United States: Events—Authentication In Art Congress May 11-13, 2016 In The Hague

Last Updated: April 22 2016
Article by Nicholas M. O'Donnell

I have not been able to manage it in years prior, but a bi-annual event is coming up soon that is well worth the visit for anyone in the vicinity. The Authentication in Art (AiA) foundation is an independent non-profit that facilitates and controls the AiA Congress. This year's Congress, the first since 2014, will take place next month in The Hague.  Registration is available on the group's site here.

From the event's website:

At the Congress the following topics will be addressed

  • Reviewing AiA 2012 -2014: The lessons learned from the previous editions will be reviewed, as well as the impact the 2014 Guidelines on Art & Law and Catalogue Raissoné have had on the field
  • Education: One of the main-topics of the 2016 AiA Congress is Education. We have invited speakers from across different regions to talk about new methods and structures within their education on authenticity. Besides several papers on the topic, the Scientific Workgroup on Education will present their initial version of the 2016 AiA Guidelines on Education, the definitive version being published after the Congress
  • Technical Art History: The second main-topic is Technical Art History. Due to the lack of a unified standard within technical research in art, there is a lot of uncertainty and confusion. To address this problem we have invited several of the leading scientist in our field to talk about the possibilities and ideal form of technical research. Alongside this the Scientific Workgroup on Technical Art History will present their initial version of the 2016 AiA Guidelines on Technical Art History, which will provide the field with a template for protocols and best practices
  • E-Related Initiatives: Over the past few years there has been a strong rise in digital activities in the art world such as online auctioneering, digital catalogue raissonés and even online authentication services. To address this new and important part of our field, we have invited several E-related initiatives to talk about the possibilities of the digital world for our field, alongside their philosophy behind their initiatives
  • AiA International Mediation Board: At the Congress the AiA-MB will officially be launched. To illustrate the possibilities and importance of the AiA-MB the results of the test-case, which is taking place this very instance, will be discussed. After the Congress the AiA-MB will be fully operational and be able to take on cases
  • Art & Law: The implementation and consequences of the New York Senate Bill amending the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law. Does the bill offer extra protection for those involved with authenticating art?
  • Innovative Technological Developments: The advancement in technological possibilities in our field is progressing at an astonishing pace. At the Congress we will provide a platform for some of the most cutting-edge and progressive initiatives and technologies to be presented

The roster of speakers is quite impressive. I know many directly, and have met or seen several more in similar settings where they gave expert and stimulating presentations. The list is summarized here:

Matthew Girling, Bonhams Global CEO.

Nanne Dekking, co-founder and CEO of Artory, New York / Berlin.

Prof Dr Maurizio Seracini, founder and director from 2007 to 2013 of the Center for Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture, and Archaeology (CISA3) at the University of California San Diego's California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

Dr Gregory Day, assistant professor of legal studies at the Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business.

Dr Dietrich Seybold, independent Leonardo da Vinci and connoisseurship scholar based in Basel, Switzerland.

Prof Dr Chiara Matteucci, technical manager of the Unità Polilaboratoriale of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna, Ravenna Campus.

Patricia Chen, producer-cum-director and author of Leading Patrons of Asian Art In Conversation films and publications.

Tom Christopherson, solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and Head of Art and Law Studies at the Sotheby's Institute of Art-London.

Dr Megan Aldrich, Sotheby's Institute (London) Academic Director 2005-14 and current editor of the journal of the Decorative Arts Society in London.

Willem O. Russell, solicitor with the law firm Warendorf in Amsterdam.

Fredy von Hombracht–Brinkman, member of the editorial board of the Dutch Arbitration Law Journal and a member of the Advisory Board of the Dutch Arbitration Association.

Dr Friederike Gräfin von Brühl, practicing as a lawyer at K&L Gates LLP, Berlin, with a special focus on IP/IT law and art law.

Lawrence Shindell, Chairman of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation.

Filippo Petteni, Consultant Art Litigation at Forsters LLP.

William Charron, partner in the Litigation Department at Pryor Cashman LLP in New York City, and co-chair of the firm's Art Law Practice Group.

Robert Norton, internet media executive, and former CEO and co-founder of Sedition art and Saatchi Online.

Prof em Dr Arie Wallert, art history and analytical chemistry expert.

Prof em Dr Martin Kemp, Emeritus Professor in the History of Art at Trinity College, Oxford University.

Elisabetta Gnignera, independent researcher in History of Dress.

Pascal Cotte, engineer, optician and the inventor of the first multi-spectral high definition camera.

Prof Dr Enrique Mallen, Director and General Editor of the Online Picasso Project (OPP).

Dr Jennifer L. Mass, Senior Scientist and Director of the Winterthur Museum's Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory and Adjunct Faculty in the Winterthur/University of Delaware M.S. Program in Art Conservation.

Dr Ir Harmen de Jongh, biophysicist and biospectroscopist.

Kristin de Ghetaldi, painting conservator.

Philippe Koutouzis, curator in the International Modern and Contemporary Art Market.

Prof em Dr Jaap Boon, geochemist and analytical mass spectrometrist.

Dr Ahmed Elgammal, associate professor at the Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University.

James Butterwick, independent art dealer and advocate on the issue of authenticity.

Drs Neeltje Romke de Vries, legal adviser and lecturer about authenticity in art.

Oliver Spapens, student Law, as well as Early Modern Art at Leiden University.

Prof Dr Nico Schrijver, Chair of Public International Law at Leiden University, and Academic Director at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University/Campus The Hague.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Nicholas M. O'Donnell
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