This is a good problem to have.
I’ve Craigslisted things that have economic value but no sentimental value.
But it’s harder to get rid of artworks. They have sentimental and economic value.
One was a painting my friend’s mother had sent me. I sent it on to my friend. I get pleasure when I think of her sharing it with her children–more pleasure than I ever did from looking at it on my own wall.
I also have two works by an artist who lived next-door to my parents when I was a baby.
One is a bonny portrait of me.. The other is a sketch of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Now that artist is modestly famous. I could probably sell her works. But they were a gift! How ungrateful and crass it would be to sell a one-of-a-kind gift!
Fortunately I noticed that the Indianapolis Museum of Art owned a sketch by the same artist.
I offered my artworks to them. Not only would people enjoy gazing at my adorable young face, I realized that I could also write off the appraised value on our taxes as a charitable donation.
Despite my childish charms, the museum didn’t want my artworks. I’m a little bit disappointed and a little bit relieved.
“Oh, well,” I thought. “I guess this means I should keep them. If I want to donate them and get a deduction, I can do that some other time.”
But that may not be true! What if President Trump’s income tax reform eliminates the deduction for charitable donations?
Nobody knows for sure, though. Now that I’ve gotten used to the idea of giving them away, I’d better do it now, just in case.
If you have artworks or historic papers that you’ve been thinking of donating to a library or museum, consider doing it now. Who knows if there’ll be a tax deduction for them next year?
If you’re a museum or library and you’d like a painting of a tow-headed toddler, please let me know.