Center for Art Law

At the crossroads of visual arts and the law.

Workshop: Finding a Home for your Art Archive

Poster for Workshop: Finding a home for your Art Archive Event. Image is a torn pieces of paper imposed over a backdrop of boxes with sticky notes stacked on a metal bookshelf. Piece of paper on left hand side of event banner has event details with black and pink text. Small piece of paper in lower right hand side of banner has the Center for Art Law logo superimposed on it.

About the Event

For artists who have assembled an archive, or family members or friends who have inherited one (letters, notes, articles, photographs, etc), it can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to place these materials to ensure they are preserved and accessible in the future. This workshop considers how and where to look for a home for artists’ archive, including how archives are used for research and exhibition, whether to donate, sell or keep papers and all, and what to know when negotiating the terms of a gift or sale. The decision-making that goes into placing personal papers intersects with many areas, including appraisal and taxation concerns, technological challenges, and issues related to access and conservation.

Join the Center for Art Law and Lisa Darms, Executive Director at the nonprofit Hauser & Wirth Institute, for an event exploring the ‘behind the scenes’ on selecting and curating archives. Drawing in particular from her years as a curator of archival collections at New York University’s Fales Library and her previous work as an appraiser and dealer, Lisa will explore the importance of agreements; discuss issues of copyright, privacy and confidentiality, and talk about the ethical considerations inherent in placing archives. (Please note, this workshop deals with archival materials like correspondence, press materials, notebooks, digital work files, photographs etc., and not with collections of actual artworks).

Don’t miss this chance to hear from Lisa Darms as she discusses how to determine what is valuable in an artist’s personal archive and shares her experience as an archivist- curator.

This workshop is offered as part of the Artist Legacy and Estate Planning Clinic, VALC.

About Our Speaker

Lisa Darms is Executive Director of Hauser & Wirth Institute, a nonprofit devoted to equity and innovation in the field of artists’ archives and to supporting the communities who use, create and care for art archives. She has spent over 15 years as an archivist and researcher working intimately with artists and their collections in nonprofit, academic and commercial settings. Lisa was Senior Archivist at NYU’s Fales Library from 2009 to 2016, where she managed the Downtown Collection of artists’ and art organizations’ archives and was curator of the Riot Grrrl Collection. She speaks and writes regularly about contemporary art and artists’ archives, and is the editor of The Riot Grrrl Collection (Feminist Press, 2013) and co-editor of Weight of the Earth: The Tape Journals of David Wojnarowicz (Semiotext(e), 2018). Lisa holds an MA in History and Archives, an MFA in Photography, and a Certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine & Decorative Arts.

Course Materials

Watch the Recording

The Center for Art Law is a New York State non-profit fully qualified under provision 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Center does not provide legal representation. Information available on this website is purely for education purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.
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