Institute for Artists’ Estates

The Institute for Artists' Estates Logo

The Institute for Artists’ Estates Logo

Sometimes when I am just browsing around I come across a nugget. This one in particular got me thinking. The mortality of our ceramic artists, especially over the past year or two, has struck me.
The nugget was an article in the Art Newspaper on the Institute for Artists’ Estates. Hold on, you might say! We are just potters! Maybe some are. But many aren’t just potters. Even in the ceramic world prices are climbing. Many of the heirs or estate managers of ceramic artists are family, just plain folks, with little knowledge of how to appreciate or handle the remaining inventory: its storage and handling, conservation, insuring, marketing, donations, sales and the like. Primary heirs might be steeped in the work and production and might not see them in the same way as collectors, galleries, museums or auction houses. Secondary heirs might not see beyond the cash value.
The Institute’s website has some interesting comments and articles to reflect upon. While the organization might on the surface sound like it is directed at the high end fine art market it has information that all art estate managers, existing or potential, should be thinking about. A book will be published in June 2016 titled The Artist Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs, by two of the Institute’s principals, Dr. Loretta Würtenberger and Karl von Trott.
Something to think about.

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