By: Daily Record Staff//September 29, 2023
By: Daily Record Staff//September 29, 2023//
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Visual Artists Rights Act
Hiding art from view
Judges Livingston, Cabranes, and Kovner
Background: The plaintiff painted two large murals directly onto the walls inside a building on the campus of the defendant law school. In response to the controversy created by the murals, the defendant erected a wall of acoustic panels around them to permanently conceal the murals from public view. The plaintiff commenced an action alleging that obscuring his work behind a permanent barrier violated his rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act. He appeals from the grant of summary judgment to the defendant.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. The court noted that VARA creates a cause of action for artists to prevent the modification and destruction of works of visual. However, merely ensconcing a work of art behind a barrier neither modifies nor destroys the work.
Steven J. Hyman, of McLaughlin & Stern, and Richard I. Rubin, of Rubin, Kidney, Myer & Vincent, for the plaintiff-appellant; Justin B. Barnard of Dinse PC for the defendant-appellee.