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Protecting Artists’ Legacies in the Contemporary Art Market

Wilson Elser and West LegalEdcenter/Thomson Reuters

Date: February 10, 2020
Location: Webinar

Jana Farmer (Partner-White Plains) and Adam Buchwalter (Of Counsel-New Jersey) collaborated with West LegalEdcenter/Thomson Reuters on “Protecting Artists’ Legacies in the Contemporary Art Market,” a February 10, 2020, webinar presentation on the legal issues involving stewardship of artistic legacies in the contemporary art market. The unique challenges to artists and those entrusted with stewardship of artists’ legacies include preserving the value of the artworks, maintaining their authenticity and even material conservation of the artworks in their original form. Unlike traditional paintings and sculptures, which possess definitive materiality, conceptual artworks or artworks that need to be reactivated rely on documentation as an integral part of the work itself, making the relationship between artists or artist’s estates and purchasers increasingly more contractual. Jana and Adam addressed the risks and best practices for artists and artists’ estates to protect an artist’s legacy through advance planning, including the unique challenges presented by conceptual and nonmaterial artworks and considerations for artists’ wills and foundations.

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