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The Growing Impact of Women in the Art Industry

By Bob Teague and Art Peritus Staff

The art industry has long been influenced by the contributions of women—you just have to list off names like Guggenheim, Whitney, Parsons and Gardener to see that. However, in recent decades, there has been a growing momentum of women at all levels getting involved in the industry, shaping the artistic landscape, and influencing market trends.

This recent surge in women in the art industry has played a vital role in breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and promoting inclusivity within the art world.

“I think (women) have broadened the field away from areas where it may have been in some cases an Old Boys Club to be something more dynamic, broader, and inclusive,” says Jennifer Krieger, managing partner at Hawthorne Fine Art, a gallery that specializes in 19th and early 20th century American art with an emphasis on historic female artists. “I see many of my colleagues observing artwork in a more fresh and direct manner and redefining the canon of American Art.”

By expanding diversity and visibility for female artists, we are enriching the cultural dialogue and actively shaping the future of the art industry as a whole. Their distinct perspectives, approaches, and styles have not only contributed to the evolution of artistic movements but have also dismantled outdated gender stereotypes.

According to Jennifer Garland Ross, AAA, founder of the art appraisal and advisory firm Art Peritus, the inclusion of more female artists in galleries and exhibitions goes beyond just fairness. “It’s crucial for the enrichment and evolution of the art world. Showcasing more female artists broadens the range of perspectives and narratives in the art world,” Ross says. “Different life experiences and viewpoints contribute to a richer, more nuanced cultural dialogue.”

Although there is improvement, Ross also notes that “female artists still continue to face significant underrepresentation in museum collections and art galleries.” According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, America’s top 18 museums house an overwhelming 87% of work by male artists. Concurrently, art galleries in Europe and North America only feature about 14% of artwork created by female artists. Similar underrepresentation of female artists is also reflected in private collections. According to the 2023 Art Basel & UBS Global Art Market Report that surveyed over 2,800 high-net-worth collectors, their art collections are dominated by male artists, with a ratio of 61% to 39% female, however, it is an improvement from 33% female artists in 2018.

The impact of women on the art industry extends beyond the creation of art. “Woman-owned businesses open fresh pathways to potentially untapped earnings,” Leslie Gat, president of Art Conservation Group, says. “Arguably all new businesses do this, but the surge in woman-run businesses and women in important positions across the board—as dealers, insurers, conservators, collectors, collection managers, advisors, critics and others—can’t help but create new vibrant communities with participants who want to connect and make things happen.”

There is a synergy between new ideas and perspectives that accelerates the economic potential. More perspectives excite more possibilities and introduce more artists. More artists in turn, offer more opportunities. This compounding effect moves the needle forward through time as future generations of women and other diverse groups broaden what art is and what the art industry can be.

The Takeaway

The art industry is continuing to be enriched by the contributions of women. Their influence extends from shaping the artistic landscape to influencing market trends and collector preferences. By breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, promoting inclusivity, and adding new opportunities for artists and collectors, women are playing a vital role in the dynamic evolution of the art industry.

In short, the art world is more valuable when it presents opportunities and reflects the diverse perspectives of everyone.



Leslie Gat, founder of the Art Conservation Group, is a 35-year art industry veteran as a conservator for major museums and private collections worldwide. She is a fellow with the American Institute for Conservation and is an adjunct faculty at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center.

Jennifer C. Krieger, managing partner of Hawthorne Fine Art, has almost a quarter of a century in the art industry. She was co-curator of the “Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School,” the first exhibition dedicated to the work of female Hudson River School artists. She is also a member of the Appraisers Association of America and currently serves on the Landscape / Viewshed Advisory Committee of the Olana State Historic Site.

Jennifer Garland Ross, AAA, is the founder of Art Peritus, LLC, an art advisory and appraisal consortium. She is a certified member and former board member of the Appraisers Association of America with almost 30 years in the art industry in a variety of roles.

Bob Teague is a freelance online creator, marketer, and journalist with 30 years of digital, print, radio, and television experience. He can be reached at


Winter’s most common catastrophe requires swift action to mitigate damage and minimize any loss of value to your art collection and valuables.

Burst Pipes: What to Do When Water Seeps In

As the coldest winter temperatures set in, the potential for weather-related damage to homes and art collections increases significantly.

February is dubbed the start of “Burst Pipe Season” at Art Peritus. The time of year when calls to our Art Crisis Management team are on the rise from clients and insurance adjusters reporting water-related damage to artwork, furniture, and other valued possessions. When disasters like this strike, we are typically one of the first on site to identify damage, prioritize property in need of more urgent critical care, and establish a comprehensive plan to promptly engage the right vendors to mitigate any additional damage or loss of value.

“Burst Pipe Season”

The fact that Art Peritus sees such a surge in water damage events is a good indication of how common this problem can be.

In fact, according to our colleagues at Chubb insurance, water damage is seven times more likely to occur than fire and six times more likely than burglary. To protect your home, art collection, and valuables from frozen and subsequently burst water pipes, it is crucial to take certain steps. These include keeping the heat on, draining water pipes, and having someone check the property if away for an extended period, among other preventative measures.

Additionally, the installation of a flow-based water shut-off or water leak detection devices can be vital resources, especially if damage occurs while out-of-town. Some insurance providers offer discounts on policies for the installation of water-detection devices from their recommended vendors. Check if yours does and consider adding one to your system if possible.

Condo Catastrophes: Your Neighbors Might be Nice But…

Preventing water damage is not exclusive to single-family homeowners. Many calls come from condo owners or apartment dwellers who, despite taking precautions, may be affected by upstairs, or even next-door neighbors. While building managers usually mandate residents to maintain a certain temperature during freezing weather, you cannot always be certain your neighbor will comply, especially if they are out of town.

Issues we have encountered include neighbors leaving terrace doors unlocked or ajar, leading to leaks and flooding in units below during severe weather events. While you can’t choose your neighbors, ensuring that building management has clear rules and regularly communicates and enforces these requirements can help protect everyone’s property.

Dealing with Damage: Step by Step

The first priority is of course stopping the source of a water leak. The next priority is to move all valuables to a dry safe place and out of harm’s way, all while taking prudent care with handling and moving your paintings, sculpture, carpets, furniture, and other valuables to ensure no further damage will occur. While these basic steps may seem obvious, in the midst of a crisis the obvious isn’t always clear.

The next course of action is to alert your insurance carrier and have them call in an experienced Art Crisis Management specialist like Art Peritus. Our team will immediately inspect and assess how best to begin the necessary conservation and treatment efforts for any damaged work. The sooner you can get an art expert on-site to survey the damage, the better. Some insurance carriers, such as Chubb, AIG, Pure, and Treadwell, have existing lists of preferred specialists like us that have a proven record in mitigating permanent harm or loss of value to your collection.

How Art Peritus Helps Prevent Permanent Damage and Devaluation

Our Art Crisis Management team will triage your entire collection promptly based on medium and extent of damage.

For example, framed works on paper need to be immediately moved to a dry location to provide humidity stabilization. Artwork like this is particularly prone to warping and mold growth when moist air becomes trapped between the artwork and the glazing.

However, when treating a piece of antique gilded furniture, it is crucial to limit its handling to a master gilder, as the carved layers of gesso beneath the gold leaf may have separated from the underlying wood carcass making it more susceptible to crumbling or popping off.

Identifying the appropriate art handler and most qualified conservator or storage facility as expediently as possible is the fundamental role of any Art Crisis Manager. Haste is also particularly important if the damage was the result of a storm affecting a large region, as getting your valuables to the conservator quickly can avoid extra wait time if your piece is received before others creating a backlog. Whether it’s fine art, upholstery, books, antique wallpaper, or antiquities, Art Peritus is an industry-leading resource for handling any crisis that threatens the integrity and value of your collection. Our expertise and extensive experience managing large-scale art crisis situations and insurance claims, partnered with our close working relationships with trusted and specialized contractors, restorers, and conservators, allow us to provide solutions and comprehensive support.

Because what you need in a disaster isn’t just an art appraiser. It’s also an experienced Art Crisis Management expert.


From passion assets to planned giving does estate planning affect the growth and development of a collection?

The Art of Collecting

A variety of factors drive collectors to collect. Perhaps its investment, notoriety or by inheritance. Regardless of if they are collecting art, wine, jewelry, baseball cards or vintage autos, arguably the greatest force behind any serious collector is their passion.

At least, at first.

As collectors build their collections, they inevitably discover more about the items they are seeking, and their interests deepen and evolve. They may focus on specific genres, eras, or artists, creating a collection with a certain theme or meaning, or they may broaden their scope to incorporate greater variety to reflect their personality or lifestyle.

There is no “right way” to collect. However, there are a myriad of reasons why a collector should think about what will happen to their collection once they are gone.

An Investment in the Future

For many collectors, a high-value collection represents a joyful investment in the future. While appraisal values may rise and fall with the tide of fluid markets, those who collect passion assets are still able to appreciate and enjoy their investments throughout their lives while remaining confident that it will provide a valuable and worthy legacy to leave behind.

But the problem with passion is that it’s hard to pass on. The same is true with one’s passion assets.

Even in close-knit families where collecting is embraced generation after generation, it is easy to understand how heirs may not share the same tastes or interests for collected items. Inheriting a valuable collection is simply not the same as assembling it yourself, and minus the passion for the collection, its value defaults to its appraised market value.

This is why it is so essential for collectors to engage in estate planning as early as possible.

Leaving a Legacy

Although a collector, especially one that is young, may be loath to begin thinking about their inevitable passing, it is crucial that they consider the ultimate fate of their collection well in advance.

Not only does it help facilitate the bequest of the valuable items they’ve collected, but it may also help guide them in the growth and development of their collection.

For example, if a collector has multiple heirs, they may not wish to “break up” their collection by distributing its parts to different beneficiaries. And even if they do, they may find it impossible to do so equitably, due to the variance in value of some pieces. If the bulk of the value in a collection is held within one or two pieces, how can it be evenly (and amicably!) distributed between three heirs?

Having no estate plan in place is easily the worst scenario. In this situation, a collection is likely to fall under the control of an executor who may choose to liquidate the collection altogether to allow for an equitable distribution of assets. Selling a collection at auction in the interests of expediency could very well minimize the exit value of many objects. Further, sales of tangible assets will be subject to capital gains taxes at a rate of 28%, whereas items bequeathed directly to heirs will not trigger estate taxes (unless they turn around and sell them).

Planned Giving

Perhaps a collector knows a single piece, or their entire collection would be appreciated by a broader audience. Maybe they have a strong relationship with an institution with the same subject matter focus or that is committed to their same philanthropic values. Having invested much time and capital in obtaining their assets of passion, the consideration of donation and Planned Giving is an important one.

Any major gift can be an effective way of not only circumventing capital gains and estate taxes, but it may also entitle the estate to claim a charitable tax deduction. However, there are limitations to this process.

For example, a collection must be donated to a public charity that will use the items for non-commercial purposes, rather than to a private foundation. This can be problematic in that the terms of the donation may be more difficult to negotiate with a public entity than with a private foundation, especially if it is a foundation set up to administer the collection.

If the desire is to make one’s collection available for the public to enjoy, strict conditions must be placed on the collection to ensure that it remains intact and outlines what can and cannot be done with it in perpetuity.

The Advisory Advantage

In addition to consulting with a financial planner, collectors can avoid many of the pitfalls of passing on their passion assets with the aid of an art advisor who has expertise and experience navigating this kind of conversation. Collectors will inevitably need to have their tangible assets professionally appraised for both insurance and tax purposes. This is when consulting with a team like Art Peritus provides invaluable insight and can help direct collectors in the best way to grow, protect, and maintain their collection for both posterity and financial value.

An experienced consultant for example, may identify certain niche collecting markets that can encapsulate a collection, giving it form and shape for future acquisitions. This type of advisory relationship can help the collector continue to develop their collection in such a way that stays engaging, desirable and true to the passion that inspired them in the first place, whether it is ultimately sold or donated to charity.

An Art Consultant may even help forge connections with viable charities, and otherwise lay the groundwork for legacy giving that will protect the collection and its value once the collector is gone. It is estimated that art and passion asset collectibles comprise around 10% of the net worth of individuals worth $30M or more. Globally, that amounts to more than $3 trillion in privately held assets, nearly all of which have a value determined solely by market conditions.

Collecting passion assets may well begin as a fervent personal pursuit, but what happens to those assets in the end is something collectors truly need to consider, because it will likely affect the development of the collection itself.

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Why Provenance is Paramount

As the holiday season approaches with calendars full of significant auctions and art fairs, you’re probably finding your inbox filled with emails reflecting on the sales trends expected to shape the market in the coming year. And while the UBS 2023 Global Wealth Report, ARTnews, and The Art Newspaper (to name a few) provide exceptional insights into the year ahead, we at Art Peritus wanted to focus on something more evergreen: Provenance, an important element that can have a profound impact on an item’s value.

When it comes to acquiring fine art, antiques and collectibles, understanding the nuances of quality, age, historical values, craftsmanship, and condition is vital. However, a piece’s provenance – its history of ownership – plays a pivotal role in determining its value and today in determining how it is presented for sale.

How Provenance Can Push Sales Sky High

One always expects a painting by Pablo Picasso to sell well at auction, but sometimes a painting’s provenance helps push it into stratospheric heights. Case in point is the artist’s painting “Femme à la Montre,” 1932 that just sold at Sotheby’s for close to $140 million dollars.

Beyond Picasso’s renown, the painting’s value was elevated by its prestigious history. It changed ownership only three times, notably passing from the artist into the hands of Galerie Beyeler, then subsequently to Pace Gallery, and finally into the renowned collection of Emily Fischer Landau. The fact that it had not been available for sale in fifty-five years, coupled with its stellar provenance, contributed to its record-breaking success.

Group Consignor Sales vs. Single Owner Sales

Auction houses have traditionally promoted single owner and celebrity sales, leveraging the owner’s name and fame to boost both interest and competition. Notably, the past couple years have witnessed a record number of single owner sales, accounting for almost a third of total sales. This includes celebrity memorabilia sales from Freddie Mercury, Barbara Walters, and Elton John, as well as exceptional private art and antique collections such as the Macklowe Collection, the collection of Paul G. Allen, and the Ann and Gordon Getty Collection.

While the focus on single-owner collections is not a new one, the provenance reflected in these sales is what appears to keep this segment of the market afloat following the antiques and traditional art market’s considerable downturn since the economic crisis of 2008/9.

Certainly, quality works from important collections still command high prices, yet most middle-market works are performing at much lower levels.

In the past, multi-consignor sales of ‘important’ works, divided by category, were offered several times a year. Today, the leading houses have combined these works into ‘Collector’ sales which used to be reserved for secondary auction houses.

To a lesser effect, this even holds true for a single owner collection that is sold via several sales. Usually, selected highlights are offered in a live auction setting, while the bulk is offered in multiple online sales with high-lot counts.

The Value of Renown

Last year, Art Peritus had the honor of appraising over 1,200 works in the Getty collection for IRS charitable contribution purposes (we are grateful to the family office for allowing us to break confidentiality regarding our involvement for this article). The vast and eclectic Getty collection was divided as described above into three tranches, categorized by residence and sold over a period of twelve months.

One of the top lots of furniture in the last live sale from Wheatland (an exquisite George III Ebony and Chinese reverse painted breakfront bookcase circa 1760) sold for more than double the low estimate at $750,000. Yet, this same lot may not have fared as well against some of the other more historically important works offered in the first live evening sale (had it been offered for sale there). Furthermore, the middle and lower-market works offered online in the first tranche of sales performed much better on average than those in the second and third groupings. This is likely a result of the dissipation of the original hype from the ‘once in a lifetime’ sales event given they were the last of many of sales over 12 months.

Provenance in the Long-Term

Once these single-owner sales events are over, the buyer then needs to ask themselves, what is the current and long-term value of the works they purchased?

We once performed an insurance appraisal of a broken vase. The pattern was quite recognizable and regularly traded at about $200. However, this specific vase was acquired through the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at Sotheby’s auction in 1996 for over $80,000. This sale was so popular that Sotheby’s had to create a lottery for tickets to the viewing for those looking to acquire almost anything from the legendary family.

When it came to appraising the piece, the insured had luckily scheduled the work at the purchase price and was therefore covered for that amount. However, the true value of that vase was only $80,000 on the night of the auction given all the bidders in the room.

Auctions require at least 2 buyers to bid-up each other to a final successful sale price. When there are more than 2 buyers, let alone the numbers that attended the Jackie O sale, the true value of the object becomes irrelevant.

If that same vase were to be offered today (undamaged) in a group consigner auction, even with the Jackie O provenance, it would undoubtedly sell for only a few bid increments more than an identical vase without the provenance. But it would in no way be able to bring $80,000 again given the significantly smaller pool of bidders that would even be aware of the sale occurring.

Provenance and Exhibition History

Another aspect of provenance to consider is an item’s history of exhibition. For example, an exceptional porcelain footed bowl by Austrian artist Lucie Rae recently sold at Phillips, UK, for a staggering £330,200 (approximately $401,292 USD) setting a record for the artist. Despite the artist’s growing market and popularity, the piece’s strong provenance and international exhibition history significantly contributed to its value. That being said, the impact of that sale result, will have minimal effect on other works by Rie that lack the same provenance and exhibition factors, making this result an outlier.

More than Just a Piece

Provenance is not just about who owned a piece; it’s about the story it carries. Whether it’s a Picasso painting that has only changed hands a few times or a bowl setting a record at auction, the history matters to buyers.

Provenance isn’t a footnote; it’s a key player shaping the value and significance of artworks. In a market that’s always changing, provenance acts as a reliable guide, helping buyers and sellers navigate through the complexities to find pieces that carry not just artistic merit but also a rich history.


Founded in 2007 by Jennifer Garland Ross, Art Peritus is an Art Appraisal, Advisory, and Collection Management firm serving clients worldwide, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Colorado, and London. Working with private collectors and industry professionals, the firm guides clients through the nuances of the appraisal process and ensures that the needs of any size collection, across all categories, are properly considered and in the client’s best interest. In early 2022 Art Peritus launched AP Selects, an online sales venture in which clients can consign art and furniture for sale through the business website, as well as on 3rd party independent online platforms including We sat down with Jennifer Garland Ross to ask her about the AP Selects platform.


Tell us about your appraisal business.

We provide detailed, objective, carefully researched, and illustrated appraisals that conform to the most recent USPAP standards and The Getty Information Institute “Object ID” standards. We subcontract to over 50 specialists to do appraisals and reviews, so have valuable expertise in all areas of collecting from design and art to jewelry and wine.

We are also well known for the damage and loss appraisal work we perform for insurance claims. For example, when there is a fire in a building, everything needs to be checked for soot. Since soot is so corrosive, most things affected by it need conservation. From an immediate assessment of how best to secure and stabilize any type of artwork, to the engagement of professional conservators and handlers, to establishing the potential loss in value — we provide our clients with white-glove service overseeing every step of the process, start to finish.


What are some of the recent projects you have worked on?

Due to confidentiality, we typically can’t speak about our clients. However, I can share our recent work on an extensive collection belonging to the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation which sold at Christie’s last fall. We carried out the complex donation appraisal on behalf of the family foundation, producing the report required by the IRS.


You have just launched AP Selects, in early 2022. What was the thinking behind this move into online retailing of various collectibles, especially furniture?

We are art and furniture appraisers and consultants and have been brokering sales through auctions since the company’s inception. However, as the market has shifted over the last fifteen years, the gap between an auction vs retail value has grown much wider creating significant losses for previously coveted antiques. So, we decided to test the market for a select group of clients who were looking to downsize or change the interiors of their primary residence or second home. They typically have quite a bit of furniture and decorative art to sell. AP Selects gives them another option to consider for resale with returns falling between low auction and high retail.


So you don’t take possession of the items?

No, the objects stay in the home of the owners to keep their expenses low, and so they can use and enjoy them until a buyer or new home is found. However, there are times when clients decide they do not need or want to live with the piece any more and choose to keep the property in storage until it is sold. We first vet the pieces by checking for authenticity and condition, then we photograph and complete the valuation before listing them on our site and other third-party sites such as in return for a commission. It is another way of bringing desired collectibles to market and usually only for a limited time.


What mostly do you show and sell?

I was a European furniture specialist at Christie’s before founding Art Peritus. Although we tend to have quite a bit of European furniture listed due to my area of expertise and background, we have a wide variety of property on offer including quite a bit of fine art and will continue to branch out across all categories of collecting. I would say about 80% of what we sell now falls in the decorative arts category and is considered historical material. Rarely is the property new unless it is a unique or custom design.


How many pieces do you have listed?

Right now, around 250 objects across a few digital platforms, with an additional 400 new objects coming to market soon. There is no limit to what we can manage so long as the property is in good condition and can be listed at a price the client is comfortable selling.


What is your perception of the current market for design and furniture?

It is hard to generalize. I feel it is surely contracting in some areas but expanding rapidly in others. Overall people still have an eye out for unique, good-quality pieces across all categories.

My experience in the antique world tells me the blue-chip top end of this market is still doing fine. There are fewer top-end items for sale overall, however, the truly important pieces are still in demand commanding strong prices. Often In the past, interiors were decorated entirely in traditional style, pieces would stay in the residence permanently and then be passed down to the next generation. That is not typically the case today.


Why do you think this is happening?

The taste for decor has changed. We have 3 clients selling homes that were decorated in a traditional English or Continental (giltwood furniture) style. Each of them is shifting into a completely modern interior, purging their previous style entirely, all at once, and not always downsizing from their 25,000 sq ft home!


What are your best clients like?

Our best clients are those who want to cherry-pick specific pieces from different periods, places, and genres and integrate them together — it gives character and flavor to the interior rather than one consistent ‘packaged’ look. It’s wonderful when clients inject their opinions, personality, and taste. We collaborate with interior designers and their clients often to find those special pieces for their projects.


What is one of your most important and largest sales through AP Selects?

Recently we sold an early 20th-century painting considered an important work of American modernism. The piece sold for $2 million. We have quite a nice collection of mid-century Venetian glass as well as some interesting Art Deco furniture and bronzework coming to market that will be posted online shortly.


Discover More From Art Peritus Selects on Incollect


Read original interview on Incollect



Art Peritus recently sat down with Katja Zigerlig, Vice President, Art, Wine and Collectibles Advisory at Berkley One, a Berkley Company (WRB) to discuss the nuances of collecting and insuring Fine Art. Katja consults with collectors as well as insurance and financial advisors on the physical and financial protection of their passion investments. Brooke Mellen, a Former Risk Manager at Sotheby’s who now runs Cultured Forest chatted with Katja about New Year’s resolutions in relation to art collecting.

BLM: Have you made any personal art-related resolutions this year? 

KZ: I’m a fan of Hilma af Klint, a Swedish artist who had a popular retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2019. I received her biography as a present recently, and I’m intrigued to visit the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland this summer. It is a structure built by Rudolf Steiner, and home to the Anthroposophical Society, which drew artists both for the architecture and the philosophy.  

BLM: That sounds like an intriguing art destination. On the practical front, are there any resolutions you are making for 2023?

KZ: To dust my books and the tops of frames more frequently! I live in NY, and it’s astounding how dust gets into a home despite closed windows and the use of air filters. Sometimes the particles are not even visible, but then they appear on the dust-cloth. It’s so important to minimize gradual deterioration from environmental factors.

B: Do you discuss this kind of art collection care with your clients? 

K: (laughs) Ah, yes, that can be a delicate conversation. The most common discussions are usually around installation and ongoing care and cleaning, like the dusting. First, always use weight rated hooks and use at least two hooks, unless the artwork is, well, tiny! I have seen mirrors and framed works fall off walls because the hooks weren’t able to support the weight. Also, I recommend hiring an art installer for larger works and/or works suspended from the ceiling. 

If you have delicate artwork in your home, be sure to alert guests and household staff. I’ve seen martini glasses placed on a Donald Judd sculpture by unaware party guests. Be sure to give specific instructions about the art not to touch/clean. We’ve seen instances of household help accidentally damaging works of art because they don’t know it is art, or were not aware how fragile an artwork is. A sculpture shouldn’t be cleaned with all-purpose cleaning spray, for example.

B: Should updated appraisals be a resolution for collectors?

K: Certainly, especially if they haven’t had an updated appraisal in 5 years and/or they are collecting in a genre or an artist in which there has been a lot of market fluctuation, such as women Abstract Expressionists, contemporary Black artists, just to name a few general areas. You know how much money you have in your account, so why wouldn’t you want to know the current value of your passion investments?  And I use the word investment broadly – an investment of time, money, space and intention. 

Appraisals are important not only to make certain you are appropriately insured, but it can also help you make smart decisions about charitable donations, gifts to family members or making the decision to sell the work. It’s one of the most important documents a collector can have, along with purchase invoices, and an insurance policy of course. 

It’s also important to use a professional appraiser, like the staff at Art Peritus. I mention this because in my more than 20 years in this business I have seen appraisals by people who are not qualified. They don’t have the correct credentials. There is not enough information. In one case, a person lied about their qualifications. These types of valuations are not accepted.  

B: Ah, so you take appraisals very seriously!

K: Yes indeed. Every insurance company has a different threshold for the value documentation they would like to see. When requesting insurance for your valuable collectibles, whether art, collectibles or jewelry, you should always have proof of value. Most often this is the invoice from where you purchased the item. If the item has increased in value, an updated appraisal validates the increased value. And a “qualified appraiser” is key. 

B: When considering insurance, what is the difference between Blanket and Scheduled insurance coverage for collectibles?

K: Scheduled coverage separately describes individual collectibles to be insured at a specific value.  Blanket coverage is based off of a blanket value that covers multiple collectibles, and is often used to cover lower-priced valuables. While there can still be a maximum limit per item, each piece of artwork or collectibles is not scheduled separately. 

A collector should also be aware that when an insured has blanket coverage, in the event of a loss, descriptions and valuation will need to be established. That process could be complicated where the loss event also resulted in the loss of the documentation of the items’ descriptions and values, as insureds are usually required to demonstrate proof the item had been in their possession before the loss. An independent agent is a great resource for advice on whether scheduled or blanket coverage makes sense for a specific collection. 

Collectors interested in learning more about coverage generally can also check out various collections related articles at the Berkley One blog here

B: Speaking of Art Insurance, any general advice for collectors?

K: Purchase the right amount of insurance with a reputable, financially strong insurance provider that understands fine art insurance, including the claims that typically occur.  An insurance provider like Berkley One has deep experience in collections, as well as experts within the company who are collectors themselves and can consult with and assist clients throughout the full cycle of the policy—from adding a new valued piece of artwork, to life events like moving or shipping, and more.

B: What sets Berkley One apart from the average insurer? 

K: Having arts expertise on staff is a key differentiator. I can tell you what it is like not to have someone like that on staff. Many years ago when I was renting an apartment, I insured my art with a direct writer (editor’s note: a direct writer is a carrier that does not sell insurance through independent agents). I had purchased an artwork from a gallery in San Francisco, shipped it to my apartment, and requested insurance. I submitted the invoice, bill of lading, and proof it had been delivered as well as a photograph of the art hanging on my wall. The insurance representative insisted on coming out to my apartment to inspect the painting in person to make sure it was what I said it was.  After that I immediately switched my insurance company. Imagine going through such a process when adding any item worth more than $1,000, even though I had provided more than enough documentation supporting the purchase.

I’m not the only expert on staff, of course. I have colleagues with expertise in jewelry, boats, yachts, and classic cars, as well as engineers and risk managers. Subject matter expertise is so valuable, and helps provide peace of mind.

B: In keeping with our new year’s themes, are there any exhibits you are excited to see this year?  

K: I just saw the Meret Oppenheim retrospective at MoMA. The survey of this important Surrealist artist was postponed by Covid, so I was so happy to finally get to see it!  She worked in so many mediums: drawing, painting, theater, sculpture, and also made jewelry. Her persistent need to create is inspiring. MoMA had purchased Oppenheim’s famous Fur Teacup sculpture back in 1936 – it was the first work by a Surrealist artist, so it’s especially poignant to see a large selection of her work at the first American institution that collected her.  

B: Thanks so much for your time, Katja. This inside look into the art industry has been so insightful! Where can readers go to learn more about both you and Berkley One?

K: Of course! Readers can learn more about about Berkley One via our LinkedIn found here or via our website Additionally, I can be reached via LinkedIn here. 




By now many have heard about the group “Stop Oil Now” pouring a can of soup on “Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh at the National Gallery. The incident was originally reported via Artnet. The intent of the activists involved (according to their messaging) was not to damage the painting that was protected behind glass, but instead to call attention to their climate-centered mission and encourage society to question what we value on the whole. The Climate Activists said at the time of protest, “What is worth more, art or life? … are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”

The protest and this statement have sparked a range of opinions and passionate responses from across the spectrum. Many who fear the impending climate crisis do not see this act as criminal, but rather an important statement about impending climate change. Others, such as Art Insurers and those whose job it is to protect cultural patrimony, see it in another light-one of a threat to something they value and hold dear. Both sides feel the stakes are high. Is there something to be learned by this incident? Is there a middle ground?

As a former Risk Manager at Sotheby’s, these were the sorts of moments that would keep me awake at night. I was hired to protect the organization against loss, including both employees and the Fine Art. At all times I was to be conscious of what was happening to important objects in our care, and see after the safety of employees and patrons. There were steps that we took to protect art such as having visitors check baggage, adding protective glazing to pictures, and reviewing alarms and security. If I were still a Risk Manager, I would also be reaching out to my insurer to check on my coverage for Vandalism and Malicious Mischief and setting a threshold of value at which we add protective glazing and security barriers to viewing items.

At the same time, can one care about the safe keeping of art, but also be concerned about the environment? As a nature lover, I have to say it is a resounding yes. If I stop to look at my actions as an individual and from within an organization in this moment, am I “giving in” to what might be considered unlawful behavior? I think not. I can take this opportunity to look at my behaviors and consider what the motivation is behind these protests and make appropriate adjustments.

There is certainly room within the Art World for more sustainable practices. Several art shippers including Crozier & Momart have begun implementing more art shipments by sea and sustainable practices. And generally speaking, any organization can look at its carbon footprint and find ways to be gentler on the planet. And as an added bonus, you reduce costs while also aligning with the values of those who care about the environment. According to the New York Times titled, “Mindful of its Impact on the Planet, the Art World Aims for Sustainability” :

Some 70 percent of collectors, for instance, now think about “sustainability options” when purchasing art or managing their collections; 64 percent are concerned with reducing their personal travel to art-related events and 68 percent are open to employing more environmentally conscious delivery methods when shipping pieces of art.

A large percentage of art collectors care both about the Planet and art, and this will only increase with time. To not consider these statistics would be a misstep for any organization. If you wish to learn more about sustainability in the Art World, here are a few organizations that are making strides in the area::


Gallery Climate Coalition


Julie’s Bicycle

Serpentine’s General Ecology Program

Does the Art World value the protection of the painting more than that of the planet? Or is it possible to care about both? I think the latter, although there is always room for improvement. In the meantime, protest activity is bound to continue, so check with your insurer for ideas and strategies to protect collections. Additionally, review your carbon footprint and sustainability protocols to see if there are areas for adjustment.

In the meantime, to protect art and the Earth can both be priorities for art organizations that are not mutually exclusive of one another. The creation of art historically was often a form of protest or appreciation of nature, and is worth preserving. And Nature, the very thing that allows art to exist, down to its very pigments and matter, is also worth preserving in the most urgent way.


Should the Warhol Foundation compensate the Photographer Lynn Goldsmith for referencing her photograph of Prince, or is it Fair Use? Two different courts had different opinions on the matter, so this case has moved all the way up to the Supreme Court. The decision will actually be televised on CSPAN today and will have a major impact on Art Law.

The Art World is all ears because the decision will have trickle down effects in terms of Fair Use and many organizations, including Museums, are concerned. There are fears that Artists will not have freedom of expression. But at the same time, when there is so much sharing of images with social media and reuse, should artists get some sort of licensing compensation or attribution? Especially when artist’s who derive from their work make upwards of millions of dollars?

Art Peritus will watch this case closely to determine if the decision has any impact on value for contemporary works of art.

To read more about the case read the article by Nina Totenberg in NPR:

Image Reference: A portrait of Prince taken by Lynn Goldsmith (left) in 1981 and 16 silk-screened images Andy Warhol later created using the photo as a reference. Courtesy Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States


A recent article from ARTnews on “The Great Wealth Transfer” takes a forward look at the implications of the impending transfer of wealth (including art) from the Boomer generation to Gen X and Millennials. In the article, the consensus from Sara McDaniel with Morgan Stanley seems to be that children may not want to take on their parents’ art collections due to differences in taste. Sara recommends the best option for art collectors is to sell a collection before passing, or gift it to an institution.

An accurate appraisal and audit of collections will make assessing these options much simpler. Art Peritus has assisted countless private clients by providing certified appraisals, organizing art collections into management systems, and with preparing estate planning appraisals for inheritance tax and wealth transfer purposes.

One recent example of an Art Peritus Project included appraising an Estate from a High Net Worth collector with over 15,000 objects purchased from all over the world. The art and collectibles ranged in age from antiquity to the 20th Century. The works were valued any where from $5 to $5 million USD.

The project came with many challenges and nuances that we were ready to tackle due to years of experience in handling similar situations including:

  • Many items were packed away in boxes, with very little room to maneuver.
  • There were no pre-exiting inventory or appraisals.
  • Our busy client had very few receipts.
  • We were only given access to the collection over 10 days.
  • Only 1,500 art objects were visible during the first 5 days of the appraisal project. The rest were seen 2 months before project completion
  • The collection included some pieces in very complicated collecting categories with very few ‘qualified’ specialists recognized by the IRS/USPAP
  • The project came to us during the Covid Pandemic, so we were conscious of health requirements.

Despite the challenges presented in the appraisal of this private art collection, we were able to complete the project to the satisfaction of the client. The steps to completion involved the following:

  • Art Peritus employed 22 certified appraisers from our network of vetted specialists.
  • The Estate’s Trust required a “step-up in basis” appraisal for tax purposes. This occurs when the price of an inherited asset on the date of the decedent’s death is above its original purchase price. The tax code allows for the raising of the cost basis to the higher price, minimizing the capital gains taxes owed if the asset is sold later.
  • We established a threshold of value so that the Trust wasn’t paying for unnecessary work from us on objects valued below $500. We always consider our client’s budget.
  • We narrowed down the list of objects to approximately 5,000 items for the report.
  • We provided full comparables for any work with a FMV (fair market value) over $5,000
  • The Trust now has access to the collection in our database to decide how they want to handle deaccession in the future.

Art Peritus has the resources and experience to take on appraisal and art collection management projects of any size with our roster of specialists, project oriented staff and specialized database. What may seem like a daunting task comes together seamlessly with the right resources and art project management experience.


Have you heard the news? A Blue-and-White Dragon vase just sold for $7.5 Million—more than 4,000 times its $1,900 estimate according to artnet. “It exceeds the price of Napoleon’s saber!” said the flabbergasted French auctioneer who sold it.

According to the article by Caroline Goldstein, “The tianqiuping-style vase, featuring intricate blue designs of dragons and whorls on a white ground, was consigned by a woman who had never even seen the 21-inch-tall object. She had simply arranged for it to be sold from her late mother’s estate at the France-based Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, France, about 40 miles from Paris.”

We asked Paul J. Fisher, Director of Appraisals and Business Development for Art Peritus, for an opinion on the matter. He recalled a similar story with the Qianlong vase that fetched £53.1M at auction in 2010, but as many will remember this vase was subsequently never paid for.

In regards to the Dragon vase bidding war, Paul says this occurs more frequently than might be expected. He commented:

“This remarkable sale shows the ongoing demand for important works, and it repeats the age old pattern of sellers not always knowing what they have. Advising private clients on the value of their property, however esoteric, is Art Peritus’ specialty.”

Curious to know what you have? Contact us for a consult at

For more details on the saga of the Qianlong vase click here:

Read about the Dragon Vase here: