By Daniel Grant
Summary of the Article
Art collectors have historically managed their collections’ paperwork in a variety of ways – from manually updating spreadsheets to keeping related documents with the artworks themselves to filing them in different cabinets and offices; some may not keep track of this paperwork at all. Over the past 20 years, database systems have emerged for personal collections, acting as a single source of truth for private collectors that can be easily updated and keep copies of documents and other information safe from physical harm. Initially meant for galleries and museums, newer database management systems and products are now being used by artists and collectors alike, as a safer, more advanced way to manage their collection.
Excerpt from the Article
Claire Marmion, SVP, Fine Art, PURE Art Services by Haven Art Group, recalls a fire at the home of Long Island collectors that destroyed a painting and much of its information. “The couple had bought the work at The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht [Netherlands] during the 1980s,” she explains. “We had to ask the Belgian dealers they bought it from, ‘Do you remember an American couple that bought a painting from you 35 years ago?’ We had to try to establish they had clear title to it, and that there were no liens on it.” All of that research required time and money, which inevitably cut into the net settlement the owners ultimately received.