“Etched in Memory: Legacy Planning for Artists” is a web resource designed to assist artists in preparing for and protecting their professional legacy through sound planning and archival practices. All artists face the issue of building and maintaining their artistic reputations and creative output. Artists can assist their surviving partners, family and friends with decisions on financial issues and estates, as well as the disposition of their personal papers, business records and artwork.

Some of the resources found here are the result of a one-day symposium held in the Scholarly Communication Center (SCC) at Alexander Library on the College Avenue Campus of Rutgers in New Brunswick, on Friday, March 20, 2009.

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Books and Articles

Caplin, Lee, ed. The Business of Art. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Clifford, Denis, and Cora Jordan. Plan Your Estate. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2006.

Crawford, Bridget J., John Sare, et al. Estate Planning for Authors and Artists. Washington, DC: Tax Management, Inc., 2004.

Crawford, Tad. Business and Legal Forms for Fine Artists (with 22 forms on CD-Rom). New York: Allworth Press, 2005.

Crawford, Tad. Legal Guide for the Visual Artist. New York: Allworth Press, 1999.

Curry, Hayden, ed. Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 2007.

Fleming, Edmund T. Estate Planning and Administration: How to Maximize Assets, Minimize Taxes, and Protect Loved Ones. New York: Allworth Press, 2005.

Hoot, W.E. Scott. Estate Planning for Artists: Will Your Art Survive?. Columbia-VLA Journal of Law and the Arts. V. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1996), 15-46.

Lang, Gladys Engel and Kurt Lang. Etched in Memory: The Building and Survival of Artistic Reputation. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Lerner, Ralph E. And Judith Bresler. Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Investors, Dealers, and Artists. New York: Practicing Law Institute, 1998.

Moore, Patrick W. Estate Planning for Artists with AIDS. New York: New York Alliance for the Arts, 1992.

Moore, Patrick W. Future Safe: The Present is the Future. New York: NY Alliance for the Arts, 1997.

Russell, Elizabeth T. Art Law Conversations: A Surprisingly Readable Guide for Visual Artists. Madison, WI: Ruly Press, 2005.

Salvesen, Magda, and Diane Cousineau. Artists' Estates: Reputations in Trust. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

Online Articles

Constantine, Mildred. "Preserving the Legacy of 20th-Century Art."

Hoffman, Barbara, ed. "Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning. 2008 Supplement Update." Published by the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation.

"How Best to Preserve an Artist's Works."

"How to Care for Paintings."

"How to Preserve Your Own History." Deals with paintings; on Discover Nikkei website:

Lerner, Ralph E. "An Introduction to Estate Planning for the Artist." Art Journal (53), 1994. Excerpted online at: http://tinyurl.com/cce5n8

Lewis, Robert. "Estate Planning for Artists." Online at Senior Artists Initiative website:

"Preserving Your Wartime Letters." Published by Legacy Project. Useful information for various kinds of correspondence.

Other Resources


Future Safe: A Guide to Planning for the Future of Your Art in All Disciplines.

A Guide to Deeds of Gift. Brochure published by the Society of American Archivists. Full text available online at

A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository. Brochure published by the Society of American Archivists. Full text available online at

A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository. Published by the Society of American Archivists. Available online at

Guia para donar sus documentos personales or familiares a un deposito. Brochure published by the Society of American Archivists. Full text available online at:

"The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS," a project of the Alliance for the Arts, 2004.

Glossary of terms for archival storage methods and materials

Northern States Conservation Center
Highly informative guide to archival practice and concerns broken down by medium, with links for purchasing storage.


New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
P.O. Box 1520
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021
856.627.0428 (phone)
www.njvla.org (URL)
Tracey Batt, Esq., Executive Director: director@njvla.org
info@njvla.org (general)

New York Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
1 East 53rd Street, 6th floor
New York, NY 10022
212.319.ARTS (2787), ext. 1 (phone)
www.vlany.org (URL)
Elena Paul,Esq., Executive Director:
Alexei Auld, Esq., Director of Legal Services: aauld@vlany.org
Kate Nelson, Esq., Pro-Bono Coordinator: knelson@vlany.org

Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
423 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
www.artsandbusinessphila.org/pvla (URL)
www.artsandbusinessphila.org/pvla/artistapp.asp (URL for application for assistance)
pvlalegal@artsandbusinessphil.org (e-mail)

Copyright Alliance

The Joan Mitchell Foundation

The Women Artists Archives National Directory

The Rutgers University Archives and Special Collections

Etched in Memory logo features Miriam Schapiro's "In the Land of Oo-bla-dee: Homage to Mary Lou Williams," 1993. Courtesy of the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions.

The original symposium was sponsored by the Institute for Women and Art (IWA) at Rutgers in partnership with the Rutgers University Libraries. The IWA operates under the auspices of the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic & Public Partnerships in the Arts & Humanities. These events are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Etched in Memory Project Team included: Dr. Ferris Olin, Principal Investigator; Nicole Plett, Project Manager; Joe Namashe, Videographer; Ricki Sablove, Symposium Organizer; Katherine Scott, Symposium Organizer and Web Site Developer.