Photo of Professionals at Weinberg, Kaplan & Smith, P.A.
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How does one put a value on artwork?

by | May 11, 2018 | Property Division

One of the most difficult things to put a precise value on without just selling it is a piece of unique artwork. The fact that fine art is hard to value can present problems during the property division process following a divorce or a bed and board divorce. Incidentally, not being able to get an accurate value on one’s art can also present issues for even happily married couples who are trying to manage their finances.

The reason art is so difficult to put a value on is that its value is very much dependent on the subjective opinion of people, usually people who frequently delve in to the world of art.

Art critics, who could at one time make or break the career of an artist, are no longer seen as the sole authoritative and objective resource for an opinion on what art is good and what art is mediocre. Other people in the world of art now also contribute heavily to creating value in an artist’s work.

For instance, the owner of a gallery or art dealer has a lot of influence in setting the price of a work of art he or she is trying to sell on behalf of an artist. Private collectors and those who run museums can also affect the value of art depending on how eagerly they pursue a particular type of work or the work of a particular artist. Even artists themselves can make their work more valuable by creating the right image for themselves and their art.

If a couple cannot come to an agreement about what their art is worth, then they will likely have to hire an expert in art to give an opinion as to the art’s value. Legally qualifying an expert to testify in court and then presenting the expert’s opinion to a judge in an organized manner also will usually take the skill of an experienced family law attorney.