Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Eakins Fund- looking to the future

In today's Inky the discussion turns to the means of protecting the future sale of important art.

"So if money talks in the art world and if historic designation is a cumbersome and possibly inappropriate safeguard, what protection would an art emergency fund provide? Those contributing to the local effort to buy The Gross Clinic will be given the option, if the effort fails, of having their money added to an emergency fund. (Or they can have it returned.)" by Stephan Salisbury.

My solution would borrow from the efforts to protect open space from development. I would buy the first right of sale for any art work that might be sold in the future with the terms of having the appropriate time to raise funds for such a purchase. All important art will continue to increase in value and if the trend continues some art may cost hundreds of millions in the next ten years.

Non Profits have laws of governance that are controlled by the State and are different than private individuals. Their directors must meet the interests of their mission as well as the public trust granted them as a tax exempt organization. Schools such as Jefferson receive charitable contributions that allow them to raise funds from many sources. Those contributors get tax breaks on those gifts. The public does have an interest in what is under their stewardship.

Each State should create a fund to protect it's cultural heritage. This could include an increase in the funds for purchase of art directly as well as a cultural patrimony rights act that would stop the sudden raiding of art from vulnerable institutions. Valuable art should be treated with the same controls as financial paper (stocks and bonds).


Post a Comment

<< Home