Artist Estate - Purvis Young a Cautionary Tale

Fellow appraiser Alvah Beander sent me an interest article and podcast on the difficulties and cautionary tale of artist estate of Purvis Young. Some really interesting legal issues, liens, unpaid attorney fees, storage fees etc, as well as conflicts of interest and a judge not requiring a formal appraisal. The Washington Post artilce is rather long, so I only posted a few small sections where I found the term "appraisal".  As the case and issues are so important, ArtTactic has a podcast interview with the author of the WP article.

ArtTactic states (follow the ArTactic source for the podcast, and the Washington Post source link for the original WP article)
In this week’s episode of the ArtTactic Podcast, we’re joined by freelance journalist Deirdra Funcheon, who wrote an article in the Washington Post magazine detailing Purvis Young’s career and the conflict surrounding his estate. First, Deirdra introduces us to Purvis’ career and explains why he is considered an outsider artist. Then, she identifies some of the key turning points in his career. Also, Deirdra, details the complexity of the artist’s estate and reveals how his paintings were allocated following his death.
 Source: ArtTactic

From the Washington Post article
In July 2011, Mangiero filed an inventory listing the assets in the estate: about $6,000 in cash and 1,884 paintings, for which Mangiero gave an estimated fair-market value of $1 apiece. But the debts — about a half a million dollars — far surpassed that. Mangiero then successfully petitioned Korvick to reopen the guardianship case. Mangiero’s attorney explained at a court hearing that by doing so, the lawyers and guardians stood to be paid before other creditors (Young also owed Medicaid over $100,000). Only after the estate’s debts were satisfied would the beneficiaries stand to inherit anything. Mangiero in court filings also asked that the guardians and lawyers be paid in artwork and eventually proposed that they choose pieces worth twice the amount they were owed to offset dealer commissions should they place the work with a gallery.

Korvick agreed and required an appraisal. But the guardians and lawyers did not immediately split up the art because, as Mangiero testified in a lawsuit later filed by the Lovests, a formal appraisal could have cost tens of thousands of dollars. He opted instead to hold on to the collection, hoping a “white knight” would appear and buy it. The case fell dormant for years.
 The Washington Post continues
Korvick issued a new order in which she agreed and dropped the appraisal requirement. Receipts showed that in August and September 2017, seven of the eight attorneys and guardians had divided the artwork (one declined to take any), with Mangiero hanging on to the shares now owned by himself and three other attorneys to try to sell them. As for the separate estate case, Korvick had closed it in February 2018, for inaction.

Rolle left the courthouse angry. He grumbled about coziness between lawyers and judges. (Election records dating to 2000 show that four of the eight creditors, either individually or via their firms, had donated to Korvick’s election campaigns.) 
 The Washington Post article continues
Stunned that a judge had let the art go without an appraisal, Goss sought to find out where all the pieces had ended up and how much they might have sold for, and to recover some assets for the heirs.

Mangiero countered that the lawyers had gone unpaid for a decade, and he’d spent $200,000 of his own money storing the art, to no avail. While he didn’t truly think the art was worth only $1 per piece — that was just a placeholder, he explained in filings after Goss tried to challenge Korvick’s orders — it wouldn’t garner millions of dollars. 
Source:  Washington Post

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