In June, I traveled to Berlin to attend the Artist's Legacy Planning Workshop and present on the Joan Mitchell Foundation's Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) initiative. Organized by the Institute for Artists' Estates and hosted by the Arp Foundation and the Gerhard Richter Archive, this three-day workshop featured twelve speakers with varying expertise in the artist estate and legacy planning field presenting to a group of around 25 participants. The workshop focused around questions such as:
- How might an artist's estate be administered?
- Who should administer the estate?
- What will be the vision and focus of the estate?
My presentation centered on the ten years of fieldwork that informed the development of the Creating a Living Legacy program, in which emerging artists were trained by the Foundation to assist older artists with career documentation. I shared specific lessons learned and how those lessons informed the evolution of the program over time. (Photo courtesy Institute for Artists' Estates)
The workshop particpants were treated to a walk-through of the Hans Arp Foundation showroom. (Photo by Shervone Neckles-Ortiz)
Workshop participants also visited the Gerhard Richter Archive, which is part of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Dietmar Elger, head of the Richter Archive, described the unique opportunity to build an artist archive in partnership with the living artist, Gerhard Richter. He also shared insight on the process of working in conjunction with the institution that houses the archive, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. (Photo courtesy Institute for Artists' Estates)
We enjoyed viewing Gerhard Richter's Selbstildnisse exhibition at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. (Photo by Shervone Neckles-Ortiz)
The workshop was a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues in the field and share learnings from the Foundation's CALL program. A few key "takeaways" related to my specific areas of focus at the Foundation were:
- The need for more research and conversations with artist-endowed foundations formed by women and artists of color
- Career support for artists experiencing immediate and increased levels of visibility
- Centering intergenerational conversation as part of career development to counter isolation and misinformation
- Building appropriate long-term relationships with critics/writers
- Opportunities for more human exchange between artists and arts professionals
- Studio Management tools that are really worth an artist's time and money
- Resource sharing between artists and catalogue raissoné professionals as beginning steps to readjusting the canon
Thank you to the Institute for Artists' Estates for organizing the convening, and to the Arp Foundation and the Gerhard Richter Archive for hosting us.
The resources developed by the Foundation to support the Creating a Living Legacy program are now available online as free PDF workbooks. Visit CallResources.org to download the Career Documentation Guide, the Estate Planning Workbook for Visual Artists, and access other resources.
Shervone Neckles-Ortiz is Artist Programs Manager, Professional Development, at the Joan Mitchell Foundation. She is also an interdisciplinary artist and past Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant recipient.