Saturday, December 3, 2016

" Private Art Funds " the solution to make money by buying top quality artworks


VWART investment in private art funds







PRIVATE ART FUNDS : what is it

Art funds are private investment funds to the generate returns through the acquisition of art.
Art funds utilize the “buy and hold” strategy. Buy and Hold investment strategy is a strategy in which the investors keeps the art for a +/- long period of time, regardless of the market orientations.
Art funds may differ in size, focus, duration, etc
Art investments are based on the art market values, legally the art funds are not submitted to any regulation which will be explained later.
Private art funds are made for people who want to own a part of an important painting, by example a 1 Million $ Picasso artwork. They don't have the 1 M $ but will own 10% up to even 100 % of the painting, depending on the invested amount  but without having the hassle for the storing of the painting, insuring the painting, etc All this being done by the private art funds manager. Shares start at a minimum of $ 200,000.00.

PRIVATE ART FUNDS : regulations

     Art funds are subject to law and regulation.
To avoid being labeled as an investment company, the art funds funds will have less than 100 investors in the fund of funds. The art funds fund will not have to follow the investment regulations ( SEC ) if this  is respected
Please visit  to see all the rules and regulations.

PRIVATE ART FUNDS : how it works

      The funds are managed by a professional in the art business, with experience on buying and selling fine art at the highest level.
It is the role of this manager - advisor to submit to the investors, fine art that is subject to increase in value over the years ( usually the investments are made for 5 years ). The art work in this time frame of the 5 years may be sold or put up for a loan to  a museum, or a corporation  by example, may be exchanged with other art works etc, all this of course under the strict survey of the different share holders of the art work.
Usually art increases in value with a minimum of 10 % yearly, of course the advisor- manager has to be the right person to exercise the choice of art, experience is primordial in this domain. You will not be a manager of a private art funds after ending an art class or becoming an A.S.A. etc appraiser. It requires a lot of experience and a well filled address book of merchants, dealers, experts, curators, wealthy potential investors etc.
A manager needs to have a vision and knowledge of fine art to be able to predict what will be a good investment.
Art works are owned by one or multiple investors. So it is possible to own a 1/10 of a 5 Million $ painting.

PRIVATE ART FUNDS : what a good manager does for the investors

      He hunts for artworks online, auctions, galleries, private collectors. When he finds an interesting work of art, he
believes it could be a good investment for an investor, he has to verify:
1/ the value of the art work if it was sold in auction. Artprice etc are databases for the auction results. He will deduct 20 to 25 % of the mentioned value in the data, since the seller will have to pay this % to the auction house.
He needs to buy at least 25 % below the auction price
2/ the authenticity of the art, and has to request a C.O.A. from the sole recognized authenticator
A good manager will take advantage of all the possibilities to pay the lowest possible price, especially if he buys it from private source. In online auctions it's very rare to find an item at a very good price. Dealers and merchants look at the auctions every day, sometimes one can find a good opportunity in a small auction house with few or no visibility online.
Private sellers and collectors are definitely the best places to buy an item, of course Steve Wynn, and collectors of that caliber will be out of price. Galleries are taking a profit of minimum 50 % on the market value, which leaves no room before many years to make a substantial profit.
Merchants, galleries and professionals make their profit not at the sale, but at the purchase price: " Higher you buy, less profit you will make."
A good manager with a vision, knowledge and experience will make  a profit for his clients,  sometimes up to 50/60 %, in one year... but always minimum 10 % a year.

OUR SERVICES : for collectors and investors in art funds

      We offer 
      1- Advise on how to build a fine art collection, in partnership with other collectors investors
     2- How to maintain an art collection, at low cost, through a manager
     3- Close collaboration with the collector for investments in fine art, at every level of the market
     4- Assistance to buy fine art in auctions, from private owners, and dealers in the USA and worldwide


Art & Finance report 2014 Download the report (PDF - 4.5 MB)

Continue to read on website;

What is behind the art investment boom ?
Read website :

Bloomberg-business article about Investing in fine art
Billionaires investing in Fine Art at Basel Art ...




This information page about art funds can be modified and expanded any time.
it is provided for informational purposes only.
This is not an offer to sell art funds.


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Sunday, November 6, 2016


We deliver a free opinion on artworks:

- paintings oil
- watercolors or gouaches
- drawings
- lithographs
- sculptures

What information we need to receive at :

1/ About you:
- name & eventually address if you request a visit ( which is not free)
- your email address and phone # where to reach you

2/ About the artwork

a/ provenance:

    - how did the artwork come in your possession
    - eventually history of the former owner or owners
    - if you bought it in auction, name of auction house

b/ artwork itself:

    - size
    - signed ? Y or N
    - medium :
      1/ oil
      2/ watercolor or gouache
      3/ drawing - pencil - colored crayons - chalk etc
      4/ lithograph : signed in margin Y or N - Numbered ? number
      5/ sculpture : bronze - wood - plastic etc

c/ photos:

    a/ a photo front and 1 photo of the back of the artwork
    b/ a close up photo of the signature if it is signed
    c/ a close up photo of what looks important in the painting, face, hands etc
    d/ if details on the back, label, marks etc a photo close up of each label
    Please focus the photo on the painting or artwork, as much as possible.

As response will be given as soon as possible by email free of charge.

Gerard Van Weyenbergh

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Art authentication, how to be sure 100 % it is authentic?

How to be sure that the painting you buy is 100 % authentic ?

Unless you bought a painting directly from an artist, and that you have a certificate of authenticity emitted by him, and a bill of sale or a paper showing a gift, it is in my opinion impossible  to have a 100 % certitude that the painting you buy is authentic.

If you buy a painting with a certificate of authenticity, you need to:

1- have this certificate updated at the time you buy or re-sell the painting
a/ an expert may change his opinion about a painting. I saw a Parisian expert
for Eugene Boudin change his opinion about the painting he authenticated 30 years earlier and that he inventoried in his catalogue raisonne.
b/the certificate you have has been made by Mr. X, but today Mr. X past away and is replaced by Mr. Y. Mr. Y may or may not renew the certificate of authenticity.
c/ you need to be sure that the painting has the  appropriate certificate:
By example a painting by Amedeo Modigliani. You need to have a certificate of authenticity made by Ceroni , only 337 paintings have been admitted as authentic by Mr. Ceroni. The problem is our important expert past away ..
You have other very important experts on Modigliani's work, Parisot, Restellini, etc
By example if you have a painting with the COA from Christian Parisot, who is a very charming man, and a great historian, you will have it very difficult to have it sold because he was accused of making fake Modigliani works etc ..see links here under.
Restellini ( ex secretary of Christian Parisot !)abandoned the writing of the catalogue raisonne he started since he received death treats ... yes fine art has his" Dark side" very dark...

2- Does the certificate of authenticity made by a gallery 100 % reliable?

a/ if the certificate is made by a gallery of very high standing, they will have the certificate made by the sole recognized painter in any way. Often these galleries were exhibiting the artist in the past. Those galleries are of course reliable but I will always ask the original certificate since several scandals made surface recently and especially one of the oldest gallery in the USA, the Knoedler Gallery in NY:
b/ if the certificate is made by a gallery that is not considered as one of the top 25 galleries in the world, just consider that this certificate is completely useless. You always should request the original updated certificate by the sole recognized authenticator and submit your buy to the contingency of providing this certificate if they don't want to see the sale canceled. 
(To be continued )

Gerard Van Weyenbergh

Monday, November 30, 2015

Art authentication certificate for a painting, is it indisputable?

"Is a certificate of authenticity for a painting necessary?"
"Is a certificate of authenticity for a painting indisputable? "

I am working on art authentication for almost 20 years in the USA.
I see experts for  Pablo Picasso that changed 3 times of authority status for the last 20 years.
When I started work on Picasso authentications in the 90's it was " Comite Picasso in Paris" who was the authority until 1993 , year the "Comite Picasso" was dissolved, the given reason was a disagreement between Maya and Claude both children from Pablo Picasso from different beds , it was said in private cercles some experts from this " comite Picasso" received amounts of money to agree on an authentication of a painting, none of it was proven so until today it is considered as simple gossip.

      After the dissolution of the "Picasso comite" Maya Picasso was considered the sole recognized authenticator. Usually people accepted her certificate as being sufficient to warrant the sale of a painting. Important auctioneers however were still looking to have the certificate from both of them Maya and Claude Picasso. This second opinion looks to be a very good choice made by the auctioneers since Maya Picasso today is no longer the sole recognized authenticator. This brings up of course many interrogations for collectors who have a certificate of authentication made by Maya Picasso only. Indeed today it is the Picasso Administration who gives his agreement for the authenticity of a painting. This Picasso Administration is composed by 5 heirs of Pablo Picasso but where Maya Picasso is excluded.

As for every important master if you want to sell a painting you will need to have a certificate of authenticity not older than 3 months.

By example Andre Lhote, important French master with results up to 2.5 M $, when heir and recognized sole authenticator expert Jean Bouin died, the new sole recognized expert Mrs. Berman-Martin refused several artworks authenticated by Jean Gouin, under the motive that the last had made too much blunders. Today you have many lawsuits going on , understandable since collectors bought in auction or in private paintings having the Jean Gouin certificate which was the only one recognized as valid.

The contestations are also active for very important masters so Pierre Auguste Renoir, with results in auction as high as 71 Million $ . The sole recognized authenticator  Francois Daulte recognized at the end of his life several paintings by Renoir which after Daulte's dead were contested immediately by Dauberville . It turned out that  Daulte family was involved with the Wildenstein family in the hijack of 3 Manet paintings with an invaluable value  and 1 Corot paintings worth well over multiple M $ today, at the cost of Yves Rouart , legal heir of Berthe Morisot the famous painter who owned these paintings.

Also important museum curators are making enormous mistakes.
Manuela Mena, curator for the 18 th century paintings of the famous Prado Museum in Madrid, in June 2008 declared that the most famous painting by Goya was no longer painted by him but by supposedly Asencio Julia because they discovered on the painting a monogram : AJ ... which is really not convincing that this scholar painted the Colossos... This Colossos was described by Charles Baudelaire, the French writer as : "Giving the monstrosity the ring of truth " to show the maestria of Goya ... The painting was exhibited since 1931 in the Prado museum. Who painted it, God knows who ...

Is a certificate of authenticity valid for the sale of an artwork?
to be continued

Gerard Van Weyenbergh


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Art authentication PART 4

Art authentication shows often surprising attitudes from clients that are tired to spend money without any results.
Recently a customer contacted me with what she thought was a Monet painting.
She asked a reputable company to look for an authentication about her unsigned Claude Monet painting. After a couple of months and a $ 15,000.00 expense this reputable company told her that the painting was not by the hand of Claude Monet.
At first I would say that if a painting isn't signed by a painter this should say you already that
- the painter didn't consider his painting totally finished and postponed to sign it after he had completed all the elements. An unfinished work will  not be signed by an artist, this is a common rule in the art world.
- the reputable company of authenticators should have said to their client that an unsigned painting will have very little if not "no chance" to be recognized as authentic, especially Monet. It is already very difficult to convince the Wildenstein Institute that with a perfect provenance,  a signed Claude Monet is authentic. Unsigned history ... impossible to defend the painting in an argumentation with the Wildenstein.
- you may find unsigned painting in old masters usually. It is very rare to find unsigned modern works unless they were sold in auction as an atelier sale. Degas Corot had this type of sale.

The lady contacted me and told me she must have confused Manet and Monet.
And this time her painting was a Manet...
After some verifications I realized that if this was effectively a very nice painting showing the traces of age, it could have been painted by many major artists, or even have been a copy from period of a major artist.

I explained her that it will be very pricey to try to find out who the painter was, and if she didn't have an unlimited budget to make this research it would be better to abandon this project because, without any signature, it will have 0,1% chance be obtain an authentication.

She contacted me again but this time with a signed Degas. The painting was authentic and obtained her authentication. It pays off to be honest with customers, especially through the emails and internet, you never know with who you are dealing with.

Gerard Van Weyenbergh

Friday, June 26, 2015

As fine art expert I will not advise to act like Mr. Currie and his 160 M $ Picasso find in his attic ( PART 3)

A fine art expert will not act like this gentleman in the UK.
here is his story about finding a 160 Million $ painting by Picasso in his attic
see story

Indeed when you find an exceptional or even a less exceptional artwork in your attic, the first thing to do is to open Google and look up similar artworks by this artist.
This first step should already bring you some clarity

When you think you may have a valuable artwork, you should test to see if your painting is a real painting or a reproduction. This is a very easy step:
- do you feel or see brushstrokes?
- do you see brushstrokes but they are all applied in a circular way, they not match the underneath painting strokes..obviously a reproduction with a layer of varnish applied in circular strokes
here more

Go to Sotheby's or Christie's ?? Avoid them at this stage. I saw many paintings they turned down because the provenance was unclear, etc and turned out they were authentic.
Sotheby's and Christie's are great to sell your stuff because they make a "modest" revenue from the seller and from the buyer, an average of 50 % of the value of the painting. Somebody would think that with such a lucrative income they will take everything ...wrong. They hunting the owners of big masters, that's why you find in their staff lots of gentleman and ladies from Aristocracy or heirs from important modern and contemporary painters or even sons and daughters of important gallery owners.

What you need to do is to find a reputable and honest art expert ( yes they exist...) and hire him to find out if your painting is authentic or not. Usually if you have a copy or a pastiche he will tell you immediately.

Not to do:
alerting newspapers, tv stations, why?
the sole recognized experts for a painting don't want the old world to know about a discovery:
1- they like to announce it themselves ( Prestige etc )
2- they are afraid to make mistakes. Indeed when an expert has a 5% doubt about the provenance or details in the painting you will not receive your authentication. It happened to me with a painting by Jacques-Louis David, the expert had a 5 % doubt, everything in the painting was totally corresponding his work,but he doubt the history for a little 5 %. This would have changed my life completely because I will have been very rich at the age of 35 years, and could have made a large collection of paintings...
3- the same if you put a painting on Ebay, the sole recognized expert will no longer recognize the authenticity because it was overexposed

to be continued 

Gerard Van Weyenbergh

Saturday, June 6, 2015

As a fine art expert I am contacted by people who start a collection of fine art - How to start? - Auction Houses ..PART 2

Art investment returns :

Articles from different media with their source showing that investing in fine art is definitely a good investment.

Art  investment is considered as a new asset class for a balanced portfolio. The average annual return is of 10% over last 20 years.

Collecting work by emerging artists is the best way to begin investing in art.

Art & Finance report 2014
Download the report
(PDF - 4.5 MB)

In last year’s report we identified an increasing sense of convergence in motivations among key stakeholders in the art market and in the wealth management community regarding art as an asset class.
Based on the findings of this report, the wealth management industry is clearly taking a more strategic view on art as an asset class and how it might be used as a tool to build stronger and deeper relationships with clients, in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
This year’s findings suggest that art buyers and collectors are increasingly acquiring art and collectibles from an investment viewpoint (76% said so this year, compared with 53% in 2012), which will most likely increase the need and demand for professional and wealth management services relating to the management and planning, preservation, leverage and enhancement of art and collectible assets.
It is particularly interesting to see that the wealth management community is already responding to this new demand, with 88% of the family offices and 64% of the private banks surveyed said that estate planning around art and collectibles is a strategic focus in the coming 12 months.
This highlights that art related tax, estate and succession planning issues are increasingly becoming a hot agenda topic. Also, 50% of the family offices surveyed stated that one of the most important motivations for including art and collectibles in their service offering was due to the potential role it could play in a balanced portfolio and asset diversification strategy

Deloitte Luxembourg and ArtTactic, which conducted the research for the report between April and June 2014, found that the average wealthy individual currently allocates approximately 9 percent of his or her portfolio to art and collectibles. However, particularly in the United States, the firm says, wealth managers are forecasting increased portfolio allocations to art as an investable asset class. They say such an increase will provide "fertile ground for Art & Finance-related services aimed at protecting, leveraging, and enhancing" wealth allocated to the sector.
Investing in the right artist or artwork at the right time offers a potentially nice return. Don't forget the added ownership and enjoyment while waiting for price appreciation. Like any business, supply and demand directly affects pricing. Other factors include authenticity, condition of the art, aesthetics and rarity. Art education remains foundational in making wise choices for art investments. Have a question? Get an answer from a personal finance professional now!

Read more :

·       ·  1
Visit places that sell original art. Go to an art gallery, museum and auction house to develop a sense of both great art and art that sells.
·       2
Read books and magazines on the art world. These offer background information and newsworthy items to enable you to spot trends, find new artists and understand how the art business works.
·       3
Buy art after you research the type, painter, average prices and authenticity.
·       4
Allocate a budget to invest in art over the long term. Artworks go up and down in price. Buying at the peak or before changing trends often means a poor investment.
·       5
Invest in art that you enjoy. Know why the art appeals to you to determine if it might appeal to someone else.
·       6
Keep original frames and documents of any artwork. Replace a missing frame according to its period.
·       7
Insure art investments that already have value with your insurance agent.

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The main thing that’s driving the growth of the art market is the demand for a good investment for the very rich, art adviser Todd Levin said.
Levin, standing outside the convention center in Basel, Switzerland, was referring to the brisk sales inside at Art Basel, the world’s largest modern-and contemporary-art fair. A self-portrait by Andy Warhol sold for $32 million within 15 minutes of the fair’s start on June 17. Other numbers were impressive: $4 million for a David Hockney landscape; $3 million for a Fernand Leger painting; $250,000 for a towering sculpture by Thomas Houseago.
“It’s about the need of high-net worth investors to park their excess capital,” said Levin, director of Levin Art Group in New York. “They don’t want to keep it in cash in the bank. They can’t put it in a mattress. Art has historically provided the greatest intergenerational return of any asset class.”
The Artnet C50 Index, which combines performance data from 50 top contemporary and postwar artists, advanced 434 percent from the start of 2003 through last year, beating asset classes including gold, fine wine and stocks.
Art sales increased 8 percent from 2012 to 2013 to 47.4 billion euros ($65.9 billion), nearing the high reached in 2007, according to an annual report published by the European Fine Art Foundation in Maastricht, Netherlands. Auction houses in New York sold a record $2.2 billion of modern, Impressionist, postwar and contemporary art last month.

Step Ahead

Wealthy art collectors may be a step ahead of other investors. Multimillionaires have a high allocation to cash, according to a survey released today from U.S. Trust, a unit of Bank of America Corp. Sixty percent of respondents, who had at least $3 million in investable assets, said they had at least 10 percent of their money in cash. Last year, 56 percent of those surveyed said they had a large amount in cash.
These investors may have taken notice that their parked cash isn’t earning much as central banks globally push down interest rates. About 17 percent of millionaires said they plan to move some money out of cash in the next 12 months, the survey said.
In Basel this week, bearish outlooks were a rarity as dealers reported strong sales and broad international attendance. First time visitors from China, India and the Middle East are among the 86,000 people expected to attend through the fair’s end on June 22, organizers said. About 284 galleries from 34 countries offered as much as $4 billion worth of art, according to an estimate by insurer AXA Art, a sponsor of the fair’s 45th edition.

Rising Values

Alberto Mugrabi, whose family owns one of the largest Warhol collections in private hands, routinely buys and sells art, and he wants values to rise.
“The same way an investment banker analyzes a company, we analyze a work of art,” he said. “When you are paying money like that, you have to think about it as an investment.”
During the first two days of Art Basel, Mugrabi stayed away from purchasing Warhol, instead going for a 1981 drawing by Willem de Kooning for $450,000 at Matthew Marks and a 1960s painting by Joan Mitchell for $1.5 million at Cheim & Read.
“You see prices of the young guys today and de Kooning looks cheap by comparison,” he said, taking a break on a bench by Gagosian Gallery’s booth, where Warhol’s painting of 10 skulls was still available for $22 million. “For $450,000 I can buy a de Kooning drawing or a Mark Grotjahn drawing. It’s a no-brainer.”

‘Young Guys’

He hasn’t brushed off the “young guys.” He collects emerging artists with blazing speculative markets including Joe Bradley, Alex Israel and Lucien Smith. In November, Mugrabi paid $389,000 for Smith’s painting inspired by Winnie the Pooh and made while he was in college. The price was a record for the 24-year-old artist.
Philip Hoffman, chief executive officer of The Fine Art Fund Group in London, also shied away from Warhol.
“It’s a waste of our time,” he said. “We don’t make money buying what everyone else is buying.”
The firm manages $300 million of art assets and expects to reach $500 million by the end of the year, he said.
Walking through the fair on opening day, Hoffman said he was alerted that another buyer was interested in an artwork the fund had agreed to purchase earlier that morning. By the end of the day Hoffman resold the work to the new buyer.

Ten Percent

“We made 10 percent on the deal,” he said, declining to name the artist or reveal the price. “We never paid for the work. We just netted the profit.”
Hoffman, who started the company in 2001, said he consigned several works to dealers at Art Basel, selling almost $5 million worth of art and averaging compound gains of 10 percent to 20 percent.
Most of the art the fund acquires is valued at $1 million to $10 million, Hoffman said. He looks to buy works by artists whose prices are on the rise.
Christopher Wool was in that category five years ago, Hoffman said. In 2007, the fund bought a Wool painting for clients for $800,000. In November, the artist’s text-based painting sold for $26.5 million at auction. But like the financial markets, there are ups and downs in art investing.
In 2009, Hoffman told his clients that the value of the work dropped 50 percent to $400,000.
“If I had to sell it then, it would have been a major loss,” he said. The fund held on until last year, when it sold the work for $2 million.
“Now these investors are happy people,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Katya Kazakina in New York
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel Mary Romano, Pierre Paulden