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Art Appraisal and the Law


This session, presented by David Shapiro, focused on art appraisal as it intersects with the law. He surveyed  the purposes for which art is appraised (e.g., tax, insurance, collateralized transactions) and discuss how appraisals function in legal conflicts.

Examples were given from cases involving art valuation, including those in which the instructor was involved, such as the 2014 Detroit bankruptcy trial, for which the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts was valued at over $8 billion, as well as the art fraud case of USA vs. Luke Brugnara, and the insurance case of MunnWorks v. 645 Mac Realty, involving a claim for a large volume of water-damaged prints.

Finally, there was a discussion on how the notoriety of legal conflict might affect the value of a work of art. On a practical level, this session will provide advice, from an appraiser’s perspective, on how to protect oneself in the art world and minimize the risk of legal problems.