Art Feed

“Veterans,” acrylic on canvas, by Jesse T. Hummingbird (Cherokee, b. 1952) celebrates the generations of Native Americans who have, and still do, serve in the various branches of the U.S. military. The painting is on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Indian. This Memorial Day many of us are incorporating honoring fallen U.S. military men and women into our more recreational activities. That’s easy to do if you live in or visit the national capital area. Washington, D.C., is full of monuments and museums, many of which have special military-themed exhibits, either as permanent displays or shown on... Read more →

… and yes, there is a tax connection beyond winning wagers being taxable income. Photo by Scott Webb As is usual each Super Bowl Sunday, bets are getting a lot of attention. There are the big-dollar wagers on the game. Two seven-figure bets were placed last week on the Philadelphia Eagles to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in today's Super Bowl LVII championship game. Then there are the prop bets, many of which have nothing to do with National Football League plays on the field. For any of those bets that pay off, the winners will owe taxes to the... Read more →

Some of my grandmother's paintings, known as the main Vera Gallery in our house. (Photo by Kay Bell) The hubby and I are art fans, primarily of painted works. That's why almost all of our vacations include a visit to our destinations' museums. Our appreciation of a piece hanging on a wall is why most of our rooms are adorned by framed artworks. Most are signed limited edition print versions of our favorite painters' works. But we also have some originals of a few notable artists, as well as works that are more sentimental but just as lovely, like the... Read more →

American artist John Trumbull's painting of the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence, which is the artwork's name, to Congress. (Image from Wikimedia Commons) Happy July 4th everybody! I hope all y'all are having great and save 245th birthday party for what became the United States. Relatively speaking, we're still a young country. And like most juveniles and young adults, we're still making mistakes. But we're learning (I hope) from them as push ahead to reach what our Constitution calls a more perfect union. To get there, we need to turn to another critical U.S. document, the... Read more →

The market is still volatile, dropping a bit today because … heck, who really knows exactly why this time? It's likely to keep bouncing a bit until the current and threatened trade wars and associated tariffs are resolved. I definitely am not a financial adviser, but even I know that you shouldn't try to time the stock market. Just when you think you've hit the bottom and cashed out, it drops more. Or it recovers and you miss a run back up that would have replaced (or more) your assets' losses. But if, after careful consideration and consultation with your... Read more →

Alec Baldwin has been having a field day portraying Donald Trump, the presidential candidate with, among other things, some tax issues. Click image to watch the Saturday Night Live skit from which this Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump GIF is taken. Now from the life imitates art files, Baldwin is facing his own allegations of tax avoidance. New York City art dealer Mary Boone filed a motion in New York State Supreme Court last week accusing the actor of "failing to pay sales tax." She alleges that in order to avoid New York taxes, Baldwin had the painting shipped to... Read more →

I love cats and I love art, but I gotta say that The New York Times story yesterday (Sept. 2) on a feline-themed museum exhibit kind of grossed me out. So of course I'm sharing it with y'all. "The Kittens' Wedding" is the centerpiece of a new show at a Brooklyn, New York, museum. But it's not your typical work of art. Stuffed cats say "I do" in a scene from a British Pathé report on the anthropomorphic taxidermy of Walter Potter. Click image to watch the video. It's an elaborate tableau by the Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter that is,... Read more →

Donald J. Trump's taxes are still under wraps, but a revealing statue of the Republican presidential candidate could be yours if you're willing to bid enough. Naked Donald Trump statue in Los Angeles (by @birdman via Instagram). Click image for a full view, if you dare. Surprise reveals across the country: Earlier this month, five identical life-size statues of a nude Trump appeared overnight on street corners in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle and New York City. The NYC clay version of the GOP White House hopeful was removed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.... Read more →

You've got to hand it to New York. The Big Apple truly does have something for everyone and every, uh, predilection. There is, of course, a price. And a tax. The Museum of Sex found that out the hard way. Yes, I know, some of what I will type in this post will be, I swear, unintended double entendres. Please accept my apologies in advance, but I just don't have time to search through my thesaurus for synonyms. The New York Post reports that the New York state tax office slapped an $82,192 tax lien on the Museum of Sex... Read more →

The hubby and I enjoy fine art. Most of our vacations include trips to museums. We even own a few original pieces by artists other than my grandmother, although I must say her work, like the Texas bluebonnet field below, is among my favorites. Her landscapes and more lighthearted pieces are very valuable to us. But Vera K originals and the handful of other paintings we own by more famous painters won't one day produce any big estate tax issues. Estate tax issues with art values: Wealthier art patrons, however, often find that their collections could produce tax problems for... Read more →

Our beloved cat Zeke was part of our family for 19 years. He's been gone for 15 now and we still think about him every day. Zeke chilling out in a box at our Maryland condo back in 1984. Our human family and friends are stunned we never adopted another cat. When I've broached the subject of a new kitty over the years, the hubby's reaction has remained consistent and firm: "Do people get another kid when they lose one?" Sometimes, but that's a topic and blog post for another time. Today's focus is on our collective devotion to our... Read more →

The Swiss women's Olympic hockey team took home a bronze medal today, but in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, that country is the gold standard for offshore accounts. For years, the IRS has been encouraging U.S. taxpayers who have foreign accounts to 'fess up about where they keep their money. The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, or OVDP, and related efforts offer incentives for taxpayers to disclose their offshore accounts. As long as they pay their delinquent taxes, interest and slightly reduced penalties, they won't face criminal prosecution. They IRS doesn't like the term tax amnesty, but that's essentially... Read more →

Early reports of what's in the Senate-approved fiscal cliff deal were pretty darn spot on. The Senate took H.R. 8, the Republican sponsored and House-passed (by a 256-171 party-line vote on Aug. 1, 2012) measure to continue all the Bush tax cuts, thereby conforming to the constitutional requirement that tax legislation originate in the House, and amended -- or, more accurately, overwrote -- the bill. Now we wait for the House to act. Vice President Joe Biden met with Democrats there this afternoon and judging by the press conference that followed, most of them are on board. The Republican House... Read more →

The modern art showpiece "Canyon" has a new permanent home at New York City's Museum of Modern Art thanks to a $41 million settlement with the Internal Revenue Service. Entrance of Museum of Modern Art via Wikimedia Commons The work by Robert Rauschenberg is a combine, a mixed-media collage featuring photographs, cardboard, wood, fabric and a stuffed bald eagle on canvas. The ornithological symbol of the United States is why Uncle Sam got involved. The 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act make it a crime to possess, sell, purchase, barter, transport, import... Read more →

At a recent personal finance bloggers conference in Denver, a few of my colleagues and I took time off from talking dollars and cents to see some local sights. As part of our ice cream and art walking tour (and yes, I admit that the ice cream was as big a draw as the art!) we were treated to some of the Mile High City's public art. That's "National Velvet" to the left, a sculpture by Denver artist (not pro tennis player) John McEnroe, installed in 2008 at the eastern foot of the city's Highlands Walking Bridge. It cost $53,000... Read more →

When is fair market value not the appropriate valuation for tax purposes? When the Internal Revenue Service says it isn't. The value controversy is part of the tax fight now underway between heirs of New York art dealer Ileana Sonnabend and the IRS. Included in Sonnabend's estate is the Robert Rauschenberg work "Canyon." The piece, described as a sculptural combine, contains a stuffed bald eagle. That's right, the symbol of the United States. Sonnabend got an informal OK from Uncle Sam to hold onto "Canyon" even though the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the 1918 Migratory Bird... Read more →

Sin taxes are a common revenue raising technique at the state and county levels. At least a portion of the increased tax collections usually goes to help fund a cause that has a direct connection with tax. But not always. Almost four years ago voters in voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, approved a ballot initiative that increased the county's cigarette tax by 1.5 cents per cigarette. But instead of going toward health programs, the Ohio county's cigarette tax money supports local arts and cultural organizations. As someone who enjoys cultural offerings locally and when the hubby and I travel and... Read more →

Glastonbury Festival. U2. Tax protesters. Yep, that's what is on tap at the famed music event tonight. U2 will be making a long-awaited first appearance at Glastonbury tonight. Among those waiting to greet Bono, The Edge and the rest of the boys as they take the stage will be protesters from Art Uncut. The group plans to unfurl a giant inflatable message demanding "Bono Pay Up." UPDATE, 10 p.m. CDT: The protesters sign went up, but rain, mud and aggressive security guards quickly quashed the display. It will mark the beginning of a weekend of events that the group of... Read more →

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's search for ways to close his state's $1.3 billion budget gap has driven him to propose making driver's licenses and vehicle registrations contingent on motorists' tax compliance. Photo by Gabriel Boone/iStock The governor would let the state refuse to issue or renew licenses and registrations to those who have unpaid, undisputed tax obligations. By making drivers pay up, the administration estimates it could collect an additional $40 million over the next two years. O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec told the Baltimore Sun that the proposal isn't a new tax, but a way to collect existing taxes. "The... Read more →

Most of us have finished our 2009 tax returns. And though Tax Freedom Day(s) 2010 have come and gone, Uncle Sam is still taking a bite out of our paychecks. So in this recess before the Senate returns and starts considering which tax breaks we might get again and who will pay for them, otherwise known as the annual tax extenders legislation, it's as good a time as any to take another look at where our tax money goes. As the graphic below indicates, most of the average household's tax dollars are not going to the IRS, but to cover... Read more →