Advocacy Alert: Help Re-incentivize Art Authenticators and Restore Integrity to Art Transactions in New York

Bill Information | What You Can Do | Resources


The City Bar’s Art Law Committee proposed legislation (A.5120/S.1974) to restore integrity to art transactions conducted in New York by re-incentivizing authenticators to render independent, good-faith opinions about the authenticity, attribution, and authorship of works of fine art.

In practicing their profession, authenticators have been subject to lawsuits designed to silence opinions unfavorable to a plaintiff.  The increasingly litigious environment surrounding the sale of art has raised insurance costs, and has created levels of risk and legal expense that has driven many authenticators from the field – whether they are with artists’ foundations or estates, or are individual scholars.

This forced silence of authenticators has caused fakes and forgeries to enter the stream of commerce, adversely affecting not only art market transactions but also scholarship and research.

The proposed legislation clearly defines that segment of the art market that should be encouraged to practice its profession, and provides a mechanism through which authenticators can do so, thereby promoting legitimate commerce throughout New York, the art market capital of the United States. 
Learn More

Bill Information

A.5120 – SponsorAM Linda Rosenthal; Co-Sponsors: Otis, Thiele, Seawright, Barrett, Titone, Stirpe, Fahy, Quart, Weprin 
Status: Pending in the Assembly Tourism, Parks, Arts, & Sports Development Committee  

S.1974 SponsorSen. Betty Little
Status: Passed the Senate on 6/7/17 by a vote of 61-1. The bill has passed the Senate twice before (2016 by a vote of 59-1; 2015 by a vote of 61-1).

What You Can Do

Convey your support to the Legislature and urge them to enact this important legislation to protect the integrity of the art market.  

  • Send a letter or email, or make a short phone call to key legislators to express your support for the bill and urge them to pass the bill before the end of session. If you would prefer to send one letter/email, address your correspondence to Speaker Heastie and copy the other legislators listed.
  • Engage on social media.  Join the conversation by tagging #artintegrityNY and check out our Twitter feed for the latest news and updates on the effort to reicentivize art authenticators to provide opinions. Use your social media to urge Legislators to support this legislation and educate your followers on the issue.  

Main Issues to Address / Highlight:

  • How this bill will help the art market and why it is necessary.
  • Any examples of how you or your organization is being affected by this issue.
  • Make sure to indicate the bill numbers (A.5120/S.1974) in your outreach.

Who to Contact:


Art Law Committee Report in Support of Legislation

Speaking with Silence: New York’s Art Authenticators are Losing their Voices

Media Coverage