What the Lady Has Wrought: The Ramifications of the Portrait of Wally Case
Spiegler, H. (2010) ‘What the Lady Has Wrought: The Ramifications of the Portrait of Wally Case’, Art and Advocacy Volume 07, 1-8
On July 20, 2010, on the eve of trial, the case of United States v. Portrait of Wally, which our firm litigated for more than ten years, was finally resolved by stipulation and order. The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan commenced the case in the fall of 1999 by seizing the painting, “Portrait of Wally” by Egon Schiele (Wally), while it was on loan for exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The case has been credited with awakening governments around the world, as well as museums, collectors, and others in the global art community, to the problem of Nazi-looted art almost seventy years after the beginning of the Nazi era in Europe. Although this case will surely be commented on and analyzed for
many years to come – including in a documentary film due to be released in the spring – as the attorneys for the claimant in the case, we thought it would be helpful to provide some thoughts from our unique vantage point.