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Charitable Donations of Art

Charitable Donations of Art: Advising the Donor and Donee
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Program Fee:

$199 for Members | $299 for Nonmembers
Small Law Firm: $99 for Members
Members who are Law Students, Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2019-2021), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges, and attorney members who practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

CLE Credit:
New York: 3.5 Professional Practice
New Jersey: 3.8 General
California: 3.5 General
Pennsylvania: 3.0 General
Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

As a work of art moves from the collection of a donor to that of a nonprofit museum or other charitable institution, multiple considerations are implicated; and the advisor to a collector or to an institution must consider numerous issues of tax and contractual law and other ethical and practical concerns to properly represent their client. This program is a unique collaboration among the City Bar’s Estate & Gift Taxation, Art Law and Non-Profit Organizations Committees, and will guide practitioners through the life cycle of a charitable contribution of art, from the individual donor to the charitable donee. While focusing on works of art, the program will also provide general insights to lawyers representing donors and non-profit organizations on planning for and managing charitable donations.

Members of the Estate & Gift Taxation Committee will focus first on the income, gift and estate tax rules that must be considered by the donor of a work of art when making a charitable contribution, and review ways in which the character of both the contributed property and the charitable donee may affect the donor’s tax position. To protect the public’s interest in fostering charitable contributions, stringent appraisal and filing obligations are imposed on donors and charitable donees – these requirements and regulations will be addressed and illustrated through case studies. Practical consideration and drafting tips on the ways the transfer of the artwork may be accomplished to meet the donor’s personal goals within a favorable tax position, including the use of split interest gifts and other partial interest transfer, contributions to private foundations and museums versus publicly supported museums, and charitable loans of art, will be discussed by this panel.

Members of the Art Law Committee will then bring to the fore the interaction between the two parties – donor and donee – highlighting issues to consider in negotiating the contribution, and the legal consequences of various contract provisions between donors and donees with respect to donations of art. Often times these negotiations are between individuals and institutions with long-standing relationships. This panel will focus on both the legal and practical components of charitable contribution negotiations. Topics to be addressed will include considerations regarding structuring the gift, restrictions related to the art, logistical considerations and related expenses, publicity concerns, and the importance of preserving relationships.

Finally, members and guests of the Nonprofit Organizations Committee will address the tax, non-profit and contractual law and other ethical and practical concerns faced by nonprofit museums regarding charitable donations long after the donation is complete. Donated objects in a collection demand resources on a constant and ongoing basis even as a museum’s mission or focus may shift with the times. In the fast-changing economic and cultural landscape – most recently relating to the coronavirus pandemic and movements demanding greater accountability for diversity and inclusion – museums are examining opportunities to monetize valuable art and objects in their collections through “deaccessioning” in an effort to keep the lights on or pursue other institutional goals. This panel will explore challenges that museums and other nonprofits are currently facing through the lens of the deaccessioning debate, including navigating contrary donor intent and restricted giving, compliance with internal governance and ethical guidelines, and other legal and ethical considerations.

Click Here to View Program Agenda & Faculty

Program Co-Chairs:
Jackie Ewenstein, Ewenstein & Roth LLP
David E. Stutzman, Seward & Kissel LLP
Diana Wierbicki, Withers Bergman LLP

Sponsoring Association Committees:
Art Law, Diana Wiebicki, Chair
Estate & Gift Taxation, David E. Stutzman, Chair
Non-Profit Organizations, Jackie Ewenstein and Amarah Sedreddine, Co-Chairs

New York City Bar 42 West 44th St New York, NY 10036

Wednesday, 12 May 2021


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