5 Legal Cases Changing the Art Market

Problems facing the art market, and several law suits that may impact it.

Opinions of authenticity are important to buyers who be sure they are buying the “real thing”. Experts may keep quiet to prevent being sued. They fear the legal costs which can be huge. Witness the Andy Warhol Foundation spent $7 million vindicating itself in a lawsuit, then closed their authentication board.

The New York City Bar Association has drafted legislation to protect experts by requiring the plaintiff to pay the authenticator’s legal fees if the plaintiff lost in court.

A few more…

  • Can wealthy collectors with art advisors rely on what a reputable gallery tells them?
  • What’s a legitimate disavowal under VARA (Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990)?
  • Should you put all art purchase agreements in writing? The court ruled friendship doesn’t create a fiduciary relationship between dealer and client; and an art gallery isn’t required to act in the buyer’s interest.
  • Why should buyers and sellers would contract with their art advisers to disclose all documents related to a transaction.

Read the full article at https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-five-legal-cases-changing-the-art-market-as-we-know-it.

Integrity and Depth of Knowledge

My name is Susan Tobash, the Manager of Customer Service of the Princess Cruises Art Department, which started shortly before my arrival in 2000. It was not long after that time the Company brought in Jerry Bengis, based on his reputation of integrity and depth of knowledge in the art business. Jerry completed our insurance appraisals on the artwork sold on our ships.

From the beginning it was clearly understood by Jerry that all of our artwork was sold with a lifelong guarantee, art could be returned at any time for any reason by our customers. Jerry agreed to do the appraisals even though with our thousands of artists and artwork he could not possibly view many of them.

During the course of many years working with Jerry I gained tremendous knowledge of the art world, as he spent much time with me explaining and elevating my own knowledge of the art world. I considered Jerry my mentor.

The Program called for my department to prepare the appraisals, and Jerry would examine each thouroughly to ensure the prices were within reason.

Jerry never sold us anything except Salvador Dali graphics, where he is a reknown expert on his works. We never had one return on any of the Dali works sold to us by Jerry.

Jerry was invited to go on several of our cruises as a guest lecturer and our customers loved him and we sold a lot of artwork. During these cruises many Picasso works were sold which turned out to be incorrect. Unfortunately Jerry seemed to get caught in the middle of this, even though the only works he authenicated for us were those by Dali.

The outcome was good for our customers as we gave them them a full refund as well as additional compensation as a show of our goodwill, and in most cases they kept the artwork. Jerry Bengis had absolutely nothing to do with these pieces.

Shortly after this time I became ill and was not able to return to work. I understand during this time Jerry had some issues which were certainly never his fault, he was always completely honest with our Company. Jerry was very well liked and respected by our entire Team from the VP of the Art Program on down. We all enjoyed working with him and learning from him.

I would like to make this excellent commendation to Jerry after having known and worked with him for many years.


Susan Tobash

Picasso 347 Etchings

Jerry shared his expertise with me which I really appreciated. I learned a lot from talking to him. Jerry went out of his way to return my call which not everyone in this business does. I really appreciated his help.
Peter Bortz
Georgetown Frame Shoppe

Thank you so much for reviewing the images of the Picasso 347 Series we emailed you, which you have identified as not being authentic.
We appreciate and hold your opinion in the highest regard, and count on your expertise in these matters.
Basil R. Collier
Fine Art Publisher

When I was doing the appraisals for Princess Cruises Fine Art they acquired some bad 347 etchings of Picasso. No one knew of these and they had a lifetime guarantee on all their art. I was hired to do insurance appraisals so I had nothing to do with authentications as I am not qualified nor was I held responsible. The people who bought these wound up getting their money back and got to keep the pieces so they came out very happy. I noticed some of these etchings offered for sale on Peter’s website and contacted him.

Cleaning Works of Art on Paper

Don’t let discolored paper, small tears, and other minor damage discourage you from buying a fine art print you would love to own. It is possible to have fine art prints cleaned and repaired.

Jerry recently had a fine art print by Modern Master Joan Miró cleaned and the result was wonderful. Check out the before and after photos to see the restoration of the paper to a clean, bright white. The print was restored to its colorful self.

Email Jerry Bengis if you have questions regarding the restoration of a damaged fine art print.

Pop Artist Charles Fazzino at the Coral Springs Art Museum

Jerry Bengis and Charles Fazzino at Pop & COmic Art exhibit at Coral Springs Art Museum, March 2015In March Jerry met up with Charles Fazzino, 3D Pop Artist at the Coral Springs Art Museum at the opening of a new exhibit “The Art of Pop & Comics”. Fazzino’s colorful and imaginative works of art are in hundreds of galleries and museums around the world. The amazing detail in his cityscapes, sports art, pop culture keep viewers fascinated for hours.

Works by Pop and Comic artists Jose Delbo, Marvin Gralnick, Nelson de la Nuez, and Al Razza were also included in the exhibit at the Coral Springs Art Museum.

Modern Art at the Lowe Art Museum with Donna Shalala

Jerry Bengis and Donna Shalal at Lowe Art Museum, University of MiamiJerry enjoyed meeting Donna Shalala, former president of the University of Miami, at a reception at Lowe Art Museum at University of Miami.

Lowe Art Museum has permanent art collections from Greco-Roman antiquities, to European art from the 17th and 19th centuries, and 19th century American Art.

The Lowe’s Modern Art collection includes work by Frank Stella, Knox Martin, Duane Hanson, and Roy Lichtenstein. Jerry has extensive expertise in Modern Art. His personal collection features work by many Modern Masters including Lichtenstein.