Tax Benefits and Good Public Relations For Corporate Art Donations

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During the renovation and reconfiguration of its Madison Avenue offices in New York City last year, Towers Perrin, an international management consulting firm, found it no longer had room for a number of its free-standing, table-top, and wall relief sculptures and a painting.

During the renovation and reconfiguration of its Madison Avenue offices in New York City last year, Towers Perrin, an international management consulting firm, found it no longer had room for a number of its free-standing, table-top, and wall relief sculptures and a painting.

The art had been purchased specifically for these premises when Towers Perrin first occupied them in 1995. At that time, Leader Associates of Wayne, NJ, assisted with the acquisitions, so Towers Perrin naturally turned to them to help with de-accessioning the pieces for which they no longer had room.

The worsening economic climate combined with the artists' lack of auction records prompted Bernice K. Leader, Ph.D., to advise Towers Perrin to donate the art rather than attempt to sell it. Towers Perrin concluded that the tax deductions generated by charitable donations of art and the good will received as a result, would afford a far greater financial benefit to the company than their outright sales.

To facilitate this goal, Dr. Leader recommended Laurence C. Zale, M.A., President of Laurence C. Zale Associates, Inc., a New York City visual arts advisory firm with expertise in the gifting of art, sculpture and collectibles, to locate and arrange the donation of the art to appropriate and qualified charitable organizations.

Throughout the second half of 2008, Laurence Zale arranged for a total of 18 artworks to be donated to various colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY); the Schulman and Schachne Institute of Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn, New York; the Museum of American Glass at the Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center in Millville, New Jersey; and Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. These institutions agreed to display the donated art in publicly visible locations, and to install a plaque acknowledging Towers Perrin as the donor.

Leader Associates is an art consulting firm to corporations and health care facilities. Services include development of art acquisition budgets, selection, commissioning, framing, installation, documentation and de-accessioning of art.

Laurence C. Zale Associates, Inc. provides independent visual arts advisory services to collectors, public charities, private foundations and corporations, including strategic businesses planning that result in the acquisition, sale or donation of fine art, collectibles or other personal property.

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