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What will happen to your art when you die?


This thread was prompted by an article on the ABC News website.

Your artistic legacy will not look after itself and there are some good case studies and advice about what we all should do. Here is an excerpt.

What happens to the work after they die? Who looks after it?

Who burnishes the dead artist's reputation, who protects against forgeries, who profits from it, who might get into fights over it?

Who gets remembered, who gets forgotten and what are the best and worst things to do?

For many artists it's a daunting process and for those appointed to administer the estate it can be a millstone.

Olley's example [of a dedicated gallery] is one many artists may dream of, but preserving a studio is an option open to only a handful.


There's plenty an artist can do to improve their chances of maintaining a reputation after death, Mr Sumner said.

He urged artists to make sure all works are signed and dated and can be authenticated, keep a detailed catalogue raisonné, and make sure you write a will in which it's crystal clear who your beneficiaries are and what you want to happen.

Fighting over an estate is a something he deals with every week, usually because the artist is too busy being an artist to deal with their legacy.

"Don't leave it for your children to deal with it, deal with it in your own lifetime, sit down with your next of kin and talk to them, don't leave some sealed piece of paper that they'll fight over," Mr Sumner advised.

"Get them to sign up to it in your lifetime, then it won't be contested after your death."

Mr Bacon has a checklist for artists that includes the tongue-in-cheek advice of marrying someone with a law degree.

Read the full story

Summer[Deleted User]Forgiveness


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