The Easel

“Art” A Brief Retrospective on the Legal Term

You know there is going to be trouble when the law has to decide what is, and is not, art. “U.S. Customs officials did not see a bird in Constantin Brancusi’s Bird in Space and refused to exempt it as a work of art when it arrived at New York Harbor in October 1926. Instead, they classified it as a “kitchen utensil” and imposed a standard 40 percent tariff on the sale price.”

This piece originally appeared in The SciTech Lawyer and has been made available with the kind permission of the author