The set-up and management of an artist’s estate is an endeavour that entails considerable responsibility. Living artists have many questions about how best to preserve their oeuvre. Those entrusted with estate management must respect specifications of the artist’s will while ensuring that all activity positively impacts the continuation of the legacy. There are many issues which need to be taken into account when planning or leading on the activity of an artists’ estate. It is necessary to consider strategic and legal issues, questions of conservation and restauration as well as registration, archiving, authentication and the catalogue raisonné. Equally important to the positioning of the oeuvre in the art market is gaining academic and curatorial interests, in order to keep the bequest alive. The management of an artist’s estate is successful if the work is kept alive and relevant, if later generations of artists remain inspired by the work, and if curators, academics and collectors continue to find new and invigorating ways to approach the oeuvre.
Beginning of 2016 Fine Art Partners founded The Institute for Artists’ Estates to address all of these issues with the upmost diligence and make available its expertise on an institutional level to anyone who is involved with or interested in artists’ estates. The Institute’s inaugural conference‚ KEEPING THE LEGACY ALIVE‘ brought together artists’ estates from across Europe and The United States to discuss aspects of artist estate planning and management. Currently the Institute is working on the development of an educational program for artists’ estates, to be launched in 2017.