Art Law Report

Detroit Bankruptcy Debrief—Judge Rhodes Speaks on the Grand Bargain and the Detroit Institute of Arts

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on February 20, 2015 at 6:58 AM

Last year’s biggest art law story was, in our view the Detroit bankruptcy. Nathan Bomey, who along with Mark Stryker formed the essential reporter team on up-to-the-minute updates on the proceedings, interviewed Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes in the Detroit Free Press. The interview speaks for itself, but the highlights to me were:

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Topics: Judge Rosen, Mark Stryker, Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr Testifies About Impact of Selling Detroit Institute Art Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 3, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Throughout the Detroit bankruptcy and the attendant speculation about what role, if any, the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts that is owned by the city should play, a parallel parlor game has been to try to guess what Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s endgame and motivation really was. He has dropped hints about the importance of the collection in helping the city emerge from bankruptcy, but his plan of adjustment did not include any sales or loans with the collection as art. Rather, it included what has come to be called the “Grand Bargain,” under which several foundations will pledge hundreds of millions of dollars (as will the State of Michigan) to keep the art safe from liquidation.

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Topics: Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation, Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, FGIC, Judge Steven Rhodes, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Nathan Bomey, Kevyn Orr, Litigation, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Remaining Creditor Sharpens Knives Over Detroit Institute of Arts Collection Value

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

After Syncora Capital settled its objections to the Detroit bankruptcy plan of adjustment, it looked like the battle over the Detroit Institute of Arts collection would subside. Not so fast, it turns out. A major contest looms next week with a remaining creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation, over the valuation of the collection. Just to recap, the creditors (including both Syncora and FGIC) submitted a valuation of the entire DIA collection that put the value between $8 billion, performed by Victor Wiener Associates, while DIA and the city advanced an appraisal by Artvest Partners and Michael Plummer (who testified last week) putting it at closer to $2.4 billion (after an initial appraisal by Christie's of only part of the collection).

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Topics: Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Syncora Reaches Deal with Detroit and Apologizes to Mediators, Grand Bargain to Protect Detroit Institute of Arts Likely Secure

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 15, 2014 at 6:53 AM

After months of bitter fighting over the so-called Grand Bargain to infuse the Detroit bankruptcy with hundreds of millions of dollars from (among others) the State of Michigan, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the McGregor Fund, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to keep the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts out of discussion for any sale or use as collateral, the Grand Bargain’s fiercest opponent has announced an agreement with the city and the withdrawal of its opposition to the plan of adjustment. This does not completely put an end to discussion about the role of the DIA collection, but for all intents and purposes it will likely be the last of any proposal to collateralize or sell the artwork. The episode also provides a lesson to practitioners about the cost of overzealousness.

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Topics: the Ford Foundation, Chapter 9, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Syncora Capital, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Detroit, the McGregor Fund, Eugene Driker, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Gerald Rosen, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, grand bargain

All Sides Show Their Cards on Detroit Institute of Arts Collection as Bankruptcy Trial Begins

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 4, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Opening statements concluded in the Detroit Bankruptcy trial yesterday, and as expected, the role of the art at the Detroit Institute of Arts played a central role. Although opening statements constitute nothing of evidentiary value, they obviously show the road map that the various sides intend to follow. Thanks to courtroom reporting, we have a number of clues about the themes that the lawyers intend to develop.

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Topics: Deaccession, Syncora Capital, Kate Wells, Detroit Institute of Arts, DIA, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

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