Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Legal Historians in the Media: Kornbluh, Mann, Pritchett

Ten years ago, in response to the Vermont Supreme Court’s decision in Baker v. State, then-Governor Howard Dean signed into law the state’s historic civil union bill. Vermont Public Radio invited legal historian Felicia Kornbluh, now the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Vermont, to talk about the event and its significance for broader conversations about law and marriage equality. You can listen here.
Art lovers, property professors, and most Philadelphians probably know something of the Barnes Foundation. The eccentric inventor Albert C. Barnes created it to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts,” using his world-renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern paintings. Unfortunately, the exacting terms of the Barnes Trust have resulted in a series of legal challenges, most recently over whether the Foundation may relocate its Gallery to downtown Philadelphia. The Barnes saga is now the subject of a provocative new documentary, titled “The Art of the Steal.” Legal historian and trust expert Bruce Mann, who has long followed, taught, and written about the controversy, makes an appearance in the film. You can find reviews here and here.
The Philadelphia Inquirer just ran a profile piece on Wendell Pritchett, a legal historian who went from teaching property at the University of Pennsylvania to advising Mayor Michael Nutter on policy development. He is now the Chancellor of Rutgers-Camden, where he is using his knowledge of urban transformation, racial inequality, and government housing policy to try to revitalize Camden. You can read the article here.

image: Vermont statehouse, Albert C. Barnes

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