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Legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko, 1957-1986

Creator:
Harrow, Gustave  Search this
Subject:
Annenberg, Walter H.  Search this
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New York (State).Attorney General's Office  Search this
Topic:
Artists  Search this
Decedents' estates  Search this
Law and art  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6067
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)216127
AAA_collcode_harrgust2
Theme:
Ephemera, Miscellany, and General Art Related
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_216127
Online Media:

Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko

Creator:
Harrow, Gustave  Search this
Names:
Mark Rothko Foundation  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New York (State). Attorney General's Office  Search this
Annenberg, Walter H., 1908-  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
34.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1957-1986
Summary:
The Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko measure 34.6 linear feet and date from 1957-1986. The records document the case brought by the New York State Attorney General's Office as cross-petitioner to the case brought by Rothko's daughter Kate, against the executors of Rothko's estate, Frank Lloyd and the Marlborough Gallery, for mismanagement and self-dealing. There are also records related to Harrow's writings about the case. Lastly, included in the collection are materials relating to art law issues in connection with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Scope and Contents:
New York State Attorney General Gustave Harrow's records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko consist of legal and other documentation of the state's case in connection with the Mark Rothko Estate and Foundation, from Surrogate Court through appeals, as well as from Harrow's writings about the case, both during and after the trial. Various trial documents include affidavits, briefs, EBTs (examination before trial) trial transcripts, motions, depositions, notes and clippings, and miscellaneous records related to the case and post-trial activities. Also found are reference materials, Harrow's writings in connection with the case.

Unrelated to the Rothko case are Harrow's research materials for possible legal actions by the state in connection with Walter Annenberg's proposed donation of a Communication Center to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and with other issues including donations, object authenticity and the Packard Collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 7 series.

Series 1: General Files, 1957-1981, undated

Series 2: Motions, 1971-1979, undated

Series 3: Decisions, 1970-1979, undated

Series 4: Appeals Documents, 1972-1979, undated

Series 5: Miscellaneous Case and Post-Trial files, 1972-1984, undated

Series 6: Reference Materials, Notes and Writings, 1970-1986

Series 7: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Walter Annenberg Etc., 1971-1981, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Gustave Harrow was a New York State Assistant Attorney General, and an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program in Arts Administration at NYU. Abstract Expressionist Artist Mark Rothko died on February 25, 1970 leaving the bulk of his estate, including 798 paintings (the greater part of his life's work) to the Mark Rothko Foundation which he had created shortly before his death. His daughter Kate [Rothko Prizel] brought suit against the estate executors and Marlborough Gallery for self-dealing, fraud, and conspiring with Marlborough owner, Frank Lloyd to waste the assets of the estate. The state of New York Attorney General's Office, represented by Harrow, joined the case as a cross-petitioner on behalf of the people of New York's interest as beneficiaries of the charitable Foundation. The case resulted in the return of most of the paintings, the removal of the executors (accountant Bernard Reis, artist Theodoros Stamos, and anthropology professor Morton Levine), and a $9.2 million judgment against them and Frank Lloyd. The case had a lasting effect on laws dealing with artists' estates, and Harrow was instrumental in framing a bill that aimed at reducing fraud in the fine arts market. Harrow wrote about the Rothko Estate case in several articles and in the 1979 book Art, the Artist, and the Consequences of Rothko: Lasting Legal Impressions from the Estate of Great Artist.
Related Materials:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Mark Rothko Foundation records, 1976-1987; Legal records relating to Richard Serra v. United States General Services Administration et al., 1985-1987.

The Archives of American Art interviewed multiple artists as part of the Mark Rothko and His Times Oral History Project. Many of the interviews reference Rothko and his work, and relationships with the artist.

The Legal records relating to Richard Serra v. United States General Services Administration et al., 1985-1987 contains documentation of another lawsuit handled by Gustave Harrow.
Separated Materials:
Another small collection (11 items) of Mark Rothko papers were loaned to the Archives for microfilming on reel 3135. The papers were in the possession of George Carson, husband of Rothko's ex-wife Edith Carson. Carson gave the papers to the Mark Rothko Foundation and gave the Archives of American Art permission to microfilm them. The microfilm is available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan but are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko were donated to the Archives of American Art by Marilynn Karp March 23, 1996. Mr. Harrow had deposited the papers with Ms. Karp, a colleague of Harrow's at New York University where he was an adjunct professor.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recording with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference services for more information.
Rights:
The Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Artists -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Decedents' estates -- New York (State)  Search this
Law and art -- United States  Search this
Citation:
Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko, 1957-1986, undated. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.harrgust2
See more items in:
Gustave Harrow legal records relating to the Estate of Mark Rothko
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-harrgust2

Art Dealer Discovers Six Alleged Willem de Kooning Paintings in New Jersey Storage Locker

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 19:50:25 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_96a7771c9376af3bf5bc6c907ac7e3e4

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