billions of pounds of art and cultural property are stolen and looted every year.  As thieves become more creative in committing crimes in the art world, victims have been struggling to catch up in response.  Technology is now used to commit art crime as much as it is used to expose the illicit acts.  This lecture expounds the types of art crime, the use of technology to combat these offenses and an analysis of the legal issues involved in locating and recovering works of art. Marinello will thus provide an examination of case studies regarding ‘conventional’ art theft: insurance and consignment fraud; fakes/forgeries; cultural heritage destruction; and art trafficking in combat zones. In the process, he plans to divulge certain secrets in negotiating with the possessors of stolen and looted objects, and explain the importance of relationships with law enforcement, governments, museums, collectors, and insurance companies.

Speaker Biography:

Christopher A Marinello is one of the world's foremost experts in recovering stolen, looted, and missing works of art. A lawyer for over 30 years, Marinello began his legal career as a litigator and became uniquely proficient in negotiating complex title disputes between collectors, dealers, museums and insurance companies. In 2013, Marinello founded Art Recovery International – a specialist practice providing due diligence, dispute resolution and recovery services for the art market and cultural heritage sectors. Within this, Marinello has overseen the development of the award winning Artive Database - the most technologically advanced system in existence for the identification and recording of issues and claims attached to works of art. Marinello has recovered stolen and looted artwork valued at over $500M and has worked on some of the most important recoveries of Nazi looted art. As an adjunct professor at New York University, Marinello has taught Law and Ethics in the Art Market and is a co-founder of the annual Art Crime Conference through NYU's School of Professional Studies. The Conference began in London in 2013 and is held in various cities around the world. Marinello is a member of the Advisory Council of the American Appraisers Association and a member of the Arts and Records Committee of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association.  He is also a member of the City of London Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.


15 February 2017

Speaker: Donna Yates (Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime, Trafficking Culture Project, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow)

Sacred Security: Threat, Vulnerability, and the Protection of Sacred Art in Nepal

The challenges faced by South Asian countries tasked with protecting sacred art and architecture are a study in contrasting stakeholder needs with little room for compromise. Sacred sites must be both accessible to devotees and inaccessible to thieves. Sacred objects must be both documented and photographed and prevented from being documented and photographed due to religious restrictions. Sacred art must be both retained by the state and by heritage authorities and must serve the public in the face of both poverty and foreign market demand.

Thus, when it comes to the protection of sacred art in Nepal, we have a conflict between access and security stemming from the various values systems that regard sacred art as important. Lawmakers, communities and heritage professionals, then, are forced to make nearly impossible choices about which set of values they give primacy. Yet it is the middle space between these contrasting values that protection law and practice are built, and the results are rarely effective in the best of times. In this talk, Dr Donna Yates will discuss the realities of the protection of sacred art in contemporary Nepal, against the backdrop of natural disaster, social upheaval, and political change.

Speaker Biography:

Donna Yates is a Lecturer in Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime at the University of Glasgow's Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. An archaeologist by training, Yates is based out of a criminology department and is one of the founding members of the Trafficking Culture research consortium which conducts evidence-based inquiry into the global illicit trafficking of cultural objects. Her research broadly focuses on social aspects of antiquities trafficking, art crime, and related cultural property issues. Yates has recently held a Leverhulme Fellowship and a Core Fulbright Award to study the on-the-ground effects of high-level cultural policy in Latin America and her current work involves security for and protection of sacred art in Latin America and South Asia. Her research and other open research materials can be found on her ever-growing collection of websites, including,,, and


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Speaker: Michael J K Walsh (Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University)

Prayers Long Silent: Emergency Interventions to Protect Famagusta’s Imperiled Medieval Murals - Lecture / Film

The neglect that Famagusta’s cultural heritage has suffered for over four decades as a result of the ‘Cyprus Problem’ is well known. My presentation and excerpts from my documentary film nevertheless focus strongly on the emergency stabilisation work that was carried out between 2012-2016, principally on the 14th century murals in the Armenian church in the Syrian quarter of the city. This interdisciplinary project, funded by the World Monuments Fund and led by Nanyang Technological University Singapore, demonstrated clearly the potential that yet exists for art historians specialising in the Medieval eastern Mediterranean, conservators who are prepared to confront the challenge of cement removal from delicate centuries-old plasters, and scholars who are prepared to embrace high-level international and multi-disciplinary collaborations to protect endangered works of art in this politically sensitive region. It is my contention that if these precious murals can be ‘detached’ from the political and legal impasse which has been so detrimental to their welfare, there is yet much hope for this important, and largely neglected, chapter in Cypriot art history.  The presentation / screening is also timed to coincide with the launch of my latest edited collection The Armenian Church of Famagusta and the Complexity of Cypriot Heritage (Palgrave, 2017).

Speaker Biography:

Michael J K Walsh, F.R.S.A., FRHistS., conducted his graduate studies at the Universities of St. Andrews, Cambridge and York, before joining the Department of Archaeology and Art History at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta. In his time there he successfully nominated the historic city of Famagusta for inclusion in the World Monuments Fund Watch List (twice) and also acted as team coordinator for the United Nations project Cultural Heritage Data Collection in the northern part of Cyprus. He has edited and co-edited four books on Famagusta, including Medieval and Renaissance Famagusta (Ashgate, 2012), Crusader to Venetian Famagusta (Central European University Press, 2014), Famagusta: Contemporary Images from an Historic City (Datz Press, 2015), and City of Empires: Ottoman and British Famagusta (CSP, 2015). A fifth book entitled Prayers Long Silent: Famagusta’s Armenian Church and the Complexity of Cypriot Heritage is under contract with Palgrave MacMillan. He is currently Associate Professor of Art History at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.


1 March 2017

Speaker: Joan Kee (Associate Professor of History of Art and Director of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan)

The Artist as Petit Criminal

Often characterized as rebels and renegades, artists have long been associated with criminality, if not outright portrayed as criminals themselves.  From the notorious Dada Fair of 1920 featuring a uniformed body with a pig’s head to Takis brazenly removing his own sculpture from the Museum of Modern Art in 1969, intentional violations of the law have often been used to underscore the force of artistic radicalism.  But in 1971, American artist Barry Le Va pointedly observed how most infractions were in fact “little crimes,” an emphasis that implied a different set of motivations than those underpinning more notorious gestures of willful illegality.  Ranging from petty theft to casual acts of vandalism, these “little crimes” illuminated how law was produced through the mediation of legislated regulation and social norms. As the works of artists like Ann Messner, David Hammons, X+Y, and Dennis Oppenheim demonstrate, the law is also determined by how certain kinds of spaces – shopping malls, public parks, and prisons – are used and perceived.  Focusing on works made roughly between 1970 and 1985, when numerous artists turned to crime as both a subject and a medium, Joan Kee looks at various examples of works revolving around the enactment of petty crimes, including works made without criminal intention yet whose display and presentation facilitated criminal use.  Although such works have been celebrated as extreme instances of the collapse between art and everyday life or as proof of art’s rejection of established institutions, Kee contends that they underscore the social thrust of art by activating interpersonal relationships on which the law so critically depends.

Speaker Biography:

Joan Kee is an Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she is currently writing a manuscript on the embedment of law in contemporary art that focuses on how U.S. artists have occupied, purchased, destroyed, or claimed various forms of property. A secondary project explores how art historical methods can be brought to bear on how the law takes into account visual material. Recent and forthcoming publications in this area include articles for American Art, the Journal of Law, Culture and the Humanities, and Law and Literature.


8 March 2017

Speaker: Lionel Bently (Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL), University of Cambridge)

The Law of Quotation

In October 2014, the law of the United Kingdom introduced an exception to copyright that permits fair dealing with a work by way of quotation ‘for criticism, review or otherwise.’ In so doing, it gave effect to an obligation it had been under as a result of the 1967 and 1971 revisions of the Berne Convention. The preparatory documents issued by the UK’s IPO suggested that this was only a minor change in the law. In this presentation, Lionel Bently will argue that the effect of the change is much more significant, for two reasons: firstly, because the exception is not limited with respect to use for particular purposes; and second, because the concept of quotation is extremely broad.  On the assumption that the legal meaning should reflect ordinary meaning, and that ordinary meaning is identified empirically by reference to ordinary use, the paper looks at various practices that have been described, inter alia, by art historians as ‘quotation.’

Although some have denied the possibility of ‘quotation’ in the visual arts, it is abundantly clear that the term is frequently used by art historians to describe ‘borrowings’ of ideas and expression by one artist from another.  Relying on, in particular, art histories description of the practices of Manet as ‘quotation’, it seems that the concept of quotation in the visual arts has few of the formalised characteristics of print quotation. As a result, the paper suggests that the meaning of quotation in copyright law cannot be defined by reference to the typical characteristics of quotation of printed text, with its rituals of quotation marks, brackets, ‘dot, dot, dots’, and insetting. In the field of the visual arts, at least, the ‘fair dealing by way of quotation’ exception, comes close to an exception for all expressive fair uses.

Speaker Biography:

Lionel Bently is the Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law in the Faculty of Law. He is a Professorial Fellow at Emmanuel College. He is a barrister at 11 South Square, Gray’s Inn, and co-author of Intellectual Property Law (4th ed. OUP, 2014), The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law: The British Experience (CUP, 1998), and the General Editor of International Copyright Law and Practice (LexisNexis, annually updated).