With all the talk about Donald Trump saying that he is the owner of the original painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Two Sisters (On The Terrace), and evidence being presented to the contrary, there is a lot of discussion about the rest of Trump’s art collection and its authenticity. But it turns out Donald Trump isn’t the Trump family member with the valuable multi-million dollar art collection. In fact, Donald Trump has spoken out to say he doesn’t really like art.
Donald Trump and Andy Warhol had an argument and a parting of the ways over silkscreen paintings that Warhol did of Trump Tower in 1981 to hang in the lobby of Trump Tower. The Warhol works were in black, silver, and gold, and Trump reportedly rejected them because they weren’t color-coordinated.
Andy Warhol wrote about it in his diary.
“Mr. Trump was very upset that it was not color-coordinated. I think Trump’s sort of cheap, I get that feeling.”
But the big art collectors in the family are Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have a collection that is said to be worth around $25 million. Followers of Ivanka Trump’s Instagram feed can see several pieces in her selfies, behind her on the walls, and hanging from the ceiling.
But the problem with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s extensive art collection comes into play with their positions in the White House and as advisors to Donald Trump. Both should have declared their collection in their financial disclosure, but they didn’t, according to ArtNet News.
“Yet in required financial disclosures, Kushner, a senior advisor and son-in-law to President Trump, failed to report the couple’s art collection.”
Ivanka regularly takes selfies in front of the art collection which hangs in their homes. Their Park Avenue condo, in particular, is said to be a showplace for her collection which includes “blue-chip” and emerging artists like Alex Israel, Dan Colen, Nate Lowman, Alex Da Corte, and David Ostrowski.
The lawyer for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner says that the couple doesn’t need to disclose their art collection in their financial disclosure because it isn’t an investment, it’s just for decoration and for the “personal pleasure” of Trump and Kushner.
But other cabinet members and advisors to Donald Trump have disclosed their art collections in their financial statements. Several of Donald Trump’s senior advisors have disclosed considerable art holdings, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who states that his art collection is worth $50 million. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shared that he owns a share in a $14.7 million Willem de Kooning painting, in addition to other pieces of artwork
A lawyer for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner now says that he will be filing an amendment to Jared Kushner’s original financial disclosure (which will cover Ivanka also, even though she does not draw a salary in the Trump administration).
“Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump display their art for decorative purposes and have made only a single sale. To avoid any doubt, however, they will report their art collection.”
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s art collection is often featured in Ivanka’s active Instagram feed for her fans and followers to see. Many of the paintings and installations that hang on the walls have values that reach up to a million dollars each. It is true that the Office of Government Ethics makes a distinction between artwork being held for investment and artwork owned for pleasure, but it is a confusing and fine line.
“Federal employees are required to disclose artwork if it is held for investment purposes and is worth more than $1,000.”
But the additional information provided by the Office of Government Ethics certainly indicates that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner should have known to include their collection in their original financial disclosure. “Any sale of artwork” is considered the best indicator that it is an investment. Though Trump and Kushner have only sold one piece (for a profit), they are obviously open to selling pieces of their collection.
Another indication that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s art collection is an investment is the use of an outside consultant who helps them procure art, Alex Marshall, who is well-known on the auction circuit. Ivanka Trump has also hosted dinners for Sotheby’s.
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In their defense, Ivanka Trump has been clear that she and Jared Kushner only buy artwork they both love, and will not buy something if they don’t want to actually live with it in their home. When Ivanka Trump shares the artwork in her home with her Instagram followers, she often puts her Ivanka-brand watermark on them so it is marked as something in her collection.
“[Jared and I] only have two rules: we don’t buy art that we don’t love and we only buy something if we BOTH love it and want to live with it.”
But in at least one case, there is a critic from within her art collection. On her Instagram feed in late 2015, Ivanka Trump included a photo of a framed piece by Alex Da Corte, which was hung on the wall in a hallway. Da Corte left a negative comment under the photo.
“Please get my work off of your walls. I am embarrassed to be seen with you.”
Do you think that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner should have known to disclose their $25 million art collection in their financial disclosure?
[Featured Image by Mario Suriani/Getty Images]