Ann Garfinkle

Title: Adjunct Professor



Phone: 703-993-8926



Ann M. Garfinkle has served on the MICA board since October 1995.  She is a member of the Executive Committee and has been the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee as well as a member of other MICA Board Committees.   

Ann has been a practicing lawyer in New York and the District of Columbia since 1968. 

Her passion is representing artists, estates of artists and arts organizations.  She currently works at Whiteford Taylor & Preston, LLP, based in Washington, D.C. and has for the past 15 years.  Ann has had an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell for over 25 years and has been named to the list of The Best Lawyers in America in Trusts and Estates. 

Ann represents many artists and artist’s estates, including the Estate of Morris Louis, she represents the (e)merge Art Fair, a D.C. institution which emphasizes emerging artists and represents ConnerSmith Gallery in D.C. as well as numerous non-profit art organizations nationally. 

 Ann is a member and former D.C. Chapter Chair of ArtTable, the national organization for women, she founded and is former Chair of the D.C. Bar Art Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the D.C. Bar, a founding director of International Network for Conservation of Contemporary Art North America (INCCA-NA) as well as a co-founder of the Harriet B. Burg Foundation which supports the legal issues of disabled women. 

In addition, she is co-author of Estate Planning for Artists and Collectors, a publication by the D.C. Bar and is a speaker on the subject of Estates of Artists and Collectors for the DC Bar and at the C.L.E. International Art Law Conference held annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

 Her personal art form is photography and her work hangs in numerous law firms and homes.  She is married to Joseph Lancaster Brent, III who is the biographer of America’s greatest philosopher, Charles Sanders B. Pierce.  



General civil practice. AV Rated Preeminent Lawyer at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, Washington, DC with extensive experience and expertise in representing artists (visual and literary) and collectors in contracts and intellectual property (copyright), wills, trusts and probate, and business law, including real estate.

Art Law. Represents artists, estates of artists, galleries, and collectors in all aspects of “the art business,” from prominent American and European painters and sculptors.

  • Artists who create large scale outdoor sculpture or sculptural environments for public spaces such as the U.S. Capitol Mall, airports, sports stadiums and parks
  • Estates of numerous artists and collectors including the Estate of Morris Louis
  • Licensing art and literary works
  • Branding and copyright/trademark protection for businesses who incorporate art into their business activities
  • Represent art galleries and art fairs

Wills, Trusts and Probate. Extensive experience in drafting wills and trusts, and probate, including the

  • Bequests of intellectual property, especially for the estates of artists and collectors
  • Experience with blended and non-traditional families
  • Experience with substantial estates
  • Probate disputes, including litigation
  • Experience negotiating prenuptial agreements

Technology and Intellectual Property

  • Copyright registration and advice

International Practice

  • Licensing artistic and literary property internationally
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts between U.S. and foreign art venues

Nonprofit Organizations and Associations

  • Represent non-profit art and art conservation entities
  • Advise on applications for  501(c)(3) status

Professional Affiliations and Awards

  • AV Peer Review Rated: Martindale-Hubbell; Preeminent Lawyer
  • Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, Inaugural Edition 2011, 2012
  • Member:  District of Columbia Bar Association; active in the Committee for the Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Section (former co-chair)
  • Member:  District of Columbia Estate Planning Council; elected member of D.C. Planning Council (2001 – present)
  • Nominee: Top Lawyers in DC in Tax/Trusts and Estates by the Washington Business Journal
  • Member:  Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD; Trustee, Board of Trustees, Executive Committee; Chair of Academic Affairs and Chair of Planned Giving Council (1995 – present)
  • Member:  ArtTable (national organization of female professionals in the visual arts field); elected member of ArtTable (2001 – present)
  • President: Morris Louis Conservation Fund, Inc.
  • Founding Director: International Network for Conservators of Contemporary Art, North America
  • Graduate: Mediation for the Professional, Center for Dispute Settlement, 2012
  • 2005 to date: Editor or co-author of the Art Law sections of the annual editions of the DC Practice Manual, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Frequent lecturer nationwide on Estate Planning for Artists, Estate Planning for collectors and The Law of Art Conservation
  • Member:  New York State Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association and American Bar Association


BS, University of Wisconsin

JD, Brooklyn Law School

Courses Taught

AMGT 620 Legal Aspects in Arts Management