Another sign of the economic times: Master paintings and photographs are showing up in the art world’s equivalent of pawn shops. The New York Times reports this week that photographer Annie Leibovitz (above) is the latest name-brand artist to use one of these firms to raise money, to the tune of $15.5 million. While other known quantities such as Julian Schnabel have turned to New York’s Art Capital Group and similar companies before, Leibovitz’s case is particularly noteworthy because she not only put up her homes but the rights to her pictures:
In other words, according to loan documents filed with the city, one of the world’s most successful photographers essentially pawned every snap of the shutter she had made or will make until the loans are paid off.
Those who know Ms. Leibovitz said she used the money to pay off mortgages and deal with other financial stresses. But whatever her reasons, she is not alone in doing business with Art Capital and similar lenders. At a time when stock portfolios are plunging and many homes, even grand ones, have no equity left to borrow against, an increasing number of art owners are realizing that an Old Master or a prime photograph, when used as collateral, can bring in much-needed cash.
Read the full story here. And let us know if you hear about other examples in North Texas or elsewhere.