Textile Museum Associates of Southern California TMASC TMA/SC
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 a.m.  Refreshments          10:30 a.m.  Program

"Risky Business:

"Surviving the War on Collecting "

(with Special Attention to Collecting Textiles and Ethnographic Art)


Kate Fitz Gibbon, Esq.

Attorney, Board member of the non-profit Committee for Cultural Policy,

and special expert in current legal Patrimony issues of ethnographic art and textiles,

Author, and Central Asian textile expert

US laws are increasingly affecting the right to import, collect, research, and transfer – even to donate - an expanding array of objects, from ivory to ethnographic textiles.  Despite the fact that similar objects are sold openly in tourist markets overseas, bringing them home could result in fines, prosecution and severe penalties.  Most Americans who collect ethnographic art and textiles see owning them as a means of understanding and honoring foreign cultures, past and present.  The objects are tools to help us not only to appreciate human history, but to feel a part of it, confirming and illustrating humanist goals of common understanding.   However natural this idea may seem, others disagree, and see ethnic as well as ancient objects as rightfully owned only by specific modern states. Some even claim the right to control information and publications about them.  US legal regimes increasingly follow the latter perspective and federal agencies act aggressively both in stopping trade and using art as a diplomatic tool.  This program will highlight particularly at-risk objects, explain recent trends affecting art ownership and valuation in the US, and update collectors on new laws and restrictions, especially with regard to inheritance and charitable gifts.

Kate Fitz Gibbon is a Santa Fe attorney, advising all clients, including art collectors, foundations, galleries and museums. She is a founding member of New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts and serves on the boards of the Committee for Cultural Policy, the ABA Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee, the Santa Fe Estate Planning Council and the Elder Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar. She served on the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to the President under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. She writes and lectures on law and cultural policy and was editor and contributor to Who Owns the Past? Cultural Property, Cultural Policy and the Law, Rutgers University Press, 2005. She is the author of six books on Asian art, and recipient of the Wittenborn Award for Best Art Book of 1996 for her book “IKAT,”  co-written with her husband Andrew Hale.  Kate was a founding member of TMA/SC.

Community Hall, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church

1343 Ocean Park Blvd.,  Santa Monica, CA 90405

Admission:    TMA/SC & EAC members  Gratis          Guests  $10

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