In 2010, the Aspen Institute reported a 360% growth rate in the formation of artists’ estates and foundations over the prior 15 years. While the field is growing rapidly, it is new and still developing. In order to advance it, we want to provide tools to aid artists and their families so, every quarter, the Artists, Estates and Foundations team will be commissioning leading voices and scholars to provide expertise on a variety of topics specific to this nuanced area of the art world. Our reports will include information on best practices, lessons learned as well as practical resources to help artists and estates navigate their legacy planning and management.

Our first studies deal with: the placing of archives, written by the curator, writer, public art producer Rochelle Steiner, who is a professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern Californian; and with image licensing, written by Anna Raginskaya, a financial advisor with the Blue Rider Group at Morgan Stanley and previously a strategic consultant for arts organizations. The reports will be available for free to anyone interested in learning from them. Future topics will address single artist museums and variations, and how to plan a foundation in perpetuity. 

Industry Surveys

Aspen Institute Survey on Artist Endowed Foundations (2013)

Aspen Institute Survey of the Field (2010)

Aspen Institute Artist as Philanthropist (2010)


Aspen Institute Guide for Artists (2013)

The Artist Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs (2016), published by Hatje Cantz

Artists Estates: Reputations in Trust (2005) by Magda Salvesen, published by Rutgers University Press


Facing Different Challenges in Different Phases of an Artist’s Estate (2016) by Christy MacLear for the Institute for Artists’ Estates