Category Archives: Taxation & Estate Planning

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The Artist’s Legacy – Business and Legal Planning Issues

Sheppard Mullin attorneys Christine Steiner and Lauren Liebes recently joined Weston Naef, Getty Photography Curator Emeritus, and ASA appraiser Jennifer Stoots for “What Will Become of Your Legacy”, a panel discussion at Los Angeles Center of Photography.  The panel addressed business and estate planning issues for photographers. Below is the text of a handout on … Continue Reading

Art Fortresses Hold Taxes at Bay

The prices fetched by famous artworks continue to astound industry-watchers. In spring 2012, Edvard Munch’s The Scream set the record for a work sold at auction—$120 million. Sales of contemporary and modern art have also been setting records. As the value of famous works climb, many collectors are motivated to warehouse their collections while they … Continue Reading

Tax Bill Lands on Illegal Eagle

An artistic work’s beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but its valuation for taxation purposes is in the eye of the Internal Revenue Service. Recently, one of Robert Rauschenberg’s works captured attention for an uncommon tax and art valuation imbroglio surrounding the combine, Canyon. The IRS claims the work is worth $65 … Continue Reading

The Studious Studio – Business Practices for Artists

By Christine Steiner The recent troubles of Knoedler Gallery, now airing in the press and later, presumably, in the courtroom, may shed some light on certain art world concerns – due diligence, gallery sale practices, sophisticated fakes/forgeries, and problems with authenticity in the market. This piece discusses the importance of carefully managing the business of … Continue Reading

The Year In Review

By Lano Williams and Christine Steiner The past year was packed with litigation that ranged from broad constitutional questions to the ever present scourge of forgeries. Art Law Gallery presents highlights of some of the most important cases:  … Continue Reading

Pacific Standard Time – The Artist’s Legacy

By Jessica Kantor and Christine Steiner Attention shifts to Los Angeles this Fall, thanks to Pacific Standard Time, a stunning tribute to the Los Angeles post-war art scene. Pacific Standard Time (PST), spearheaded by the Getty Trust, presents simultaneous exhibitions and events at more than 60 Southland cultural institutions. PST provides an ideal opportunity for a closer … Continue Reading

The Art Of Taxes: Major Changes To The Federal Transfer Tax System

Ars longs, vita brevis. Art is immortal, artists are mortal. Taxes impinge on every part of the art world and are a concern for both artists and collectors.   Planning for and administering estates of artists and owners of art collections raises unique business management, income tax, transfer tax, and estate planning issues.  Such planning often requires an interdisciplinary approach that addresses … Continue Reading

Selling That Warhol In the Museum Attic: Brandeis’ Deaccessioning Raises Legal Issues

Museum collections have long tantalized would-be buyers and dealers of fine art. With most museums displaying a third or less of their collections at any given time – before it moved into its new building in 2004, the Museum of Modern Art was able to display only 10 percent of its magnificent collection – there’s … Continue Reading

The Art of Making Donations

Charitable donations of artwork can give rise to substantial tax benefits, but donors need to be aware that not all donations are treated equally for tax purposes. Many donors are not aware that the use to which the recipient organization puts the art will impact the amount of the charitable deduction the donor receives. Most … Continue Reading

Where There is a Will, Is There a Way?

Indiana Jones, quite possibly the most famous treasure-plundering, antiquity-hoarding fictional archeologist of our time, has a way of making the process of art reclamation or, depending on one’s perspective, appropriation, look grand.  Indy, usually covered with grime, soot, debris and a perfect layer of five-o-clock shadow, dodges boulders, bullets and brutes armed with bows and … Continue Reading

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