From The Wall Street Journal:
What can art collectors do with a collection that has outgrown its space? Or a collection that they don’t want heirs to sell off piecemeal?
One possibility: open a museum.
The move allows very well-heeled donors to know their legacy will be kept intact, rather than split up or displayed by another museum in a way they wouldn’t like. They also get to control which works are displayed and how in their own lifetime, and to see them in an institution with their name above the door.
There’s also the financial benefit of a tax deduction, and the museums themselves are exempt from taxes. But controlling their art’s fate matters most to some collectors. “It’s really not tax-driven,” says Diana Wierbicki, a partner at the law firm of Withers Bergman, a number of whose clients have set up museums.
. . . .
Real-estate developer Martin Margulies set up the Margulies Collection in a refurbished warehouse in Miami in 1999. The collection, which consists of 3,000-plus works of modern and contemporary art, is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, April through October. Mr. Margulies says he “did this to enjoy my collection and educate young people.”
“At an existing museum, the director may change, the curators may change, the board members may change,” he adds. “The people who promise you one thing, well, they’re gone, and new people come in. They don’t like this, they want to change that. Pretty soon, everything you donated to them is in storage.”
Of course, creating a museum is a step only the very wealthy can afford. Setup can cost millions of dollars, and annual maintenance can be hundreds of thousands. Mr. Margulies estimates his annual operating budget to be $350,000. The San Antonio-based Linda Pace Foundation expects its annual operating budget, now $275,000, to top $1 million when its new space opens in 2019, says Kathryn Kanjo, a foundation trustee.
. . . .
One of the first steps in creating a museum is for donors to set up a private operating foundation to run it, and then gift their art to it. Just like other art donors, they get a tax deduction. As part of that initial gift, they often give cash to the foundation as well. The money goes toward the rental or purchase of a building in which to place the artwork, which likely will need to be refurbished, and equipped with climate controls and security, all of which can cost millions of dollars. And the artwork will need continuing maintenance and insurance. (The cash outlay is deductible at up to 50% of the donor’s adjusted gross income.)
One ongoing aspect of running a private museum is currently under debate. The Internal Revenue Service requires collectors who set up museums to allow the public to come in to look at the artwork, which requires the hiring of one or more curators and art handlers, as well as other staff. (The artwork must also be available for loan to other museums.)
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal
Some visitors to TPV might not catch the connection to writing. Allow PG to elaborate.
While most of Mrs. PG’s manuscripts have already been scooped up by a nice lady from nearby university library, PG is going to recommend that Mrs. PG print out some more copies so he can scuff them up a little bit to make them look old and stock a manuscript museum in the basement of Casa PG. (It’s strange that the nice lady never asked for any of PG’s contract drafts.)
This space occupied by the museum will be climate-controlled because PG spends a lot of time in the general vicinity.
Security for Mrs. PG’s Ms. Museum will be provided by a baseball bat which PG will lean against his desk.
“What brand?” you might ask. Since PG is a traditionalist, it will probably be a Louisville Slugger, although a friend once recommended a Cold Steel Brooklyn Crusher.
PG is a bit suspicious that the Crusher is most often used to crush something other than a baseball. Additionally, the Crusher is not allowed in a Major League Baseball game under the Official Rules of Baseball (1917 edition) because Rule 3.02 (“The Bat”) states, in pertinent part:
The bat shall be a smooth, round stick not more than 2.61 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.
Unfortunately, the Crusher is a “nearly indestructible baseball bat, made of durable polypropylene.” PG assumes the Crusher is made of one piece of solid polypropylene, but, as Babe Ruth once said, “Close only counts in horseshoes, not baseball.”
Despite this seeming disqualification, the Crusher “can be used as competition bat, for batting practice, and even at-home self defense.” (This last quote is from the Crusher folks. PG was not able to find any similar statement in the Official Rules of Baseball, although he didn’t check any editions prior to 1917.)
So wood it must be. When you’re operating a non-profit, non-taxpaying organization, you have to pay close attention to the details. The tax man certainly will.
Back to museum security. If the Louisville Slugger doesn’t deter burglars, the youngest generation of PG offspring will drive off anyone not buttoned up inside a soundproof armored vehicle – – assuming the armored vehicle doesn’t stop. In the event of AVS (Armored Vehicle Stoppage), certain members of the PG offspring will have the wheels off within 60 seconds, armored or not, and immediately hide several wheels under various beds in Casa PG and bury the rest in the garden of the nice neighbor lady across the street, except for the one jammed into the garbage disposal.
This explanation should impress the IRS auditor that Mrs. PG’s Manuscript Museum is serious about not squandering its non-taxable money on unnecessary security frills.
One more thing – the museum will be open to the public whenever two or more PG offspring are on the premises and wearing their official Manuscript Museum Docent t-shirts. Visitors will be able to purchase their own Manuscript Museum Docent t-shirts at the Museum Store which will be located in an offspring-proof safe. In Peru.