Monday, April 27, 2015

Tell me again about the public trust (these paintings have their own lives to live edition)

The Roerich Museum is selling two works previously held in the public trust to be accessible to present and future generations.  But then they sprinkled the magic Not Held In The Public Trust dust over them and that made everything okay.  You don't have to be so touchy about it.

Series vs. Edition

I'm quoted in this Huffington Post post by Daniel Grant.

"Tax Break Used by Investors in Flipping Art Faces Scrutiny" (UPDATED)

Excellent piece by Graham Bowley in the NYT this morning on 1031 exchanges.

I had some thoughts on this subject a few years ago.  Good summary of the legal issues involved here.

UPDATE:  Bloomberg's Katya Kazakina has a story out today on the same subject.  Something's definitely in the air about this.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Essential Issues in Artist's Estate and Foundation Planning"

A panel, tomorrow night, at Herrick, Feinstein.  The Art Newspaper's Charlotte Burns is moderating.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A different kind of authentication dispute ...

... involving Salvador Dali.

"Both bills have been proposed repeatedly in recent years, but have never successfully passed into law."

The bills are Jerrod Nadler's resale royalty bill and the oft-introduced fair-market-deduction-for-artists bill. Julia Halperin has the story in The Art Newspaper.

Speaking of bills with no realistic chance of passing, the House voted this week to repeal the estate tax.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tell me again about the public trust (will most likely lead to the museum’s dissolution edition) (UPDATED)

This one is almost too rich.

The Art Newspaper's Julia Halperin reports (the story's dated March 1 but it either just went online or I've been asleep at the switch) that the Detroit Institute is selling a Van Gogh.

Let me repeat that:  the Detroit Institute is selling a Van Gogh.

Wait a minute.  Didn't the Michigan Attorney General tell us the works in the museum's collection were held in charitable trust for the people of Michigan?  I believe that he did.

And didn't Graham Beal, the director of the museum, say that that "any sale of art will most likely lead to the museum’s dissolution"?  Any sale of art.  I believe that he did.

Now we are told (by Beal) that "[d]eaccessioning is not controversial—US museums do it all the time."  The museum had put its deaccessioning program on hold during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings. "We couldn’t sell any works [during the bankruptcy]," says Beal, "because it would have caused such confusion."

Yes, I can imagine people being confused about why they were being told that the sale of any art would most likely lead to the museum's dissolution.  People can be so funny that way.

UPDATE:  Nicholas O'Donnell has some thoughts.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"In this case, we are constrained to concur with the views expressed in Altbach, Hoepker, and Nussenzweig's concurrence: ..." (UPDATED)

"... works of art fall outside the prohibitions of the privacy statute."

The First Department has affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of photographer Arne Svenson, who "surreptitiously" photographed people in their apartments, in the building across from his.  The decision is here.  The New York Law Journal put it on their front page.  Julia Halperin in The Art Newspaper is here. Artnet news is here, and Photo District News here.

It's a straightforward application of the relevant precedents and, as the court notes at the end of the decision, if there is a problem here it's one for the legislature to solve ("Needless to say, as illustrated by the troubling facts here, in these times of heightened threats to privacy posed by new and ever more invasive technologies, we call upon the Legislature to revisit this important issue, as we are constrained to apply the law as it exists").

UPDATE:  Some thoughts from Amy Landers at PrawfsBlawg.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015