Mary Rozell certainly knows what she is talking about: she is the global head of the UBS art collection, an art lawyer and an art historian. In addition, she was previously the director of art business at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. So whether she is writing about taxes, inventory management, investment, insurance, security and the myriad other aspects of collecting, she draws on long experience. What happens if a work is recovered after insurance has paid out? Should you ask a conservator about the value of a work of art? How often should a collection be appraised? These are just some of the aspects that Rozell delves into.
In revising her 2014 handbook, Rozell has thoroughly updated it, even including the Maurizio Cattelan banana that made such a splash at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019, and the question of documentation of such transient works of art. The book also has a new chapter on foundations and private museums. As a single volume covering all aspects of collecting, it certainly merits a place on any bookshelf.
The Art Collector’s Handbook: the Definitive Guide to Acquiring and Owning Art, Mary Rozell, Lund Humphries (2014; revised edition, 2020), 256pp, £24.99/$34.99