Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

GABRIELA PALMIERI AT SOTHEBY’S, FROM CATALOGUER TO CHAIR

MOVING UP THE CORPORATE LADDER IN ANY FIELD OF ENDEAVOR IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE AND STRATEGIC. IN AN ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT IN FORBES MAGAZINE BY STAFF REPORTER JACQUELYN SMITH, HOW TO FAST-TRACK YOUR WAY UP THE CORPORATE LADDER, ADVICE RANGES FROM THAT OF GOOD OLD DAD:

How? “My Dad gave me advice early in my career to always do the very best with whatever level of responsibility that I was afforded, and to take less desirable assignments that others might not want,” he says. “That approach has offered great exposure throughout my career.”

TO CORPORATE STRATEGIST, LYNETTE LEWIS, BUSINESS CONSULTANT AND AUTHOR, WHO CONCLUDES:

 I would agree that every person working will typically have the desire to move up, or perhaps the better way to say it is they will want to grow. Growth is a natural sign of being alive, so it is healthy to want to expand, develop, and advance both personally and professionally.”

Gego
Levy Gorvy Gallery

GABRIELA PALMIERI’S WORK ETHIC IS INCOMPARABLE. SHE IS AVAILABLE FROM VERY EARLY MORNING TO VERY LATE AT NIGHT, GENEROUS WITH ADVICE AND TRANSPARENTLY HONEST IN AN INDUSTRY THAT MAY HAVE A BIT OF SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

IN TODAY’S LRFA POST, GABBY TRACES HER CAREER AT SOTHEBY’S FROM CATALOGUER TO CHAIR.

GABBY, WELCOME BACK! WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU DECIDED TO STAY AT SOTHEBY’S AND NOT CONTINUE YOUR ACADEMIC STUDIES?

I then moved over to become a cataloguer and researcher in the Latin American Art Department. By late 2003, Alex Rotter poached me to the Contemporary Department as the collectors I was working with in Latin American were buying Contemporary and vice versa. By November 2004, I put a Gego on the cover of the Day sale catalogue and now Gego shows are being mounted at Levy Gorvy! I progressed to Head of Day Sale, Head of Evening sale until I departed as Chairman, and accomplished all I set out to do. 

Ahead of the Curve:
The Sender Collection

YOU HAVE THE EAR OF SO MANY OF THE VERY BEST AND MOST RESPECTED COLLECTORS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COLLECTIONS THAT STAND OUT THE MOST AND WHY?

I suppose I specialize in the letter S. The Sender Collection was the first Collection that truly put me in a position that I felt so invested in the personal friendship that I had with the collector; which dovetailed into me treating every aspect of its sale as if it was my own. It was the personal investment that made it such a meaningful exercise both professionally and personally – and an honor to work with someone as ambitious and visionary as Adam Sender. The very same for Spiegel which was my first foray at advising a collector as an independent.

Ahead of the Curve:
The Sender Collection

The history and legacy of Emily Spiegel’s passion and acumen was just one that was such a privilege to have an insight into and I was just so invested in its triumphant result as a legacy. To do what Emily did with an absolute joy and love of it deserves a chapter in “how to” the history of collecting.

‘Philip Guston
Painter At Night 1979
The Emily and Jerry Spiegel Collection

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE ART WITH A CAPITAL A? WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE MOST DEFINING MOMENTS IN ART HISTORY?

I characterize art in the most romantic terms possible. To me, it is something that makes visible or tangible a moment in time; a desire for something beyond imagining; and otherworldly. In other words, Art History for me resonates so specifically to imagine what it must have been like to walk into Hieronymous Bosch while he painted the Garden of Earthly Delights; the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo on the scaffolding;

Hieronymous Bosch
Garden of Earthly Delights

Vermeer as he painted that last touch on the pearl earring; Turner’s studio as he painted the tempest; Picasso lavishing paint on any canvas; Klein setting a canvas on fire; Fontana slashing one; Warhol silkscreening one; Johns encaustic-ing one; Rauschenberg erasing one; Basquiat finding one to Bradford collaging one.

Yves Klein
Fire painting

GABBY, THANK YOU. IN OUR NEXT POST, WE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN OF GABBY’S PERSPECTIVE OF THE CURRENT AND FUTURE MARKET. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO POSE TO HER, PLEASE DO SO.

 

Introducing Gabriela Palmieri, art expert and appassionata

Gabriela Palmieri

GABRIELA PALMIERI IS A POWERHOUSE IN THE ART WORLD, DEEPLY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND PASSIONATE ABOUT ART. WITH A GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT RARE IN ANY INDUSTRY, GABBY, AN EXTRAORDINARY AUCTIONEER, VOLUNTEERS HER TIME AND SAVVY TO CHARITY AUCTIONS FOR CAUSES THAT RESONATE WITH HER. A SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S WEARING MANY HATS OVER THE YEARS, FROM INTERN TO CHAIR OF CONTEMPORARY ART FOR THE AMERICAS, SHE HAS RECENTLY OPENED HER OWN ART ADVISORY SERVICE IN A BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED SPACE ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE ON EAST 78th STREET IN NEW YORK.

WATCH OUT WORLD!

IT IS A PLEASURE AND A PRIVILEGE TO WELCOME GABBY PALMIERI, MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, TO THE LRFA BLOG AND TO DISCOVER MORE OF WHAT MAKES HER SUCH A SPECIAL PRESENCE IN THE ART WORLD.

 

WHAT INFLUENCED YOU GROWING UP TO CHOOSE A PROFESSION IN THE ARTS?

Honestly, it was the most magnificent combination of forces. I grew up in a household of a musician with a sense of history for his instrument. He was deeply passionate about the history of his musical genre and of its origins. I inherited this curiosity and passion- and had the great fortune of studying art history in high school under an art history professor in a class of 8 students. Two of whom were myself and Elizabeth Gorayeb, both former Sotheby’s colleagues for 16 years, and now Elizabeth is now the Director of the Wildenstein Plattner Foundation dedicated to Art Historical Research. Dr. Rita Salfeld taught us well.

I KNOW YOUR FATHER, EDDIE PALMIERI, IS A LEGENDARY JAZZ PERFORMER AND GRAMMY WINNER, GOING FULL FORCE. WAS HE AN INFLUENCE IN YOUR LOVE OF ART?

Absolutely. He’s an influence to me on just about everything. It’s my provenance!

WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, DID YOU VISIT MUSEUMS AND IF SO, WHAT WAS THE PERIOD OR ARTISTS THAT CAPTURED YOUR ATTENTION?

Matisse Retrospective
Museum of Modern Art
1992-1993

Dr. Salfeld took us to see the Matisse Retrospective at MoMa in 1992 and I walked in and thought, this is it. This is everything.

WHAT EDUCATIONAL STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO FURTHER YOUR GOALS? DID YOU ALWAYS WANT A CAREER IN THE ART WORLD?

I thought I wanted to be a politician! A Puerto Rican Geraldine Ferraro! That lasted a hot second as if you took a poll from my nearest and dearest – they will tell you that I am not very political especially about things that I am most passionate about.

AFTER COLLEGE, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

My first job was actually Sotheby’s. I was on a leave of absence from graduate school and I started at Sotheby’s with the intent that it would be temporary before rebounding back to finish my Ph.D and then it was Stockholm syndrome I suppose. I fell in love with my captor.

WHAT WERE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AT SOTHEBY’S?  HOW DID THEY EVOLVE AND WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PATH THERE?

Oh my lord. How long is your blog? My evolution at Sotheby’s included everything short of dishes and windows. I started in Sothebys.com as a dealer liaison for dealers that were posting works online. This venture was short lived as in 2000, collectors were just not ready to buy art from a JPEG. A fascinating exercise far ahead of its time actually. 

THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO LEARNING MORE ABOUT GABBY’S CAREER PATH IN OUR NEXT POST. HER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE AUCTION HOUSE’S HISTORY ARE LEGENDARY.

UNTIL THEN!

Taxing Collectibles: All you need to know from Barron’s Penta magazine

Fisher Landau collection

IN 2018, THE CHANGES IN THE TAX CODE HAVE AN EFFECT ON COLLECTIBLES OF ALL KINDS. KAREN HUBE, A FINANCIAL JOURNALIST, CONTRIBUTED A COMPREHENSIVE AND ARTICULATE ARTICLE TO PENTA, THE MAGAZINE FOR HIGH NET-WORTH INDIVIDUALS PUBLISHED BY BARRON’S.

AN EXCERPT FROM HER ARTICLE PROVIDES A GREAT RECAP OF VERY GOOD ADVICE.

Buy and sell wisely:

The new tax rule eliminated tax-free like-kind exchanges for artwork and other collectibles. This is a transaction in which a collectible could be traded for another of the same value, without incurring capital-gains taxes.

But now, without this ability, sales of many collectibles are likely to decline, and owners will be looking at creative options for being able to prune or add to their collections.

Fisher Landau Center for Art
Long Island City, NY

Cohen advises considering a pass-through entity to house a collection. Pass-throughs are partnerships, S corporations, and limited liability companies. Income from these entities is taxed under rates up to 37% as of this year, but the new tax rules allow for a 20% income-tax deduction.

The task for collectors? Figure out if you’re better off incurring capital-gains taxes at a top rate of 20% when you sell a collectible, or be subject to a 37% income-tax rate after claiming a 20% deduction, Cohen says.

Another move to size up:

Create a personal museum on your property, and claim a tax deduction for the items donated. Be cautious, however. The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t like these, and will demand proof that the museum is accessible to the public, has proper insurance, and is otherwise catering to outside visitors.

The Broad
Los Angeles, California

IN THE SAME ISSUE OF PENTA, KATERINA ANG FOCUSES ON PRIVATE ART FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION

African-American multi-media artist Lona Simpson previewed Hypothetical?—an audio installation and meditation on race relations—at the 1993 Whitney Biennial…But just last spring it reappeared as the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Fisher-Landau Center for Art in Queens, N.Y. Launched in 1991 by philanthropist Emily Fisher, the center was ahead of a wave of privately funded contemporary-art institutions highlighting work that would otherwise only be dusted off every decade for a museum loan. According to Larry’s List, a Hong Kong consultancy, there are 317 such privately funded museums in the world, with more than two-thirds of them having opened after 2000.

Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth
Currrent Exhibition at The Broad

Increasingly, these cultural institutions are entering travelers’ must-see lists. Since the Broad, a museum that houses 2,000 works owned by KB Home founder Eli Broad, opened in downtown Los Angeles in 2015, more than 1.7 million visitors have ventured past the cantilevered white facade designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “The audience skews younger and more diverse than other museums,” says Sarah Loyer, assistant curator at the Broad, adding that free admission to much of the museum helps.

Glenstone
Potomac, Maryland

Now, Danaher Corp.’s director, Mitchell Rales is in the midst of expanding Glenstone, an idyllic outdoor sculpture park in Potomac, Md., with his wife, Emily. Metropolitan Museum of Art trustee and Blackstone boss J. Tomilson Hill has unveiled plans for the Hill Art Foundation, a gallery in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that will house his extensive collection of 20th century American art (in part for the tax deductions, he has admitted). He has commissioned Peter Marino, the architect behind dozens of Dior and Louis Vuitton interiors, to design it.

Liu Yiqian
in front of Gerhard Richter painting

While New York and Miami are major destinations, Chinese, South Korean, and German institutions dominate much of Larry’s List. Liu Yiqian, a Chinese stockpicker, has split his collection into two Shanghai locations spanning almost 50,000 square feet. The latest outpost—opened in 2014—is a triumph of graceful, curving lines.

AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…

Try to maximize the value of your donations. A themed collection in its entirety is likely to be valued higher than if it were donated piecemeal, says David Lehn, a tax partner at Withers Bergman in Greenwich, Conn.

As with any sale or donation, pay attention to the IRS rules on appraisals, or months of strategizing can be all for nothing. As Cohen says, “A small foot-fault can reduce any tax benefit to zero.”

Modigliani
Nu Couche, 1917-18

OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE GABRIELA PALMIERI, ART EXPERT EXTRAORDINAIRE. SHE ENJOYED A MEMORABLE CAREER AT SOTHEBY’S FOR MANY YEARS AND HAS RECENTLY OPENED HER OWN PRIVATE ART ADVISORY SERVICE. NO ONE CAN RIVAL GABBY FOR ENERGY, EXPERTISE AND HER LOVE OF ART.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Donating a work of art to a museum

Griffin Court
Art Institute of Chicago

A BOUTIQUE ADVISORY FIRM WITHIN A GLOBAL FIRM, THE BLUE RIDER GROUP FOCUSES ON SERVING PROMINENT COLLECTORS, ARTISTS, FOUNDATIONS, MUSEUMS, AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. THE BLUE RIDER GROUP PROVIDES FINANCIAL SERVICES TO THE INTERNATIONAL ART COMMUNITY.                                                 “WE WORK PRIMARILY WITH PROMINENT COLLECTORS, ARTISTS, FOUNDATIONS, MUSEUMS AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. OUR CORE FOCUS IS ASSET MANAGEMENT AND WE LEVERAGE AN OPEN ARCHITECTURE INVESTMENT PLATFORM TO CONSTRUCT CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS FOR EACH CLIENT.”

Costume Institute
Metropolitan Museum of Art

“IN ADDITION TO ADDRESSING OUR CLIENTS’ FINANCIAL NEEDS, WE FACILITATE INTRODUCTIONS BETWEEN COLLECTORS, RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT ORGANIZATIONS AND HELP SUPPORT PROJECTS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT ART AND THE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MAKING, SUPPORTING, CURATING, ACQUIRING AND CARING FOR IT.”

ONE OF THE MANY RESPONSIBILITIES THE GROUP UNDERTAKES IS TO ADVICE COLLECTOR CLIENTS ON CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ART WORKS.

Getting A Charitable Contribution Deduction

In order to obtain a charitable contribution deduction equal to the fair market value of the work of art, the work must be donated to a public charity or private operating foundation, and the donor must anticipate that the charity’s use of the work will be “related” to its exempt purpose.

For example, a gift of a painting to a museum would clearly be a related-use gift. A gift of a work of art to a school with a museum, which uses it for art instruction, should also be a related- use gift. However, if the work of art is contributed, for example, to the local SPCA, which in turn just plans to sell the art, the amount of the deduction would be limited to basis, because the gift would not be related to the organization’s exempt purpose. It is important that you understand the future use of the artwork, because the nuances can affect the amount of the income tax deduction.

San Francisco Museum of Art

It’s also important to understand what type of property the artwork will be deemed to be for tax purposes. Generally, a work of art held by a collector is capital gain property and qualifies for deductibility at full fair market value, if it meets the related-use rule discussed above. The contribution is deductible up to 30% of adjusted gross income (AGI), with any excess contribution deductible over the following five years (limited to 30% of AGI) until exhausted. However, the art will be deemed to be ordinary income property, if (i) the donor created it, (ii) the donor received it as a gift from the creator, (iii) it is held as inventory by a dealer, or (iv) its sale would generate short-term capital gain because it was held for one year or less. If it is ordinary income property, the deduction is for cost basis only, up to a maximum of 50% of AGI.

Museum of Modern Art
New York

IN AN ARTICLE IN WEALTH MANAGEMENT, A CAUTIONARY WORD OF ADVICE

Most major museums will reject a work of art unless it fills a gap in its permanent collection. For donated art collections, the likelihood of rejection is even higher. The art, alas, will be homeless, except if it’s a masterpiece.

To avoid this dilemma, fundraisers and their art advisors should work with donors in creating a realistic comprehensive plan. Those arrangements will ensure the acceptance of their donation by the charity of their choice, while offering them a fair market value tax deduction. Caveat Donor. “All gifts have to be unconditional,” according to Glenn D. Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, before they will be considered for acceptance. This is standard practice for museums and charities alike.

Dallas Museum of Art

Nonetheless, the fundraiser and art advisor can be valuable by explaining to donors the elements of the program. Those elements include the percentage of the charity’s collection on permanent display, the criteria for displaying works of art, if an endowment will be required with the donation, and the charity’s policy on selling art after it has been put to a related use.

Finally, donors should understand the importance of having an independent art advisor who represents their interests only, not those of museums, auction houses, dealers, or artists.

ALL THESE CAVEATS ARE IMPORTANT IN THE TRANSITION OF A WORK OF ART FROM THE PRIVATE COLLECTION TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR. BE WELL-ADVISED AT ALL TIMES AS THAT IS CRUCIAL IN YOUR DECISION-MAKING PROCESS.

THANK YOU AS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

UNTIL NEXT TIME!

 

Changes in the 2018 tax code and its effect on the art market

THE ART MARKET IS ATTRACTING NEW BUYERS AND CHANGING ATTITUDES TOWARD ART. LAST WEEK,THE LONDON POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY SALES UNDERSCORED JUST HOW DIVERSE THE BIDDING AUDIENCE IS. A BIDDER WAS ONLINE FROM TURKEY COMPETING FOR A CONTEMPORARY CHINESE PAINTING, AND THAT IS JUST ONE SMALL EXAMPLE OF THE GLOBALIZATION OF MARKETS AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES THAT ARE RESHAPING THE ART MARKET.

IAN PRIOR, A FINANCIAL AND ART MARKET EXPERT AT U.S. TRUST, WRITES:

Art in a New World

By Ian Prior, U.S. Trust

From baroque and romantic to surrealist and modern, the world of fine art has a long history of innovation, with artists constantly exploring new ways to express their experiences and challenge our perceptions. Indeed, great art can be revolutionizing. The art market, by contrast, has gotten along just fine with very little change, as befits an institution steeped in tradition. There have been innovations — a notable one in the last century was the advent of the evening sale — though calling them revolutionary might be overstating the case. But all that has changed in recent years. Powerful forces not unlike those that are transforming the global economy — technological innovation and rising wealth in developing nations among them — have been reshaping the art market, bringing higher valuations, a global influx of collectors, and shifting attitudes toward the very “worth” of art. Amid these changes, more collectors — newer ones in particular, but seasoned ones as well — are viewing their collections not solely as an enduring and passionate pursuit but also as an economic investment. And, much as with an investment portfolio, they are paying more attention to the prospects and opportunities their collections can provide, with an eye to legacy planning, tax planning and wealth planning, and using the art on their walls as collateral for loans. 

UNTIL THE 2018 CHANGES IN THE TAX CODE WENT INTO EFFECT, COLLECTORS WHO SOLD VALUABLE WORKS OF ART WERE ABLE TO AVOID CAPITAL-GAINS TAXES BY APPLYING AN INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE RULING THAT IS VERY FAMILIAR TO REAL-ESTATE DEVELOPERS. SINCE MANY TOP REAL-ESTATE INVESTORS ARE SIGNIFICANT ART COLLECTORS, THEY WERE WELL-VERSED AND COMFORTABLE WITH THE 1031.

UNDER THE RULE, SELLERS COULD POSTPONE CAPITAL GAIN TAXES IF A QUALIFYING EXCHANGE STRUCTURE WAS ESTABLISHED AND THE PROCEEDS OF A SALE OF AN ART WORK WAS USED TO PURCHASE PROPERTY OF “LIKE KIND” (PAINTING FOR PAINTING, SCULPTURE FOR SCULPTURE) WITHIN 180 DAYS DEEMING THE TRANSACTION AS A REINVESTMENT OF CAPITAL AND NOT SUBJECT TO TAXES. SUCH POSTPONEMENTS COULD CONTINUE INDEFINITELY AS LONG AS THE REPLACEMENT VALUE OF THE ART WORK WAS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE VALUE OF THE OBJECT BEING SOLD.

An Art Market in Flux

Rising wealth, the globalization of markets and technological advances are just some of the forces that are reshaping the global economy — and, as it happens, transforming many facets of the art market. For collectors, understanding how and why the market is evolving may be more important now than ever before.

There’s been a surge of interest in art collecting in regions of the world where wealth has risen significantly. That includes the United States and other developed nations, as well as emerging regions such as China, India, Russia and South America. The increase in interest is reflected in a significant rise in market valuations over the past decade.

Seasoned collectors, who tend to buy mainly because of their passion for art, “are being joined by a new breed of collectors who apply the financial savvy and business sophistication of their professional lives to their collecting,” says Evan Beard, National Art Services executive at U.S. Trust. “While they too may have a deep passion for art, many are also keeping an eye on the financial potential of their collection and how it fits into an overall portfolio of assets they own.”

While very few collectors buy art purely as an investment, he says, “Many now employ art lending strategies to unlock capital from their collection and art planning strategies to capture tax efficiencies.” Meanwhile, private banks and wealth management firms have expanded their offerings related to art and tangible assets to meet the sophistication of their clients.

IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THE ART MARKET IS AFFECTED BY THE ELIMINATION OF SWAP EXCHANGES. I ANTICIPATE A BIT OF A SLOW DOWN

EVAN BEARD, IN THE ART SERVICES DIVISION AT  U.S. TRUST, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXANDRA BREGMAN OF THE ART NEWSPAPER IN NOVEMBER, 2017, PREDICTS:

Art collectors with valuable holdings must also contend with estate tax; the House bill proposes a phase-out. Which is of greater concern for the liquidity of the art market, estate taxes or capital gains on art sales?

Both are of great concern. If there will be no way to defer high capital gains tax on works of art then there will be less incentive to sell. If there will be no estate tax, then there will be no pressure on estates to liquidate art assets to pay for the estate tax.

Is there consensus in the art world about the potential impact of such a change?

There are fears among collectors that the new law will slow down the art market in 2018. If 1031 exchanges can no longer be used on art sales, there is a fear that the capital gains tax that will be owed on a sale may dissuade potential sellers from bringing works to market.

WE SHALL SEE!

******************************************************************************************************************************

From the U.S. Trust website,  Art Services 

At U.S. Trust, we offer our extensive art services. We provide solutions for collectors and institutions while helping to navigate the complex art world. For individuals, we lend against collections to unlock capital, design estate plan options specific to art, and help collectors prepare for a sale via consignment services. 

 

 

Tax time, again! Some expert opinions on how the 2018 tax code affects collectors

WITHERS WORLDWIDE IS AN INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM WITH AN EXCEPTIONAL DEPARTMENT HEADED BY DIANA WIERBICKI WHO LEADS THEIR GLOBAL ART PRACTICE AND IS A PARTNER IN THE PRIVATE CLIENT AND TAX TEAM. IT IS TAX TIME AGAIN. MARCH 15 FOR CORPORATIONS AND APRIL 15 FOR INDIVIDUALS. THIS YEAR, IT IS PARTICULARLY CRUCIAL TO UNDERSTAND THE TAX CODE AS IT HAS CHANGED SUBSTANTIALLY.

THE LRFA BLOG WILL PUBLISH A FEW HOPEFULLY HELPFUL AND RELEVANT ARTICLES SO THAT THIS TIME NEXT YEAR WE WILL ALL BE WELL-PREPARED TO ADVANTAGE  OF AND PROTECTED OURSELVES FROM CHANGES IN THE TAX LAW.

LET’S START WITH A BASIC:  ESTATE PLANNING AND CIRCLE BACK AROUND TO ART RELATED ISSUES.

HOW THE NEW FEDERAL TAX FEDERAL NEW YORK ESTATE TAX EXEMPTIONS COULD AFFECT YOUR ESTATE PLAN.

Current federal and state estate tax exemption:

Federal law: On December 22, 2017 the President signed into law legislation that represents the most sweeping tax reform in decades (the “Act”), and generally takes effect on January 1, 2018. Prior to the Act being signed into law, the federal estate and gift tax exemption was $5.49 million for 2017. However, the Act increases the federal estate and gift tax exemption to $11.18 million ($22.36 million for married couples) starting January 1, 2018. In addition, the Act also increases the per person generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption to approximately $11.18 million. Under the Act, absent additional legislative action, the increased exemptions will remain in effect through 2025, after which the exemptions will return to the 2017 federal estate tax exemption (adjusted for inflation).

New York law: On April 1, 2017 the New York estate tax exemption increased to $5,250,000 and this will be effective through December 31, 2018. Starting January 1, 2019 the New York estate tax exemption will be greater than $5.6 million and is scheduled to increase annually for inflation.

What should you do:

Structuring your estate plan to minimize New York estate tax will depend on the value of your estate, your age, and your family situation. There are a number of options available that forgo the full use of the federal estate tax exemption and will result in no New York estate tax being incurred on the death of the first spouse. This is likely a desirable option for young families or families that have an estate of less than $30 million. Various types of marital trusts, outright marital bequests and devises, and federal portability can be effectively used to avoid New York estate tax on the first death.

An alternative option is to fund a trust with the amount that can pass free of federal estate tax, which is $11.2 million in 2018. This is likely more advantageous for families with estates significantly larger than the couples’ combined* federal* estate tax exemption.

New York does not have a gift tax, and therefore, a family could make gifts during their lifetime to avoid the New York estate tax. However, it should be noted that gifts made within three years of the taxpayer’s death will be added back to the taxpayer’s estate if the taxpayer dies prior to January 1, 2019.

Authored by Diana Wierbicki and other American-based Withers attorneys, Withers Worldwide, Insights, published January 22, 2018.

Diana Wierbicki

Her work covers a wide range of legal issues related to art transactions, with a focus on addressing the tax and commercial issues that arise when buying and selling art or when transferring art by donation or bequest. She counsels clients on income tax and sales/use tax issues, and trust and estate planning matters, as these relate to their art transactions. Diana assists clients with art purchases, sales, loans, consignments and charitable donations of art, and represents art collectors, investors, galleries, dealers and advisors, as well as artists and foundations.

Present and future: Geri Thomas, advisor to cultural and arts individuals and organizations

Geri Thomas
Consultant to arts and cultural organizations

Starting a career in the international art world requires preparation, persistence and most importantly understanding of its unique universe of career possibilities. The art world employs a wide variety of professionals in a myriad of settings. In the commercial landscape are roles in the auction houses, galleries, advisory firms, insurance companies and online marketplaces. Moving toward the non-profit space are the foundations, museums, historic houses and education institutions. Finding a great job depends largely on understanding your options, knowing your strengths and sharpening your focus. 

Meg Vosburg, Director of Careers at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York

HAVING PROFESSIONAL HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD OF ART IS A GREAT ADVANTAGE WHEN ESTABLISHING A COMPANY THAT RECRUITS AND STAFFS CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS, GALLERIES, AND MUSEUMS. IT CAN PROVIDE AN INTUITIVE SENSE OF THE RIGHT CANDIDATE AS WELL AS A PRACTICAL EVALUATION OF  ABILITIES AND AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION. ONE NEEDS A GOOD FEEL FOR THE CULTURE OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT COMES WITH WORKING IN THE ART AND MUSEUM WORLD. MOST OF ALL, ONE NEEDS A LOVE AND APPRECIATION OF ART.

 

GERI THOMAS HAS THESE QUALIFICATIONS AND MORE, HAVING SERVED THE ART WORLD AS FOUNDER OF A STAFFING AND RECRUITMENT AGENCY FOR NEARLY TWENTY YEARS FOLLOWING HER CAREER IN THE MUSEUM WORLD. SHE IS SUPERBLY QUALIFIED TO IDENTIFY A JOB SEEKER’S STRENGTHS AND FOCUS.

THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME GERI BACK TO TELL US OF HER CURRENT PROFESSIONAL PURSUITS AND HER THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF MUSEUMS AND THE ARTS.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR NEW ACTIVITIES AND WILL YOU STILL BE PROVIDING CAREER ADVICE TO ARTS PROFESSIONALS?

Right after I closed the business, several gallery clients asked me to analyze their staffing requirements and salaries.  For one of my museum clients, I’ll be conducting career and professional development workshops that include one-on-one sessions with staff to discuss their goals and their resumes. In addition, I will be providing career advice to individuals and I’m excited to be able to continue to be of service and share expertise. 

gerithomas8@gmail.com

One of my long-time goals was to become an arts appraiser and successfully completed the program offered by the Appraisers Association of America this past summer. I’m hoping to bring past experience with collections and works of art to new projects, clients, and collectors.   

Immersion Room at the Cooper Hewitt Museum

WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE FOR THE FUTURE OF MUSEUMS AND THE ARTS IN GENERAL?

Hopefully, public museums will continue to align themselves with their communities and “let the audience in” to be relevant and also for the organization’s survival.  Technology will be increasingly important and let’s hope that it can be useful in bringing the visitor in the door for meaningful one-on-one encounters with works of art, history and science. Certainly our viral world has the ability to attract and expose people to a variety of art and objects.

Glenstone
Mitchell Rales Private Museum

It seems that private museums started by wealthy collectors are on the rise globally and their impact and what constitutes value and public access are still to be determined. 

Like others, I’m astounded at the hammer prices of individual works of art.  Some of these prices are more than the GNP of a small country, and I’m beginning to posit that no work of art should be more than $2 million – whether it be a Picasso, Basquiat or even a Leonardo!  What could that mean for the museum visitor experience, for the continued democratization of access to the arts, and to ruminating on the real value of beauty and creativity.

Geri Thomas can now be reached at gerithomas8@gmail.com.   

GERI, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENLIGHTENING CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG.

Inclusion: working in the art world with Geri Thomas, founder of art.staffing.com

artstaffing.com newsletter

“No matter what your role, you have the power to drive change and influence organizations. Jennifer Brown’s new book, Inclusion: Diversity, the New Workplace & the Will to Change, gives you the tools to do exactly that. Inclusion imparts critical knowledge, cutting-edge data and time-tested strategies that Jennifer and her team have implemented at Fortune 500 companies around the country.

Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will to Change
by Jennifer Brown

ON A MORE SPECIFIC PLAYING FIELD, THE ART WORLD, GERI THOMAS IS AN EXPERT. HAVING FOUNDED THOMAS & ASSOCIATES NEARLY TWENTY YEARS AGO, GERI HAS THE KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF HAVING WORKED IN MANY MAJOR MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, ORGANIZED TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS AND DEVELOPED NEW GALLERIES AND MUSEUM WINGS. SHE HAS PLACED HUNDREDS OF ARTS AND CULTURAL PROFESSIONALS IN POSITIONS WITH MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, AUCTION HOUSES AND ARTS ORGANIZATIONS, PROFIT AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD.  THE ART WORLD IS VIEWED AS A LIBERAL LANDSCAPE BASED ON MERITOCRACY, WHETHER CREATIVELY OR FROM A BUSINESS POINT OF VIEW.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO SHARING GERI THOMAS’S THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS ON WORKING IN THE ART WORLD.

GERI, WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO START YOUR OWN COMPANY AND LEAVE  THE MUSEUM WORLD?

I worked at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; the New Museum of Contemporary Art; on a major Islamic exhibition that toured the country; as part of the initial project team for the new national museum in New Zealand, Te Papa; and at the Jewish Museum. 

 

Te Papa
Museum of New Zealand
Permanent collection

Quite frankly, I was burnt out and looking to increase my compensation.  I still consider myself to be a “museum person” and continue to work with museum and other arts clients on organizational and board development.  I felt I could service them and myself better by not being an employee. 

Kehinde Wiley, Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011.
The Jewish Museum, New York.

YOUR COMPANY FOCUSED ON AN AREA OF STAFFING THAT I FIND UNIQUE. ARE THERE OTHER FIRMS THAT SPECIALIZE IN STAFFING MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS? IT WOULD SEEM SO BENEFICIAL BOTH FOR THE POTENTIAL EMPLOYEE AND FOR THE MUSEUM OR NON-PROFIT.

When I started the business, there were few agencies focused specifically on arts & culture and hardly anyone but us who worked not only with museums but also with galleries, auction houses, private collectors and performing arts organizations.  We also wanted to engage in all levels of staffing – from administrative and technical staff to managers and directors. Now there are numerous agencies and recruiters, most with no background in the arts, working in the field.  In addition, the many online recruitment firms are trying to find ways to tap the growing arts and culture universe. After 18 remarkable years, I’m proud of our accomplishments and our experience and commitment to the field.  

Tomm El-Saieh, Walking Razor
“2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage” at New York’s New Museum.

THERE HAS BEEN AN EXPLOSION OF ACCUSATION AND WOMEN COMING FORTH IN THE WORK PLACE IN EVERY INDUSTRY TO REVEAL THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT THAT THEY WERE AFRAID TO ADMIT YEARS BEFORE. WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A RECRUITER AND IN THE ART WORLD BEEN IN THIS REGARD?

Arts and cultural organizations are not separate from politics and the current socio-economic environment; rather, we contribute, affect and are affected by the current climate.  Through the years, there have been many, mostly young women, in my office who seemed desperate to leave their jobs. Talking with them further revealed that they were being harassed or abused in other ways — denied taking breaks and lunch; under constant scrutiny; subject to abusive language; working for “screamers”, etc.  Like many of the women coming forward today, none of them then wanted to say or do anything and feared they would never work in the arts if they did. Hopefully, what is being revealed across all industries today will be instrumental in making a more equitable and positive workplace experience. The current climate again makes the case for organizations to engage in a developed and empathetic Human Resources function.  While HR has been about compliance and protecting the organization, we need also to have an enlightened approach to employee engagement, developing and nurturing talent, and protecting employees under the law. 

The New Museum

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, GERI WILL INFORM US OF HER NEW ACTIVITIES AND PLANS FOR HER FUTURE AND THAT OF THE MUSEUM WORLD.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Geri Thomas, an expert in staffing and consulting for arts and culture organizations

Geri Thomas

EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO, GERI THOMAS FOUNDED THOMAS & ASSOCIATES, INC., AND ART STAFFING.COM, AN INNOVATIVE STAFFING AND CONSULTING FIRM FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS AND BUSINESSES FOLLOWING A LONG CAREER IN MUSEUM MANAGEMENT IN BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND ABROAD. SHE CLOSED THE BUSINESS IN SEPTEMBER 2017 TO BECOME A FINE ARTS APPRAISER AND AN ADVISOR TO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS ON PROJECTS AND CAREERS.

THE LRFA BLOG HAS ASKED GERI TO REFLECT ON THE CHANGES IN THE ARTS INDUSTRY AND WHAT SHE SEE AS MAJOR TRENDS GOING FORWARD.

GERI, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REVISITING THE LRFA BLOG.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER THAT SHAPED YOUR PROFESSIONAL  HISTORY? YOU HAVE SO MUCH EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD. HOW HAS THAT LED TO WHAT YOU FOCUS ON NOW?

Harlem on my Mind

Without going too far back in ancient history, I was always intrigued with organizations and how they function and pursued a degree in Sociology. Although I always loved art and visited museums in Chicago where I grew up, it wasn’t until I took a class in Far Eastern Art that I knew I was “hooked” and changed my major to Art History. The late 70s and early 80s, when I and some of my colleagues from diverse economic backgrounds entered the field, were decades of great change in museums – they attempted to be more inclusive, realizing the need to reach out to a variety of audiences not only for survival but also to fulfill their educational mission. 

Tutankhamen
Metropolitan Museum of Art

We all know that exhibitions such as Harlem on My Mind, and Tutankhamen were pivotal in changing museum approaches to exhibitions and collections by making an effort to represent the cultures inherent in their holdings. In addition, “grass roots” arts organizations as they were known then, were already showcasing the work of women artists and people of color and were significant in influencing the more mainstream institutions. Significant exhibitions followed such as Randy Rosen’s Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream, 1970-85; and, the pivotal Black Male exhibition at the Whitney, curated by Thelma Golden. Now there are significant exhibitions and acquisitions focused on artists of all backgrounds worldwide.

Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream
Randy Rosen

THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL OF 2017 CERTAINLY CRYSTALLIZED THE NEW CHAPTER OF SO-CALLED POLITICAL ART. THE SHOW SELECTED 63 ARTISTS WORKING “AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE FORMAL AND THE SOCIAL. MANY OF THESE ARTISTS CONFRONT SUCH AMERICAN REALTIES AS INCOME INEQUALITY, HOMELESSNESS, IMMIGRATION, HATRED AND BIAS.”

DO YOU SEE THIS AS A NEW DIRECTION OR A CONTINUATION OF A RECURRENT FOCUS?

Black Male
Diptych
The Whitney Museum

“Inclusion” and “diversity” are once again in the rhetoric but have never really gone away.  Museums, perhaps because of relatively low salaries and because they often seem to lack institutional memory are once again trying to devise ways to be more inclusive – from efforts to diversify staffing and leadership roles to establishing better and more diverse boards. 

With the worldwide interest in art as an asset class coupled with foundation support for inclusion (such as the new Ford Foundation initiative to establish a “pipeline” of diverse arts leaders), another new call for change is underway. My company had a mantra – just hire qualified people from diverse backgrounds and increase compensation.  It is that simple!

Whitney Biennial 2017

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, GERI WILL SPEAK ABOUT THE UNIQUE COMPANY SHE CREATED TO SERVICE OUR NON-PROFIT MUSEUM AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

SOUND & IMAGE, an exhibition of current members of the Federation at Westbeth Gallery, February 3-24th.

 

The Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors presents Sound and Image,

an exhibition at the Westbeth Gallery on the theme of image and music.

In his On the Spiritual in Art, Kandinsky wrote: “Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many strings.”

Ever since Kandinsky likened paint to music, modernists have been thinking hard about the influential ways that visual art and music come together.

This exhibition explores the sounds of paint, ink and other media through the works of a group that has been an ensemble for 78 years and whose artists have been and still are fascinated by the coming together of two art forms. Founding member Mark Rothko’s son Christopher writes about his father: “Music was central to my father’s world—to his own aesthetic sensibilities, certainly, but also to the structure and expressive modes he found as a painter. I think it’s fair to say he was a painter who aspired to be a musician.”

Nicholas Christopher
House of the Rising Sun

This February 3-24, 2018, the Federation will be presenting ‘Sound & Image’ at the Westbeth Gallery, New York City.  29 Members will exhibit their work melding their art with the music that inspired them.  Throughout the gallery there will be interactive displays in which the viewer can immerse oneself in the visual presentation along with music playing on their mobile phone through the use of a QR scanner.

TO CARRY ON HIS FATHER’S TRADITION TO WORK IN A CREATIVE FIELD, ANDREW BOLOTOWSKY, ILYA’S SON, HAS PURSUED A MUSICAL CAREER.

Sunday, Feb. 11th will bring Sound & Image to life with a flute performance by Andrew Bolotowsky, world renown flutist and son of Ilya, another Federation founder.  Andrew will give a brief talk about his father and then perform to the inspiration of the exhibition.  Other musicians will also perform between 4 pm – 6 pm that evening.

THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO FEATURE THREE OF THE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS WHO WILL BE IN THE EXHIBIT BUT TO EXPERIENCE THE FULL IMPACT OF THE FEDERATION’S PRESENT ROSTER OF ARTISTS AND THEIR CREATIVITY, VISIT THE EXHIBITION AT WESTBETH GALLERY ON WEST STREET IN MANHATTAN.

Anneli Arms
Music Muse

ANNELI ARMS

Known internationally for sculpture and etching, it is her sculpture that sets her apart. By working with oversized creatures – human, marine and insect – she remarks distinctly on evolution, forcing the viewer to consider the beginning of future of humanity and his fears of both.  In time, the artist’s early paintings and relief works morphed into sculpture and gave birth to her “Human Creatures” and “Creature Creatures”.  None of the creatures, human or otherwise, are meant to be completely realistic. Instead, these parallel universes are individual and generic, seemingly modern and ancient at the same time.

http://www.anneliarms.com

Anneli Arms
Architect of His Dreams

JON SERVETAS

Jon Servetas
Oil on canvas

Jon Servetas started drawing as a child during WWll using poster paints and grocery bags from the market.
His work has evolved over the last 70+ years with the use of a warm color palette encapsulating everyday scenes.
His images are traditional in nature but are more of an impression of the scene with color taking over than true realism.

Jon Servetas

NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER

My fascination has always been in taking the tool of the Impressionists and early compositional photographers and moving the photograph into the realm of ‘true art’. Working only outdoors with available light I capture the visual juxtaposition of the shadows that play within a compositional ‘color’ palette. Dimensionality or lack thereof is a product of this interplay. Dimension and shadow increase during the assembly process taking my 2 dimensional compositions and adding depth. Now light & shadow play a new role in creating a 3 dimensional finished work. The assembly rests on a wall, which is now also part of the paradigm.

www.nccworks.com

Nicholas Christopher
Mondrian Memory
mixed media

THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME GERI THOMAS IN OUR NEXT POST, THE FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF A FIRM SPECIALIZING IN RECRUITING AND PLACEMENT OF POSITIONS IN THE ARTS. GERI WILL SPEAK OF HER NEW CONSULTING AND TEACHING VENTURES AS WELL AS ISSUES OF DIVERSITY, EQUAL PAY AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE ARTS’ PROFESSIONS.

STAY TUNED!