Category Archives: Art Collector

Fine Art Storage: A Cautionary Tale

The continued strength of the contemporary-art market and the growing need for secure, climate-controlled art storage space is increasing as more and more art is created, purchased by collectors and acquired by museums.

Art storage facilities are supposed to be forward looking to make sure that property entrusted to them for safekeeping remains protected and unaltered while in their custody. Elements such as temperature, humidity, and pest control are vital to preserving artworks from any damage or total loss. Certain mediums like paper, canvas, plaster, metal, and clay are of course particularly vulnerable to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Yet sometimes things go wrong even with the best of intentions.

For example, a well-known storage facility received multiple lawsuits for damage, incurred during 2012’s hurricane Sandy. Ultimately, artworks in many studios, galleries, and storage facilities were severely damaged when Sandy, a tropical storm that was updated to a hurricane, hit the tri-state area.

In lawsuits resulting from those damages to art stored, the point of contention is the manner by which liability is allocated in storage contracts. Some contracts between the storage facility and its clients required clients to obtain an art insurance policy. In other instances, there may have been waivers of subrogation or a limitation of liability clause.

In addition to mother nature, accidents also happen, but not that often. A fire at Momart’s east London warehouse in 2004 destroyed hundreds of works by such noted artists as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Chris Ofili. A fire at Artex’s warehouse in Dedham, Mass., in 2005 destroyed and damaged many pieces. In 2004, Fine Art Logistics, a storage company in London, mistakenly left out for trash a 1984 sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

This is why it is so important to perform due diligence and speak with Art Insurance professionals like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) for a clear picture on insurance coverages, to allow the art owner the ability to make well-informed decisions on obtaining insurance.

Call us at 800.921.1008 to speak with an Art Insurance Professional and visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to apply for a free quote and live chat with an agent.

Art in Transit: Why we insure.

The reasons for art being shipped varies greatly, a collector may move or place artwork in storage while their home is being renovated, they often sell artwork at popular art fairs and even lend pieces to museums.

A dealer or gallerist may sell artwork to a collector from out of town or even another country, the working artist sends their commissioned works to buyers, galleries, etc. Auction houses frequently send and receive works of art. There are many different reasons for art transit, including shipping art out of harms way in cases of hurricanes and wildfires.

Other than hauling that hidden ‘masterpiece’ in the attic down to the Antiques Roadshow, artwork should be handled with care, shipped by professionals, and most importantly insured.

Transit insurance is extremely important to the safety of your investment. If you have the opportunity to talk with anybody in the insurance world for fine art, most of the losses by frequency — something like 70% — are caused by damage while it’s being handled through transit. Even so, not all insurance policies cover works of art.

Standard homeowners insurance likely won’t extend to cover your art collection, which is why most artists, collectors, dealers, and auction houses purchase a stand-alone policy that often includes protection for new works while they are being shipped to your home or business but it’s important to speak to knowledgeable art insurance professionals like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) and understand what’s covered and what is not.

It is important to know that most transporters limit their liability and folks are often quite surprised at how low their liability is. So, make sure your insurance policy covers the work of art as it’s being shipped.

Whether buying or selling at art fairs be sure that your work or investment has the maximum coverage with minimal headaches by using the Trusted One Stop Art Insurance for the Art Community since 1949, Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. Visit artinsurancenow.com or call 800-921-1008 we can help you with all of your Art Insurance requirements.

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Art Collector’s Tips on Protecting your Artwork

As Art Collector’s, you have spent considerable resources and countless hours curating the perfect art collection the last thing you want is for that collection to be compromised due to environmental hazards or improper care.

We have some pro tips provided by one of the largest privately owned galleries in America on how to care for your artwork and retain its value.

1. AVOID OR LIMIT DIRECT SUNLIGHT.
Exposure to direct sunlight can fade the color of almost anything, including your new work of art. Avoid hanging your artwork anywhere where it will receive regular exposure to direct sunlight.

2. KNOW WHEN TO FRAME WITH ACRYLIC PLEXIGLASS, NOT GLASS.
What if you specifically wanted to hang that perfect picture in your sunroom? If you don’t want the sun dictating your design choices, just make sure that your picture is framed with a UV filtering acrylic rather than glass. It’s actually lighter than glass and will protect your art from fading or yellowing in direct sunlight.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO HUMIDITY.
The amount of water in the air can have a huge impact on the overall health of your art. Make sure to monitor the humidity level in your home and, ideally, keep it around 55%. (You can track your home’s humidity with a simple hygrometer.)

4. WATCH YOUR HANDS.
Always avoid directly touching your paintings or acrylic framing surfaces without wearing cotton gloves. If you do, you risk damaging them by exposure to your fingerprints and natural oils.

5. KEEP YOUR GLASS OR ACRYLICS SQUEAKY CLEAN.
When cleaning the glass or acrylic panel protecting your artwork, always use a soft non-abrasive cloth or microfiber towel. You should also consider purchasing an acrylic or ammonia-free glass cleaner.

6. DUST—DON’T CLEAN—YOUR PAINTINGS.
If you have a unique painting that’s not behind glass or acrylic, don’t use any cleaners or solvents on the surface to clean the painting…EVER. Instead, just lightly dust off the artwork with a soft feather duster or sable brush.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORK, IF IT’S UNFRAMED:

7. DON’T LEAVE YOUR ART IN A TUBE.
If you’re not ready to hang your art yet, definitely do not leave it rolled up in a protective cardboard tube. You always want to store your art flat. Acrylic paint or embellished paintings stored in tubes can become stained, cracked, or dried up if they’re left rolled up for too long.

8. KEEP YOUR STORED ARTWORK SEPARATED.
When you’re storing multiple works of art, always keep something in between each work while they’re laying flat. Place a 2- or 4-ply rag or conservation matboard cut 2 inches larger than the artwork in between each work. This will help protect the artwork from acidic damage, curling, and potential creasing.

9. STORE ART IN A COOL, DRY, DARK PLACE.
Pantry rules apply when you’re trying to protect the unframed artwork. The best way to avoid damage from sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuations is to keep your art somewhere cool, dry, and dark.

10. CONSIDER A SOLANDER BOX.
If you want to be sure that your art stays protected, you might want to invest in a solander box. These are acid-free print boxes with hinged front panels that can be purchased from conservation suppliers.

After acquiring Art, protection and conservation are important steps in keeping its value and beauty intact so you can enjoy it for many years to come, and pass it on to future generations.

Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) cares deeply about your collections, provides resources to help you mitigate risk and with our comprehensive Art Collector’s Policies, you can be assured that you have all the bases covered.

Give us a call at 800.921.1008 with any questions about your specific situation on how to properly protect your artwork. We can also be reached via live chat at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com or click below to get a free quote online with our user-friendly application.

 

 

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Join us at Tribeca Art + Culture Night!

ArtInsuranceNow.com / Bernard Fleischer & Sons, Inc. is proud to be a sponsor of the TRIBECA ART + CULTURE NIGHT

As leaders in Fine-Art Insurance, we understand the importance of art and that not only should it be protected, but it should be experienced by the public. Cities gain cultural, social and economic value through art. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness in our communities.

It is free and open to the public. The event presents a program of events like a FESTIVAL, showcases venues/organizations like an ART FAIR, unlocks spaces to the public like an OPEN HOUSE, and offers art-walks to showcase exhibitions like an ART NIGHT.

It is also an ART MARATHON. Attendees can choose their own adventure mixing exhibitions with workshops, talks, demonstrations, and performances. In just 3 hours, from 6-9 PM, visitors join together to attend a curator-led tour, learn a new skill in a creative workshop, watch a live dance performance, and discover the unexpected in a contemporary gallery they may have never found otherwise. TAC Night is an adventurous playground showcasing artists, performers, curators, scientists, chefs, wellness experts, musician, designers, authors, thought leaders, and makers.

 

The Art Police

Detective Don Hrycyk , LAPD Art Theft Detail, shows a fake Jim Dine painting, left, and a fake Renoir painting “La Loge (also called Au Theatre)

If you believe Hollywood’s version, the average art thief has many gadgets, scales walls, and dances through laser beam alarm triggers to steal Rembrandts and Renoirs. But when Detective Don Hrycyk of the LAPD Art Theft Detail solves an art crime, the guilty party is usually a trusted friend or business associate of the victim, not Tom Cruise in a catsuit.

The problem isn’t always smart criminals, Many leave themselves vulnerable to opportunists, with state of the art alarm systems that are never turned on, treasures locked away in safes with the combination left in an unlocked drawer nearby. Detective Hrycyk has seen it all.

The Art Theft Detail was formed by the LAPD in 1983 in response to a rash of unsolved High-value art thefts. It was a smart decision as they have recovered $122,999,616 in artwork since 1993. It is the only law enforcement unit in the country dedicated to fighting art crimes full-time.

They investigate by publicizing thefts and staying in constant contact with local galleries, museums, auction houses, and collectors. They tackle everything from phony estate sales stocked with fake antiques to consignment fraud, home burglaries, art-related insurance scams, and occasionally dramatic heists.

Picasso’s 1937 drawing “Faune”, for example, was recovered back in 2001 after a man tried to sell his $100,000 “ugly painting” to Christie’s in Beverly Hills. An alert appraiser checked the LAPD website, saw the stolen work and called the police. Turns out the thief was a chauffeur who had broken into the house of his movie-producer boss.

Sometimes it isn’t a very happy ending though, sculptor Kewal Soni had a break in and lost a $10,000 sculpture that he worked on for a year. The burglar then took it to a metal recycling plant and sold it as scrap for a measly $9.10. Although later the thief was caught and convicted.

The importance of insuring your art cannot be overstated. Art is a passion for most and when you love something it’s natural to want to protect it. Allow us to help by providing easy to understand comprehensive insurance coverage for your artwork.

Already covered? Let us examine your current Artist’s, Collector’s, Dealer’s, Conservator’s, Gallery’s, or Museum’s policy. Maybe you’re overpaying, under protected or have the wrong coverages.

Our policies have diverse coverages to meet the specific requirements of the Art Community. We help clients select adequate coverage and to help mitigate potential exposures, we provide recommended loss control procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

When Fine-Art Meets Comic-Art

The influence of Comic-Art

It’s a trend that’s reflective of our times, with the record-setting box office of Avengers: Infinity War at a total of $1,813,732,959 in only 4 weeks! Comics as an art form is hugely popular, and we want to help protect those collections.

Most people debate whether to go with a painting or a photograph when filling an empty wall space. But lately, people are turning to something that reflects their pop culture interests, opting for art that depicts superheroes both well-known and obscure.

The appeal of these characters has gone mainstream in a big way, ensuring that vintage comic collections will continue to increase in value. With this increased popularity, there has also been more interest in collecting original comic book art. A popular cover of “Amazing Spider-Man” #328 pitting the title character against the Hulk by Todd McFarlane fetched $657,250 at auction in 2012, and a Sotheby’s Comic Art auction fetched $4.1 Million in 2015.

With the increasing values of this American Art Form comes the increasing exposure to theft and loss due to fire, floods, and damaging weather. We at Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com provide Fine Art & Collectibles Insurance to give peace of mind to the avid collector and with over 60 years of experience under our belt, we can Insure your collection properly to fit your particular situation.

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Artwork in Transit; Managing the Risks

The top risks art collectors might face surprisingly doesn’t include theft. In fact, its art that’s on the move that poses the biggest risk. A large proportion of art claims are derived from transit losses. Private collectors enjoy lending, particularly as exhibitions in major institutions can increase value, that’s all very well until something goes wrong.

The movement of art is massive, now art is transported coast to coast, internationally or just to your winter home or local Gallery. When handling artwork, packing for transportation is a top concern for insurance carriers.

Many policies list as a condition, professional packing, meaning it must be packed as someone in the industry would pack it, safe, secure and protective from breaking if possible.

If you use a transportation service, either a fine art mover, a local mover, or common carrier, you must verify if they have or offer Insurance, what are their limits, conditions and the cost of the coverage. Insurance carriers differ and may have restrictions or limitations while your valuables are on the road, on a ship, or in air transit. The most common, efficient and safe way of moving art over long distances, domestically or internationally is by air transport, but it is very common to move the work yourself, so make sure your policy covers self-conveyance.

Some art transporting choices such as those offered by, United Parcel Service (UPS), DHL, Federal Express (FedEx), and other private art handling companies or commercial air freight carriers have limitations on coverages, territory, and deductibles. Keep in mind that while these are services used for fragile and non-fragile fine art, things happen within their control and outside of their control. Looking to your own insurance policy for protection is the right way to limit your financial losses and the quickest way to have the claim settled.

Artists, art dealers, and institutions use these Art transport services regularly, but Insurance, in particular, is the gray area in which most misunderstandings occur. Pay close attention to the bill of lading and understanding the fine print. The standard form limits the exposure of a claim on the art to weight, not value.

Our policies are written either as a schedule or market value less a percentage. Either way, your art will be protected while in transport. Caution, it’s important when securing transit art insurance to add extra days of transport for the unknown delays. Also note the declared value placed in customs forms or the bill of Lading is usually not used when settling a claim but look for wording which would specify to the contrary.

According to FedEx, “shipments (packages or freight) containing all or part of the following items are limited to a maximum declared value of $500: Artwork, including any work created or developed by the application of skill, taste or creative talent for sale, display or collection.

This includes, but is not limited to, items (and their parts) such as paintings, drawings, vases, tapestries, limited-edition prints, fine art, statuary, sculpture, collectors’ items, customized or personalized musical instruments, Film, photographic images, including photographic negatives, photographic chromes and photographic slides.

Any commodity that by its inherent nature is particularly susceptible to damage, or the market value of which is particularly variable or difficult to ascertain.”

According to UPS, articles of “unusual value” are prohibited from being offered for shipment. This definition explicitly includes “works of art.” As the November New York-based auctions ended and Art Basel Miami Beach began, for collectors buying and selling art no doubt demanded lots of their attention, they also should be thinking about keeping their art safe and properly insured as it moves between locations.

With the expansion of the global art market, risks increase. To discover a larger number of buyers, auction houses and art dealers often display art at multiple locations, including a growing number of art fairs around the world like Art Basel. The high volume of art exchanging hands increases the risk of improper handling and accidental damage and therefore increases the number of fine art insurance claims.

You should know where your art will be stored while in the possession of art dealers or auction houses. This is critical. For example, many consigned works were stored in art gallery basements in Chelsea during Hurricane Sandy, leaving many damaged. Art galleries may also store artwork at an off-site storage facility. Being notified before your piece is moved from one location to another is also a precaution and obtaining confirmation on how it will be packed and transported will help to ensure a smooth consignment process.

Don’t presume that the auction house, gallery owner, art dealer, or shipping company with possession of your artwork has insurance for its loss, theft or damage. It’s very important to have your own fine art policy. Collectors should always consult with an insurance agent. The agent can tailor a policy to a specific collector and discover any special provisions in the collector’s fine art policy.
No matter what risks they face, creating an insurance policy for an art collector requires one-on-one consultation since every art collection is unique, no two collectors are alike and no two collections are alike.

Collectors and their advisers would be wise to work with knowledgeable insurance brokers like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.  that can guide you in obtaining the right fine art insurance for your unique requirements. For more info visit www.artinsurancenow.com and live chat with us or call us at 800.921.1008

Art Insurance: Insuring Your Art

Abridged, originally published on Art Business.com

“The Scream” and “Madonna,” two major paintings by famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, were stolen several years ago from the Munch Museum in Norway by armed robbers in broad daylight. The significance of the art theft is notable, but what’s really shocking is that the art was not insured against theft (although it was insured for fire and water damage, for restoration costs that would be incurred to repair the paintings if they were damaged). According to a BBC news story, John Oyaas, managing director of the museum’s insurers, said of the paintings, “They are not replaceable so you can’t buy ‘The Scream’ on the street and put a copy up there. The focus is on other issues than insuring them. To a certain extent, this is common practice because these items aren’t replaceable.”

Now let’s take a close look at that statement. Oyass appears to be saying that the paintings are so valuable that they’re not worth insuring, or put another way, since the paintings are not replaceable, insuring them is a waste of money. This thinking makes absolutely no sense. The museum should have had theft insurance (assuming that’s permissible in Norway); all museums should have theft insurance, as should all art galleries and private collections. Whether or not a work of art is “replaceable” is not the issue. The issue is getting compensated if the art is stolen. What’s better– a stolen painting and a $5 million insurance settlement or a stolen painting and a $0 insurance settlement?

“But theft insurance is way too expensive.”

(not true, Call me 800-921-1008)

Yes, the cost of insuring a museum’s entire collection is prohibitive, but thieves don’t normally steal the entire collection. They only steal part of it, and usually a pretty small part. So insure only a part of it. Theft insurance covers “incidents,” not specific works of art, unless the insured specifies individual coverage for specific works of art in the policy. In other words, if you purchase theft insurance, you’re insured for the coverage amount no matter what gets stolen. You may not recoup the entire amount of the loss, but at least you’ll have something.

“But insuring even our few most valuable paintings is still too expensive.” Not true again, we represent AXA, Chubb, Chartis, Markel, Travelers, each one approaches the total risk cost differently)

So that’s a rationale for not insuring anything? How about this idea– pay for as much insurance as you can afford, maybe $1,000,000, maybe $10,000,000? That way, if art gets stolen, at least you have enough money to hire top quality private investigators to try and recover it, get publicity for the theft, or perhaps even pay a ransom. Or use the money to buy a state-of-the-art security system for your museum (or gallery or private collection) so that theft doesn’t happen again. Forget about whether or not art is replaceable or unique or iconic; receiving compensation for a theft is what counts, and using that compensation to either recover the art, offset the loss in revenues that may result from the art being stolen, or make life more difficult for people who steal art, so difficult, hopefully, that many will stop stealing it.

Insurance tips for anyone, public or private, who owns expensive art:

* Photograph and document your collection or at least the most valuable works in your collection. Include current appraisals, original sales receipts, and any additional paperwork that speaks directly to the value of your art.

* Buy as much insurance as you can comfortably afford, whether or not that amount covers the entire value of your art. Most loss, damage, or theft affects only a portion of a collection, not the entire collection. To repeat– receiving some compensation is better than receiving no compensation at all.

* Make sure you understand your insurance policy. This means reading the fine print and asking every question about every conceivable loss or damage situation that you can think of. You don’t want to find out after a loss that you were not covered for that specific type of loss. For example, I once had a computer stolen while in transit from one destination to another. I contacted my insurance company to report the loss. They told me the computer was not covered. I asked what the additional cost would have been to cover the computer. They told me the annual increase in premium to cover $5000 worth of electronic office equipment was about $10! Had I known this when I purchased the policy, I would, of course, have added it on– and did add it on the instant I found out.

* Theft/damage insurance for art, added to your home insurance, generally costs $1-$2 annually per $1000 of coverage (less if you have a good security system in place). (we represent) Several insurance companies specialize in covering art and antiques exclusively. Coverage details can be discussed and/or negotiated with your insurance company,( better rely on your broker, who understands the difference in conditions and forms).

There’s no excuse for not insuring an art collection. If you can afford the art, you can afford the insurance. And remember– you don’t have to insure for every last penny of value in your collection. Loss or damage rarely affects an entire collection, and you’ll find that in the large majority of cases, even partial coverage will reimburse you for a substantial percentage of the dollar amount involved in most occurrences

Took home a drunk date, now 2 Warhol’s destroyed, WTF?

Drunk woman pulls on mans tie

First Date Horror Story.

Authorities say an intoxicated Dallas woman who was on a first date with a prominent Houston trial lawyer caused at least $300,000 in damage to his art collection, including two Andy Warhol paintings.

Lindy Lou Layman, 29, was arrested on criminal mischief charges after her date with Anthony Buzbee. She was released on $30,000 bond.

Prosecutors say Buzbee, 49, told investigators that Layman got too intoxicated on their date, so he called her an Uber after they returned to his home. Buzbee said Layman refused to leave and hid inside the home, when he found her and called a second Uber, she got aggressive.

Authorities said she tore down several paintings and poured red wine on some while yelling obscenities. She also allegedly threw two $20,000 sculptures across the room and shattered them.

The damaged Warhol paintings were each valued at $500,000 in court documents.

Buzbee has represented high-profile figures, including former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Then-candidate Donald Trump also visited his home last year when Buzbee held a fundraiser.

 

Collector’s Policy cover these scenarios?

YES! Visit ARTINSURANCENOW.COM because our Collector’s policy covers damages while Art is in the home. How is a loss settled? A restorer or appraiser will evaluate the work to determine the current condition and decide If the art can be repaired or not. If not, payment is based on the schedule amount or the current market price, if it’s a blanket policy

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Visit www.ArtInsuranceNow.com to learn more, apply below or feel free to contact us at 1.800.921.1008

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Art Exhibition Insurance – The Details

As representatives of the top Insurance carriers that insure exhibitions locally, in multi-states and internationally, we know coverages.

Each company has their own distinct forms to insure the unique exposures related to exhibitions. Coverages while in transit, at the exhibition venue, and in storage vary by company.

Below are some highlighted coverages to consider when placing insurance for an exhibition, how to protect the lenders, and what is the right valuation method.

 

About Exhibition Coverage

Most Art Insurance policies not only insure the work on exhibition, but also the didactic and ancillary materials such as vitrines, hardware, technology, and supportive structures.

A typical Policy I use with my insureds exhibition policy includes:

  • Agreed Value: We usually require a schedule prior to binding, but different terms can be negotiated.
  • Worldwide coverage for transit: is important when gathering works from overseas collectors.
  • Named Location: some policy covers only named location and excludes transit
  • Scheduled or Blanket: 
    • The schedule:  Establishes the price of the work to be insured.
    • Blanket: policy usually has a per item cap along with the onus of proof of value is on the insured.
  •  Loss Payee Certificates: These are issued if a lender requires proof of coverage and insures the check will be made to them in case of a loss.

 

  • Additional Important Exhibition Coverages one should verify if covered:
    • Packing crates, catalogs, and brochures included
    • Nail to Nail coverage:Coverage from point of pick up until returned.
    • Goods in transit
    • Art in storage in-between transit

 

  • Broad, all-risk coverage
  • Blanket limits on propertyin your care, custody, and control at scheduled locations and any other unnamed locations. Beware of sub-limits.
  • Domestic and international transit: To/from list of Exhibition Locations
  • No coinsurance clause penalty
  • Valuation clauses: important to know how a loss will be settled. Our policies are designed for the art industry
  • Coverage for jointly-ownedworks of art should be disclosed and understood how a loss will be paid in those instances.
  • Special clauses for “loss buy back” or “pairs and sets”
  • Relaxed appraisal requirements with most companies
  • Based on Consignment value established at time of pick up.

 

About Exhibition Exclusions and Conditions:

These policy forms usually include the standard and not so standard Exhibition polices.

Wear and tear, moth, vermin, and insects.

Damage resulting from any repair, restoration, or retouching process.

Nuclear, radiation, biological or chemical contamination.

War, invasion, an act of foreign enemies, hostilities, military or usurped power.

Confiscated, damaged or destroyed by or order of any government or public or local authority, except if taken at the time of a fire to prevent it’s spread.

In Conclusion: Art insurance has many variables and sections which can be negotiated, if you are a knowledgeable Art Insurance broker.