This is a brief excerpt from the document you requested from IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database.

Case Summary

Porter v. Wertz

Porter v. Wertz, 23 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 614 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. March 13, 1978), rev’d and vacated, 68 A.D.2d 141 (N.Y. App. Div. 1979), aff’d, 421 N.E.2d 500 (N.Y. Ct. App. 1981).


Samuel Porter entrusted a painting by Maurice Utrillo to Harold Von Maker, who was using the name Peter Wertz. Holding himself out again to be Peter Wertz, an art merchant, Von Maker then surreptitiously sold the work to the Richard Feigen Gallery. Porter discovered Von Maker’s identity, but before the authorities could intervene, Von Maker disappeared and the painting was sold by the gallery to a collector, who resold it to a collector in Venezuela. Porter brought suit . . . .

Click here to subscribe to IFAR's Art Law & Cultural Property Database to access this and other documents about U.S. and international legislation and case law concerning the acquisition, authenticity, export, ownership, and copyright of art objects.