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Nine Tips For Lending Art To Museums

How to minimize client exposure and maximize the security and value of their art.

For private collectors, lending artwork to museums confers numerous advantages. These include: sharing the viewing and appreciation of art with the general public who may otherwise not have access to it; promoting the study and scholarship of art; enhancing an artwork’s provenance and, in turn, increasing its monetary value; enjoying potential tax benefits; and saving costs on storing and conserving the art. Likewise, museums profit considerably from art loans by private collectors, which afford them the opportunity to fulfill their mandates of increasing public access, education and enrichment, while simultaneously allowing them to increase their profiles and revenues. 

Lending artwork, especially to international museums, isn’t without risks. And although art loans should be encouraged, your clients must carefully weigh the costs and benefits involved before parting with their asset. Here are nine issues to consider to minimize client exposure and maximize the security and value of their artworks.


This is an adapted version of the author’s original article in the 2017 edition of Trusts & Estates’ annual “Art, Auctions and Antiques Report.”

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