Law of Art & War
By Professor Jennifer A. Kreder
Law of Art & War reveals how museums have undermined the mission of the WWII Army Monuments Men (and Women) to recover and return art plundered during the Nazi era whenever and wherever it could be found. America honored that commitment through the Clinton administration, when it led forty-four nations to re-examine their post-war failures to return the art. The State Department since 2004, however, has sided with American and foreign museums, who have started suing the second and third generations of Holocaust survivors to shut down inquiry into transcontinental art world corruption dating back to the war. Control of coveted artwork worth billions of dollars depends on art lawyers like the King of Antiquities Larry Kaye and others like Randy Schoenberg, the grandson of Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg, persuading judges to exercise their constitutional responsibility to honor the Monuments Men, fulfill the promise, and defy the State Department’s turn to cowardly diplomacy of convenience.
The author is Georgetown-educated Professor Jennifer A. Kreder has litigated the law of art and war for twenty years. She has appeared in cases about art that traded hands during both the Nazi era and the Russian Revolution on behalf of historians, the American Jewish Congress and the Commission for Art Recovery against the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University and others. At stake were works by such artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Egon Schiele, George Grosz and Paul Cézanne. Kreder is a prolific legal scholar who speaks to audiences around the world and has been quoted, interviewed or published in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, NPR, Harvard International Law Journal and other media. She teaches at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.