About Kimberly Alderman

Kimberly Alderman is a private practice attorney with a special interest in cultural property law. She has spoken across the country on the subject and has been interviewed by NPR, BBC, and The Art Newspaper. She has maintained the Cultural Property & Archaeology Law Blog since 2008.

In her practice, Kimberly is the owner and managing attorney of the Alderman Law Firm, a civil litigation and appeals firm based in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm specializes in business litigation, contract and real estate disputes, and judgment enforcement.

Kimberly is Chair of the Executive Committee for the ASIL Cultural Heritage & the Arts Group and Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee for the ABA’s Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee. She is also on the Education Board for the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

Kimberly’s scholarly publications are available on SSRN and she can be contacted here.

39 Responses “About Kimberly Alderman” →
  1. Kim, I enjoyed reading about Odyssey. I enjoy the puns as well and you write for the layman without fancy legal mumbojumbo. I have invested in OMEX stock and I feel strongly that in time it will be a winner, as in this new economy what was once a long shot, makes more sence now then Intel corp does! You do know this is just on ship Odsssey has, they have arrested about 5 others and most are believed to be of high value..Keep up the good work!

  2. David, Thank you for coming by. I’m glad you enjoy my puns! Hope to see you again on here. 🙂 Kimberly

  3. Kimberly,

    Thank you for the comment and for enjoying our site. Yes, I think it was the Smiley element that endeared us to Mr. Smith, but also, we truly did miss the Vermeer. It’s disturbing when someone is that obsessed and, well, selfish, to take something that is public and call it their own.

    Your blog is fascinating.

    – Sarah

  4. Sarah, I did love the Vermeer article. Glad you enjoy my blog. Please do stop by and/or comment anytime. Kimberly

  5. nice site Kimberto

  6. I would like to connect with you on LinkedIn Kimberly.



  7. Nora Mattern

    April 26, 2010

    Just discovered your blog, Kimberly! It’s fabulous! Thanks for all your great insights!


  8. Saro Sapienza

    June 4, 2010

    I’m a professor of International Law at the University of Catania (Italy) specializing in Cultural Property International Protection. I recently discovered the blog and found it very interesting and useful, rich in information and insights.
    Thanks Kimberly

    • Saro,

      I am currently enjoying a summer in northern Italy, so that is a coincidence. Thank you for your comments and I hope to hear from you again!




  9. Saro Sapienza

    June 5, 2010

    Dear Kimberly, it’s a coincidence indeed!! Aren’t you planning a trip in the deep south of Italy (we’re In Sicily, just north of Africa)? If so, please let me know.


  10. Randy Metheny

    July 14, 2010

    Hi Kimberly
    Are you still following the Black Swan situation?
    I see an entry that you put up in Dec 2008, are there any updates since then?
    What’s the current situation and prognosis?



  11. Tiffany

    July 18, 2010

    Hey I am a law student and am currently searching for a topic for my first writing attempt for law review. I am interested in doing something in archaeology/law. I was wondering if you could contact my email. I would like to get in contact with you and discuss possible topics.

  12. Any feedback on my research? I’m an Arts Administrator who delved into antiquities repatriation law/resolution…

    • Valerie,

      Thank you for visiting and for the comment.

      I would point out to future readers of the comment that if you click on Valerie’s name, you are linked to her scholarship.


  13. Great site Kimberly, well done !
    Will follow it and refer to it on our website.
    Go on !


  14. mary gallagher

    September 21, 2010

    After having seen an exploration sub at the Maui Ocean center,my 12-year-old and I were searching around the internet and stumbled on whole Black Swan thing. (My masters is in historic preservation so I found the heritage vs. commercial salvage issue very interesting.) We went on to read your article and now can’t wait to find out what happens next. Do you have any further insights after having read Odyssey’s recent filings and what and when do you think the court will rule?
    Mary and Megan (12)

    • Mary and Megan,

      Thank you so much for visiting! I am glad that you read and enjoyed my article — it means a lot to me!

      The Black Swan appeal is underway, and lots of briefs have been filed. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to write an article on the appeal in progress, or just post to the blog, but keep checking back and you will get your update soon, one way or another. 🙂 I’ll let you know when we’ve got a date on the oral arguments, and that will at least give us an idea of when we might see a ruling.



  15. archeology or law??which one is the best?which one have more career options?

    • Depends on what standards you use to decide what is “best.” Traditionally, I think that the law has had more career options, but right now in the States, lawyers are having as hard a time as anyone else finding work. Then again, I have contract archaeologist friends who say there is significantly less available work now than before the real estate bubble burst. So it will depend on your locale and what kind of career you want, and then factors such as the economic future we have no way of knowing. I would say do whichever interests you more, and hope for the best.


  16. Olivia Hart

    October 27, 2010

    Hello Kim: Great analysis on cultural property wonderful site ….I wondered what you thought of Appiah on his view of cosmopolitanism in relation to cultural property….I found him very troubling to read and I dont really care for his stance. But in fairness –just wondered what you thought of his chaper 10 in particular.


  17. Christina

    December 13, 2010


  18. Anisha Somal

    December 14, 2010


    I am amazed by your blog. Its very interestingly comprehensive.
    I am a IV th year Law Student from India, I was hoping you could kindly advise me with regard to Art Law and Cultural Property as a post graduate research subject.
    I’m immensely interested in pursuing an LLM in the same, however the same is not developed in India, as much as it is in the US and Europe.

    Anticipating your response.
    Anisha Somal

    • Anisha,

      Thank you for your note. As far as I’m aware, people interested in this area tend to focus on archaeology for their graduate work. There are a few historic preservation programs in the States, but that’s not really the same. Art Law, on the other hand, is a booming field — but one studied through law schools as far as I know.

      Thank you for visiting!


  19. Do you have a email I can contact you on? Regards Nigel

  20. Kimberly – I am a pre-Law History major, and I love your blog. I have had trouble finding a professor or adviser to talk to about how to combine my passion for history with my future legal career – what options are there for attorneys who want to be involved in cultural property law? Do you need to have advanced degrees in history or archaeology? Is there a particular school, state, or country that is known for being a ‘hot spot’ for cultural property law? Is there any strain of international law that deals specifically with antiquities and cultural property?

    Thanks for you time!


  21. Bill Leslie

    August 9, 2011

    Thanks for the feedback on my comment. You and I swapped messages a year or two ago. I was looking for an angle to write columns for you. What I just posted would have been the first one – although it would have been more polished. I would welcome suggestions for outlets for this type of writing.

    • Hi Bill,

      I thought I recognized your name. I’m not sure as to outlets, but you might ask Wayne Sayles (with the ACCG). He is a non-lawyer that writes articles in this area.



  22. Lisa L Thornburgh JD

    August 12, 2011

    Hi Kimberly!

    I was accepted into Essex’s LLM Human Rights program and am seeking fellowships, scholarships to fund my studies there. Are you aware of any such fellowships, scholarships for human rights/cultural property law out there? Thanks ! Lisa L Thornburgh, JD

    • Hi Lisa,

      I don’t know of any that would fit the circumstances you describe, but will leave your question up in case someone wants to chime in.

      Thank you for visiting!



  23. Patrick Penix

    August 17, 2012

    I am an RN that has lived throughout the south….I am interested in civil law and law that pertains to civil cases related to healthcare…..I lost my phone and only have my computer to email you with. Any information on the subject would be helpful. It sounds like you are from Madison, Wisconsin…..I have also been to Madison. Your perspective would greatly be appreciated. In the meantime….don’t drink the Klisch at Graze.



  24. Cristiano de Monaco

    September 6, 2012

    Dear Dr Kimberly Alderman
    I have written some comments to some news and only now I have noticed that all of them had the same authorship.
    Then, with the due respect I would like to introduce my ideas to you . Please, give me some of your attention.
    Time to time we see people are interested in watching and denouncing museums that are involved in collecting and preserving archaeological artifacts.
    I can say that I LOVE Italy and know much of cities and towns. As one Archaeologist and Historian, my main purpose is to see museums and archaeological sites and I have visited practically all of them in the last 25 years.
    Besides Italy, I know very well Egypt and Peru … and worked in Egypt for some 3 years. Of all the countries mentioned, we know that all have severe problems in maintaining and preserving their rich and invaluable patrimony. That’s the reason that I believe that they need to be helped and part of their cultural patrimony could be shared with international museums that could help them to preserve and perpetuate their history.

    If they continue to have this non-smart attitude of trying to keep the artifacts inside the boundaries of their territory, the things will contribute to be excavated illegally and exported equally illegally and we will see the increase of the black market… The same is valid when we have civil problems was as the case of Tunisia, Lybia, Iraq, Egypt and now Syria .
    The question that I have is : WHY not to review 1970 Unesco Convention and do as we have in Israel or UK? And have the official permit of the Government for the legal exportation of artifacts?

    I have returned from Southern Italy days ago and I was very, very disappointed. I was there looking for museums showing the magnificent APULIAN and Gnathian Culture and I found no Museum in BARI. Also, only closed museums in Brindisi. In Taranto only one floor of the archaeological Museum and in Egnazia one museum of relative importance, not comparable to the importance of the site.

    Then, we need to start to rethink the STATUS QUO of the 1970 Unesco Convention now that we have a globalized world and the boundaries of the countries are just economic and political.
    In terms of CULTURE, INFORMATION and PATRIMONY we need to consider that we have nowadays a single world – a very unique tribe were people, traditions and heritage are so near that we could consider as the same.

    Please, tell me if one scholar that have worked and have dedicated all his life to study and promote the culture of Egypt, Italy or Peru is less Egyptian, Italian and Peruvian???? Some of the natives don’t have the slightest interest in the past of their own country ! As we well know.

    When we study, work in the name of an old culture and civilization we pass to consider ourselves as one of them. Sorry, what Italian is more Gnathian than one man or women who spent all his/ her life working with Gnathia ?

    I have dedicated 30 years of my life to Egyptology and loved Egypt more than my own country … Who is more Ancient Egyptian than me?

    Then, as a humble suggestion, I would like to ask people to think that the cultural patrimony belongs to the MANKIND, all the countries need to be sharing their remains with other museums that can take care and help to preserve this fragile and invaluable patrimony.

    It is a humble opinion of someone who is very interested to the preservation of our heritage where it can be better preserved, not considering recent boundaries. Frontiers that can be changed…

    My dream is to have one INTERNATIONAL ORGANISM which can organize and administrate the material heritage … Lets think about a Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum… One global study to organize and make catalogues of ALL COLLECTIONS worldwide! Maybe someday we can have a complete inventory of all the archaeological remains worldwide and our knowledge will be complete and effective…

    Yes! Let’s, think how many marble heads the Italians Museums have! The Roman head in the Cleveland Museum will not affect the greatness of the Italian Museums that are wonderful and astonishing! Let’s be generous and consider that in Cleveland it will be preserved in a way that will help the beloved Italians…

    Also, consider how the image of this wonderful head can enchant children and people in general and they will be stimulated to travel to Italy and see more and more. Then, this head can be like one AMBASSATOR of Italy to the imaginary of thousands of Americans from Cleveland that will be delighted to see this wonderful item there, in Cleveland!

    Then, let’s review the focus of the Unesco Convention and consider that we live in a new world, a SINGLE WORLD! Where the frontiers fall and we are almost as the same !

    Hail to a new MUSEUM WITHOUT FRONTIERS !!!!!

  25. Christiano,

    You are welcome to comment on my blog, but if you keep copying and pasting, I will put you on the restricted list. I do appreciate your readership, and I am open to ideas, but not on repeat. That is not conducive to a meaningful dialogue.



  26. Christiano de Monaco

    September 6, 2012

    Hello Kimberly.
    Thanks for the kindness and the tip. In fact, I wrote my ideas before and when I saw that there was one that seemed to be the main one, I reproduced it with small corrections. Be assured that I will copy the messages systematically. The idea of changing opinions is very fruitful and I am pleased for the opportunity.
    Believe me that all the richest countries in archeological artifacts are suffering from economic crisis and they need help to preserve the monuments in a reasonable way .
    Thanks for the opportunity


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