Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barack Obama's National Arts Policy Committee

When Americans head to the polls in November, it is unlikely anyone will be basing their votes on art policy. Indeed, pressing issues such as the economy, the "Iraq War," and foreign policy will be taking center stage. Nevertheless, as someone who studies ancient art, numismatics, and archaeology, I find it commendable that Barack Obama's campaign is already thinking about art policy.

It has come to my attention that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee formed a National Arts Policy Committee earlier this year (fact sheet). One name I recognize on the list of committee members is that of Patty Gerstenblith, a professor at DePaul University's College of Law, who specializes in art and cultural heritage law and directs DePaul's program in this field. Prof. Gerstenblith is widely recognized as an authority in this area and has served her discipline well. She is the founding president of the Lawyer's Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation and is a senior advisor to the International Arts and Cultural Property Commitee of the ABA Section of International Law. She was also a member of the United States Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) for the U.S. Department of State from 2000-2003 and was editor-in-chief of the the International Journal of Cultural Property from 1995-2002. Prof. Gerstenblith has authored numerous works on art and cultural property law. Congratulations to Prof. Gerstenblith on her appointment to this committee.