Bad Construction or New Damage? — A Question For The Art World.

Interest in post war and contemporary art is beginning to return to pre-Lehman levels — http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/confidence-colors-contemporary-art-market-with-record-prices-se/19476374/ This good development should raise some eyebrows in the art insurance world. Why? Because post war and contemporary art suffers from two problems: (a) it is often created with novel techniques and from composite materials – techniques and materials that can be difficult to replicate; and (b) because of (a), post war and contemporary art often degrades or deteriorates at a much faster rate than the old masters. Restorations are thus becoming more common and necessary than one would expect with pieces of such recent provenance – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/science/26whitney.html?_r=1&ref=science This fact should be remembered the next time a shipping or other loss comes in. Insurers must ask themselves – is it new damage resulting from an occurrence, or rather simply part of the inherent and rapid degradation process inherent to post war and contemporary art?

If you have any questions about this post or WCM’s fine art practice, please contact Bob Cosgrove at rcosgrove@wcmlaw.com.