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November 23, 2005

schuman.jpgAs we pause to give thanks this year, we are presented with a new and unexpected blessing from New York's other senator. Charles Schumer has slipped a provision into the new tax bill that, while horrendous tax policy, may just finance my retirement. From a New York Times writeup (via the TaxProf):

Under the bill, artists could donate their work during their lifetimes at full market value provided that it is properly appraised and handed over at least 18 months after it is created.

The provision seems likely to open the way for more acquisitions by cash-strapped museums. "It's very important for cultural institutions and libraries to be able to be the recipient of these works of art that otherwise might go into private hands," said Mimi Gaudieri, the executive director of the Association of Art Museum Directors.

You say, "my, what a stupid idea. Every two-bit parking-lot artist is going to go to fly-by-night appraisers and donate their unsold stuff for huge tax deductions." Precisely! And that's where my retirement fund enters the picture.

If you are going to donate your art to charity, somebody has to accept it. Hence, my new career as Curator of the Digital Museaum of Deductible Art. Longtime readers may remember that this idea died when the Iowa state legislature failed to pass SF 132, which would have tried a similar idea at the state level.

For a nominal handling fee and exclusive rights, our museum would accept and display digital art donated by artists around the world. Incredibly capable appraisers would ensure laughably generous scrupulously accurate valuations of donated work. For example:

Tacks Shelter, Vol 2. Artist: J. Kristan. Estimated Fair Market Value: $25,000.

Or this lovely commentary on the impermanence of things, like old kitchen chairs:

Broken Chair. Artist: J. Kristan. Estimated FMV: $15,000.

Or even this:

Knoxville Cat. Artist: G. Reynolds. Estimated appraised value: 79 cents ($15,000 after payment of handling fee).

If this goes well and I make a killing am successful in my artistic vision, I may expand beyond digital photography and accept paintings and sculpture. I already have a unique gallery display concept in mind:

Concept for future display gallery, Museum of Deductible Art.

In my free time, I will encourage Senator Schumer to expand the concept. The arts need a lot of help, even from people who lack the kind of talent seen in these pictures. They need help from lawyers and accountants, for example. They should be able to deduct the fair market value of their time given to arts organizations, like the Museum of Deductible Art. The deductions should be at very high rates, too, no less than $600 per hour. Nothing but the best for the Arts!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Quite artfully done, Joe!

Looks like you're on board Chuckie's gravy-train.

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hi Uncle Joe! Nice thingie!

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