Lauren van Haaften-Schick is an art historian and curator completing a PhD in the History of Art at Cornell University. She is a 2020-21 Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and previously was a 2018-19 Digital Life Initiative Doctoral Fellow at Cornell Tech.
Lauren writes on the intersections of art, law, and technology, with a focus on artists’ contracts from early conceptual art experiments to contemporary smart contracts, the history of artists’ rights laws, and the politics of labor and property in art. Her dissertation traced the evolution of The Artist’s Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, or the “Artist’s Contract,” developed by exhibition organizer Seth Siegelaub and attorney Robert Projansky in 1971. She is co-editor of the major anthology Seth Siegelaub: “Better Read Than Dead,” Writings and Interviews 1964-2013 published in 2020 by Koenig Books and the Stichting Egress Foundation. Other recent publications and projects include “Conceptualizing Artists’ Rights” in the Oxford Handbooks in Law, 2018, “To Offer / To Exchange” with artist Charles Simonds in Performance Research, 2018, and the discussion series Redistribution in collaboration with artist Kenneth Pietrobono hosted by Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, New York, 2020. She has presented her research at numerous academic conferences including the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, and the College Art Association, and at arts institutions including MUAC, Mexico City, and Artists Space, New York, and has curated exhibitions on topics in art and law throughout the US and abroad. Lauren formerly served as Associate Director for the Art & Law Program, New York, and is currently an advisor for the Stichting Egress Foundation / Estate of Seth Siegelaub, Amsterdam, the Serpentine Galleries Legal Lab, London, and is a member of the College Art Association Committee on Intellectual Property. Prior to graduate study Lauren worked for a decade in art galleries and arts non-profit organizations. Project archive at laurenvhs.com.