The often murky role of advisors and clients in the art market is a subject that continues to generate headlines, from the ongoing Bouvier saga to this year’s judgment against Lisa Jacobs. For those trying to draw useful lines and gain practical guidance, a new Kindle book Managing Relationships in the Art Market by art advisor and Tang Art Advisory Principal Annelien Bruins will be a useful reference.
We reviewed in December an important decision that addressed the duties of loyalty that art advisors may, or may not, owe to their clients in dealing in the art market. That question—of to what extent advisors and consultants must subordinate their interests entirely to the clien—is of obvious importance in a marketplace where buyer and seller often do not interact with each other. Whereas December’s news about the sale of Cady Noland’s Log Cabin was a reminder that advisors are not necessarily fiduciaries, this month’s decision about the sale of a Basquiat painting underscores that where a fiduciary relationship exists, the penalties for straying from those obligations can be severe.