Kenneth Kahn began practicing art law because of his wife. When he was in law school, she insisted he learn about the subject because she had worked with artists and in art galleries most of her life, and in her words, “thought it would be a good thing to know.” Since then, Ken has represented museums, artists, art galleries, and regularly teaches artists and other creatives the finer points of working with galleries and negotiating contracts and commissions. Additionally, he has consulted with Native American tribes on issues of cultural patrimony and the protection of cultural artifacts.
Art law covers everything from artists rights, to free speech issues in the creation of works of art, to materials issues, such as the use of feathers or bones in works of art; to more far reaching areas such as the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA), the Native American Graves Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), copyright issues, and the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) which creates a right of compensation to artists whose works are damaged or destroyed.
Oregon is a leader in art law. The State has far reaching protections for artitsts against unscrupulous art dealers, and specific laws governing the reproduction and sale of limited edition art and sculpture. There are also protections for Native Americans against the purchase and sale of sacred objects.
While many lawyers practice copyright and trademark, Kenneth Kahn is one of only a handful of lawyers in Oregon who practices art law.