Guidelines for Appraisal of Works of Art

The term “qualified appraisal” means an appraisal by a professional appraiser no earlier than sixty days before the contribution of the appraised property, and no later than ninety days after the contribution date. To be independent of the donor, the qualified appraiser cannot be the donor or the donee, a party to the transaction in which the donor acquired the property, a person employed by any of the foregoing parties, a person related to any of those parties, or have any other financial interest in the works being appraised.

The appraisal must be signed and dated by an appraiser who charges an appraisal fee. An appraisal of a collection or a work of art must include the following:

  1. A detailed description of the object, including title, size, subject matter, medium, name of the artist, approximate date created, and interest transferred;
  2. The physical condition of the property;
  3. The date, or expected date, of the contribution, the date on which the property was valued, and the manner of acquisition;
  4. The terms of any agreement or understanding entered into, or expected to be entered into, by or on behalf of the donor, that relates to the use, sale, or other disposition of the property contributed;
  5. The name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the appraiser;
  6. A detailed description of the appraiser’s background and qualifications;
  7. A statement that the appraisal was prepared for income tax purposes;
  8. A history of the item, including proof of its authenticity and a record of any exhibitions at which the particular art object was displayed;
  9. A photograph of the subject, of a size and quality sufficient to identify the subject matter fully;
  10. A statement of the factors on which the appraisal was based. This statement should include:
    1. The specific basis for the valuation, such as any specific comparable sales transactions, particularly sales of other works by the same artist on or around the valuation date;
    1. Quoted prices in dealers’ catalogues of works by the artist or comparable artists;
    1. The appraised fair market value of the property and the method used to determine the fair market value, particularly with respect to the specific property;  
    1. A statement as to the standing of the artist in the profession and in the particular school, time, or period in which the work was produced.

Last Updated on September 18, 2019