Whether you want to be sure that your works are adequately insured for their value, apply for an IRS tax credit for an oil painting or bronze sculpture that you donated, or simply satisfy curiosity about an object that you value personally, Whittaker Fine Art Appraisals will customize an appraisal report to suit your specific needs.
You may use the links under the Services dropdown menu to navigate between sections of interest.
Items & Areas of Expertise
WFAA can assess art of many forms and from multiple regions of origin. Some areas of art that we specialize in appraising are featured on this page. Artwork that we have valuated include items such as:
oil on canvas, oil on copper, tempera on panel, acrylic, watercolor
bronze, wood, polychromed wood, silver, and marble
lithograph, engraving, woodcut, linocut, block, and other art prints
- American Art
19th- and 20th- centuries and Regionalist works
- Western European
paintings, sculptures, works on paper, works of Christian liturgical and/or religious significance (15th–19th centuries)
- South Asian
India and Pakistan: mid century and contemporary art, folk arts, textiles, jewelry, and religious objects
- East Asian Art
Japan and China: 5th–20th centuries (style only), religious objects of Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto types
- Central Asian Art
Himalayan region, including Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, 16th–21st centuries, textiles, jewelry, and religious objects
Types of Appraisal Services
Our qualified appraisal reports adhere to the ISA Appraisal Report Writing Standard
(ISA ARWS) and are USPAP-compliant. The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) in Washington D.C. was
authorized by Congress to set forth USPAP, or the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, which serve as the ethical and performance standards for professional art Appraisers in the United States.
Insurance Coverage & Loss
For insurance purposes, it is wise that you keep photographs of your works of art in a safe, fireproof place, that you retain any receipts related to the purchase or conservation of those works, and that you have your paintings, sculptures, art prints or other works on paper valuated by a professional appraiser.
A professional appraisal report by WFAA will provide you and your insurance company the accurate and detailed information needed to calculate adequate coverage, in order to indemnify you against any damage to, or loss of, your works of fine art. In the event you need to make a claim to the art insurance company, having the professional appraisal report’s meticulously detailed data at hand will help expedite the settlement process.
approaches to art valuation for insurance +
For an appraisal report of this type, we will assess the condition, attribution, rarity, and provenance of your works of art, and then conduct related research to estimate the replacement cost of those objects. This type of valuation will identify the cost for the insurance company to replace a damaged, lost, or stolen work of art with another work having similar qualities, within a reasonable time, and within the most appropriate market for the insured.
If, for instance, the artist is still living and can be commissioned to create a similar work to replace the original, then the ‘Replacement Value-New’ is used to estimate “the cost to replace (by purchase, production, or reproduction) the item with a new or comparable substitute.”
If the artist is deceased, then the ‘Replacement Value-Comparable’ approach is used to determine the work’s value. This valuation is defined as “the price in terms of cash or other precisely revealed terms that would be required to replace a property with another of similar age, quality, origin, appearance and condition within a reasonable length of time in an appropriate and relevant market.”
These evaluations are a protective value, and as such, they reflect the highest price to replace property as described without consideration of depreciation in the most relevant market. Related costs, such as taxes, shipping, handling, etc. would be added, so that the client is made whole from any loss.
Estate Planning & Taxes
When planning for the future dispersal of your estate, it is imperative that you hire an experienced, qualified professional appraiser who can provide you with an accurate and detailed assessment of your prized possessions. Having this valuable data will assist you in considering how best to disperse your estate among loved ones, descendants, and/or institutions.
Perhaps you’ve inherited old paintings, prints or other art from a beloved relative’s estate and want to find the value of these items, to insure them properly or distribute them equitably among your own descendants, or maybe you want to sell the works and want to know their potential worth on the market. Getting a professional appraisal will give you the accurate information you need to make an informed choice.
About IRS & Estate Art Appraisals +
For an appraisal report intended for Estate Planning purposes, the type of valuation method used is Fair Market Value [FMV]. Internal Revenue Regulation Section 1.170A-1(c)(2) defines FMV as “The price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.”
Having a qualified, professional appraiser assess your works of art and provide you with an accurate, well-researched appraisal report will make available to you relevant information that will help in your decision-making process of how best to divide your estate, whether among family, friends, museums, and/or appropriate institutions.
If, at the time of death, a decedent owned works of artistic or intrinsic value, then the Internal Revenue Service requires that IRS Form 706, Schedule F be completed and filed with the Estate Tax. For filing Estate Taxes, Fair Market Value, or FMV, is used to estimate the value that the works of art had on the date of the decedent’s passing [see above].
We will provide you with the necessary appraisal report and IRS forms.
U.S. Code of Federal Regulations stipulates, “If any item or collection of similar items is valued at more than $3,000, attach an appraisal by an expert under oath and the required statement regarding the appraiser’s qualifications.” [section 20.2031-6(b)]. The appraiser must also be under oath and of disinterested character, that is, the appraiser cannot have any interest in buying or selling the work(s) of art in question. In the selection of an art appraiser, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations advises that you choose one who is “reputable and of recognized competency to appraise the particular class of property involved”[section 20.2031-6(d)]. [See GovRegs, a website that provides free and easy access to U.S. laws.]
For IRS Form 706, Schedule F, see pages 26-27
Equitable Distribution for Estate, Divorce Settlement, or Business Dissolution
As an ethical, unbiased third party, Loren Whittaker can provide a professional valuation of works of art, making equitable distribution possible among heirs of an estate or between parties in a divorce settlement or business dissolution.
How Our Approach Considers Anticipated Proceeds+
An equitable distribution appraisal arrives at a just and fair compensation for property once held jointly in a marriage or business, or in the case of an estate, for dispersal among heirs. For this type of valuation, typically the Marketable Cash Value, or net value, of the works of art are determined. This approach anticipates gross proceeds expected from a hypothetical sale of the property and then subtracts any expenses associated with the sale, such as taxes, buyer’s premiums, dealer’s commissions, insurance, shipping, and handling. This approach recognizes the monetary worth that must be substituted for a portion of the property, and will thus allow for fair and equitable distribution of property.
Noncash Charitable Donation
If you want to know how much of a deduction you can take for a non-cash charitable donation of a painting, sculpture, or work on paper that you have made or are considering making, you should be aware that the IRS stipulates that tax deductions for non-cash charitable contributions “of more than $5,000 must be substantiated with a contemporaneous written acknowledgement, with a qualified appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser, and a completed Form 8283, Section B, that is filed with the return.” IRS Publication 561.
about IRS NonCash Charitable Donations+
Loren Whittaker is a qualified, reputable appraiser who can assess your works of art for condition, rarity, and demand within the appropriate market. For this type of assessment, the approach to valuation used is Fair Market Value [FMV], which the Internal Revenue Regulation defines as “The price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts” [Section 1.170A-(c)(2)].
If you have donated or are considering an art donation, the professional appraisal report that Whittaker will prepare for you will provide you with the information necessary to supply for your 8283 tax form, which we will also provide for you.
Expert Witness Testimony
Holding a Ph.D. in art history and having over a decade of experience in assessing works of art, Loren Whittaker serves as a qualified, unbiased third party ideal for testifying as an expert witness. Whittaker values her clients’ discretion and maintains her reputation as a timely, competent, and thorough researcher and ethical authority.
If travel is involved, expenses such as airfare and hotel will be added to the hourly rate base.