dialogues on
memory, restitution
and justice

yale law school

Dialogues on Restitution, Memory, and Justice is an invitation for all to imagine what roles art and the law can play in building the world to come.

We see law and art as disciplines with profound connections to both justice and injustice. Despite purported neutrality, law has been often a source of, rather than a solution to, injustice. Art, too, is a complicated tool. It is the utmost expression of human creativity, but it has often been commodified and appropriated, its value reduced to its potential for consumption. At the traditional intersection of these fields, "art law" has often been deployed in defense of empire and as a method of maintaining status quo. How can we challenge the use of art & law as mechanisms of preserving privilege? How can we envision a future where these fields build together?

We start by going back. Considering historic injustice and the legacies of violence that we inherit today through the lenses of art and law is a way of understanding how we understand ourselves after loss or violence. By joining in a cross-disciplinary dialogue, we open the door to conversations about reparations as a possible product of engagement across fields and to broaden discussions of memory as a force in art and law.


featured panel | memory, reparations, and transitional justice


gallery tour | yale university art gallery


featured panel
modern approaches to restitution & repatriation

Our panel on Modern Approaches to Restitution and Repatriation illuminates larger concerns that museums and other sites of cultural heritage must grapple with as they make art available to the public and explores global efforts to uncover truth aboutart with contested provenance or ownership and seek justice.


antonia v. bartoli | panelist
Antonia Bartoli (she/her) is Curator of Provenance Research at the Yale University Art Gallery, where she leads the Gallery's first comprehensive provenance research project. She is a specialist in provenance research with expertise in the Nazi period. She was formerly Spoliation Curator at the British Library, London, and has worked as a provenance researcher at Christie's auction house, New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and as a consultant on behalf of families seeking to recover objects lost due to Nazi persecution.


emmanuelle polack | panelist
Emmanuelle Polack (she/her) is the head of provenance research at the Musée du Louvre. As an art historian, she has conducted research at the Institut national d'histoire de l'art (INHA) and consulted on critical matters related to provenance of suspected Nazi-looted art. Her eponymous book won the Ernest and Claire Heilbronn Foundation Prize and the Arts Prize awarded by the National Academy des Sciences, Belles-lettres des Arts de Bordeaux.


nicholas m. o'donnell | panelist
Nicholas M. O'Donnell (he/him) is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Sullivan & Worcester in Boston. He has served as lead counsel on a variety of lawsuits concerning restitution and fine art sales and has advised museums, dealers, auction houses, and collectors worldwide about restitution, copyright, and de-accessioning issues. He is the author of A Tragic Fate—Law and Ethics in the Battle Over Nazi Looted Art (2017), the first comprehensive overview of disputes in the U.S. over Nazi-looted art.


laurel zuckerman | panelist

Laurel Zuckerman (she/her) applies digital tools and methods from investigative data journalism to art and the Holocaust. The multiple layers of false provenances she discovered for an artwork her grandfather's family owned before fleeing the Nazis inspired her interest in linked data, knowledge graphs, computational analytics, natural language processing and network analysis. In 2016 she filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the restitution of Picasso's The Actor.


sreya pinnamaneni | moderator

Sreya Pinnamaneni (she/her) is pursuing a JD at Yale Law School and is a founding co-director of INTERSECTIONS. She is interested in questions at the nexus of law, art, and human rights, and has been involved with the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic. She served as a Legal Provenance Intern at Musée du Louvre and holds an MSt in Intellectual History from the University of Oxford.


katherine wilson-milne | moderator

Katherine Wilson-Milne is a partner at Schindler Cohen & Hochman LLP and co-head of its art law practice where she advises clients in the art, cultural, and creative communities. She is also the co-host of The Art Law Podcast with Steve Schindler, and she regularly writes, teaches, and speaks about a variety of art law-related topics.


the painter | pablo picasso


saints james the greater and john the evangelist | master of the holy kinship


featured panel
memory, reparations,
and transitional justice

Our panel on Memory, Reparations, and Transitional Justice argues for the importance of place and space in constructing memory and addressing loss following state violence. Conceptualizing "sites" broadly to include exhibitions, art, and law as sites where memory is generated and where it may be mobilized toward the goals of transitional justice.


amina krvavac | panelist
Amina Krvavac (she/her) is the Executive Director of the War Childhood Museum. Amina is dedicated to creating exhibitions and workshops that support open and conscious dialogue and believes in museums as spaces for social action and drivers of change. She is particularly interested in unlocking the potential of museums in transitional justice processes. In 2021, Amina joined the European Museum of the Year (EMYA) Jury, where she currently serves as the Jury Chair.


cécile fromont | panelist
Cécile Fromont (she/her) is a professor in the history of art department at Yale University. Her writing and teaching focus on the visual, material, and religious culture of Africa and Latin America with a special emphasis on the early modern period (ca 1500-1800), on the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic World, and on the slave trade. Her current research investigates areas of intersection between visual and material culture, religion, and knowledge creation in cross-cultural environments of early modern Africa, Latin America, and Europe.


sarah case | panelist
Sarah Case (she/her) is the Deputy Program Director for the Global Initiative for Justice, Truth and Reconciliation (GIJTR), which serves as a new mechanism to respond to the transitional justice needs of societies emerging from conflict or periods of authoritarian rule. Her research has focused on the arts and storytelling as tools for truth-telling and social change. She is an Associate Producer on the award-winning documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake and a Producer on the forthcoming documentary, The Journey Back to Now.


traci kato-kiriyama | panelist
traci kato-kiriyama (they/she) is an award-winning mutidisciplinary artist, author of Navigating With(out) Instruments, and organizer with the Nikkei Progressives & Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress Joint Reparations Committee. They are a principal writer and performer in TALES OF CLAMOR, theatrical case-study of the public hearings of the Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which contended with the legacy of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.


debbie rabinovich | moderator
Debbie Rabinovich (she/her) is pursuing a JD at Yale Law School and is a founding co-director of INTERSECTIONS. She is interested in narrative building through public humanities and immigration advocacy focused on procedural justice, decarcerality, and redress for state violence. She is involved with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC), worked as a collections intern at the War Childhood Museum, and holds an MPhil in Socio-Legal Research from the University of Oxford.


tales of clamor | the PULL project


war childhood museum | sarajevo, bosnia and herzegovina


ana de orbegoso

Ana De Orbegoso (she/her) is a New York based Peruvian/American multidisciplinary artist. Her artistic practice explores aspects of gender and identity through the use of iconography and symbols from the collective memory, captured in photographs, videos, sculptures, wearable art, interactive installations, street projections, art actions, workshops, social media campaigns and multimedia productions.


Ana De Orbegoso's work is exhibited in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, where her neo-huacos from the 2017 series ┬┐Y qué hacemos con nuestra historia? (So What Do We Do with Our History?) are displayed amongst Moche huacos (portrait vessels) created by artists north coast of Peru between AD 100 and 700. Her Urban Virgins series is on tour around Peru as an ongoing itinerant exhibition and performance with local artists' participation. Showings have included the ICPNA and Museo de la Nación (Lima); the Huaca del Sol y La Luna, the Huaca de la Sra. de Cao, and the Casona Orbegoso (Trujillo); the INC (Chiclayo); and the Wari Willka Site Museum and the Institute of Culture and Youth (Huancayo), among others. Urban Virgins is a decolonization project, revising and reinventing religious paintings from the School of Cusco to reflect contemporary realities and ideals. By removing classical European features from the face of the divine archetype and replacing them with the images of present day Peruvian women, this project celebrates the cultural, spiritual and physical diversity of present-day Peru, instead of the conqueror's ideals.

Selected for the Creative Capital NYC Latinx Workshop 2019/20, she is a 2008 Photography fellow from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She was awarded first prize in the 1st. National Photography Salon ICPNA, Lima, Peru (2006), an En Foco New Works Awards, NY (2002) and a 2009 NALAC National Assoc. of Latino Arts and Cultures. She was also selected for Discoveries PhotoEspaña 07/09, and has been a finalist in the Women Artists USA contest, A.I.R. Gallery, NY (1993). Her video art The Last Inca Princess was awarded Best Short at the 2015 Big Apple Film Festival and the 2016 California Women's Film Festival.


santa rosa de lima | ana de orbegoso


gallery tour
yale university art gallery

A curator-guided tour at the Yale University Art Gallery was designed especially for the conference, including objects that continue to be researched and works of contemporary art that deal with themes of justice and redress.


Dura-Europos | Lisa R. Brody, Curator of Ancient Art
The archaeological site, located in modern Syria, was excavated in the 1920s and 1930s by Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters. Discoveries included a shrine to the god Mithras, a synagogue whose assembly room walls were covered with painted biblical scenes, and one of the earliest Christian house churches. The paintings and sculpture from these buildings and over 12,000 artifacts of daily life excavated by the archaeologists are now preserved at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Provenance Research and Nazi-Looted Art | Antonia Bartoli, Curator of Provenance Research
Saints James the Greater and John the Evangelist was partially gifted to the gallery in honor of families in Europe who were dispossessed during the Holocaust. A Brothel Scene was bequeathed to the gallery after being restituted in 1947. The collection this work belonged to was subject to expropriation during the Nazi period, and some works were earmarked for Adolf Hitler's Führermuseum, in Linz, Austria, a museum which was to showcase the best of Western artistic production. Research into the ownership history of The Deposition and its purported transfer to and from the collection of Hermann G├ring is ongoing.

Contemporary Art and Justice | Margaret Ewing, Horace W. Goldsmith Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Titus Kaphar is an American contemporary painter whose work reconfigures and regenerates art history to include the African-American subject. Shadows of Liberty depicts George Washington and memorializes the approximately 300 people who were enslaved by Washington, bringing critical focus to the founders' role as enslavers. Nick Cave's Soundsuits are sculptural costumes that emit noises when in motion. Cave created the first Soundsuit in response to the brutal beating of Rodney King by police officers in Los Angeles in 1991. By rendering their wearers at once hyper-visible and anonymous, the suits represent the disproportionate focus of law enforcement profiling and the denial of dignity when individual identity is erased.


shadows of liberty | titus kaphar


shrine to mithras (mithraeum) | c. 240 C.E.


program schedule



Conference Registration
& Breakfast
Sterling Law Building


Conference Welcome
Sterling Law Building


Featured Panel
Modern Approaches to Restitution and Repatriation
Sterling Law Building


Conference Lunch
Sterling Law Building


Featured Panel
Memory, Reparations, and Transitional Justice
Sterling Law Building


Gallery Tour
Yale University Art Gallery


Keynote Address
Ana de Orbegoso
Hastings Hall,
Yale School of Architecture

7:00 - 10:00

High George Rooftop at the Blake Hotel
Passed wines and vegetarian options will be available.


Sreya Pinnamaneni


Debbie Rabinovich


Manoela Saldanha


Marlene Arias

Logistics Chair

Amanda Pareja Villegas

Finance Chair

Gabriela Rico

Publicity Chair

Geneva Smith

Publicity Chair

Teddy Watler

Publicity Chair