If you are charged with the legacy of an artist, you have a great responsibility. If you are also living with loss, the tasks before you may appear even more difficult. I have been there and I can help.
I offer a wide range of support and services for family members, executors/personal representatives, attorneys and other professionals who are working with an estate:
- Inventories (Mac, PC, or web-based, including backup systems) that can continue after the estate is closed, to sustain sales and ongoing business activities.
- Training and coaching through legal matters, family stresses, and grief. I can help you understand what to expect and help you survive… and even thrive.
- Strategy, planning, and support as you set up the “new” business. An artist’s posthumous career is different.
- Appropriate appraisal and valuation services — most attorneys and estate professionals do not understand the basic valuation of an artist’s estate, which can be a very expensive mistake!
Let’s talk about how my dynamic, collaborative approach can help make your project — and your life — easier. Contact me today.
More about my approach
When my first husband, a prominent regional artist, died in 2006, I could have really used someone like me on my team.
Someone to guide me through all that faced me: creating an inventory of his life’s work, taking his career forward, handling the financial and legal necessities, not to mention keeping my full-time job, refilling coffers that were depleted after his long illness, and caring for his child. I had training in both business and arts management, but balancing all the tasks was going to be a challenge, and I’d have to do them alone, while grieving the loss of my partner.
I had some other goals, too, ones that I wasn’t quite ready to share: I wanted to take good care of myself and find a new happily-ever-after. Whether I’d get there with only my child or with a partner, I wasn’t sure: but I knew I had to live.
Yes, I had a team to help me: his gallery, a few attorneys, an appraiser, friends, and my therapist. And I had a lot of skills. I was more prepared, and luckier, than most people charged with an artist’s estate. But I still found that I learned a lot as I went. Strange enough, the people who charged the highest rates seemed to know the least about the financial details, so I ended up training them. No one on my team understood the big picture of how my own life and my work with my late husband’s legacy would come together to create my next life. I had to draw my own map.
Six years on, I found I had accumulated a small circle of folks managing the posthumous careers of artists who had been their partners or family members. Twice, I saved an estate executor $5,000 in a single phone call. On a third occasion, I was in the sad position of telling someone that they had made a very expensive mistake, just the month before, under advice from an attorney and on the pressure of the end of the tax year. She, like me, didn’t have anyone else to ask.
At that moment, I realized that I had a business.
Drawing on my lifetime of experience in the arts and my business background, I work collaboratively with executors, families, and lawyers, advising on the complex issues that arise when an art business is part of an estate. At the same time, I’ll help you think through how you want to steward that legacy. And if you haven’t found the rest of your team — attorneys or others — I can help you choose the right help.
I know what it means to live with an artist and art. And I can tell you from my own experience that caring for an artist’s estate is also a meaningful part of grieving a loss.
If you are an artist just starting to think about your legacy, our conversations and work will be a bit different. I can help you get organized, inventory your work, and make prudent plans that will give you and your family peace of mind.
Reach out to me today and find out how I can help you through your next set of challenges.