Purchase Artwork With The Help Of An Art Attorney For Protection

Law Blog

The purchase of a high-value piece of artwork is not the type of situation where you rely solely on luck. As a potentially sizeable investment, you should be well-informed and well-protected during the transaction. Relying on legal counsel to assist with the art transaction is one way to accomplish these goals.  


When it comes to the value of the artwork, there is usually no gray area. Either the piece is of value or it's not. What generally makes this distinction is whether the piece is, in fact, what it claims to be. In short, it is authentic?

An art attorney can research the history of the piece through transfer documents to ensure that the piece you are buying is an artist's original so that you do not overpay for a piece that has a low value.

Usage Terms

People with vast collections of art do not always hold on to their pieces for private viewing. Sometimes, collectors will set up contractual agreements with art galleries and museums in which the owner agrees to provide their art to these facilities on loan, either currently or in the future. Sometimes, these agreements are also a part of an estate plan that essentially grants these pieces to the museum upon the owner's death. 

An attorney will ensure there are no such agreements attached to the purchase before you finalize the transaction. While many of these arrangements can be terminated upon transfer of ownership, it is not always automatic. You can potentially save time and money in the future by ensuring these arrangements are voided beforehand.

Title Transfer

In the same manner that a vehicle is not yours until you have the title in hand, art transactions must involve a title transfer. As you might imagine, a title transfer legally designates you as the new owner of the piece. Should you decide to sell the piece in the future, loan it to a gallery, or even use it as collateral in a financial transaction—you will need to have a title.

In addition to establishing documented ownership, having an attorney aid with the title transfer process ensures the piece you are purchasing has not been stolen and can be legally sold. 

Even if you do not plan to purchase an art piece, but have plans to sell one of your pieces, an art attorney can assist you. Ensure you have the help you need to remain protected.  

Contact a local art attorney to learn more.


15 July 2022

Improving My Life With A Great Lawyer

Although many people don't think of having legal counsel as improving their life, I have found that it has really helped me to feel empowered as a business owner. Without my lawyer, it was really difficult to figure out what I could say and what I couldn't say, and it really made things hard when I was out and about trying to make business deals. Fortunately, after I found the right lawyer, things became a lot more straightforward. This blog is all about improving your life and streamlining your business with the help of a great lawyer. After all, you never know when you will find yourself in court.