Artnet is reporting under the headline “Lehman Dumping Art Collection” that Lehman Brothers art collection is being sold. We’re not sure why they’re reporting this now when the decision to pay the art handlers was made a month ago. Nonetheless, Artnet says that parts of the collection are safe for a year because Barclays has the option to buy the Lehman art on display at the offices of the brokerage it bought.
Artnet also points out that the Neuberger Berman division’s deal with Bain capital allows for a similar year-long provision to hold the art and then buy or return it. There’s only one problem. Neuberger Berman wasn’t bought by Bain Capital. Instead, it will be sold to the management with Lehman holding a substantial minority stake for the creditors’ benefit.
So, the Neuberger art should stay with Neuberger (though there’s always the possibility they’ll have to buy it from Lehman or see it sold.)
On a side note, the Lehman collection is said to be 3500 works valued at $8 million. That’s not a lot. It works out to $2285 per work. Even at a very conservative accounting valuation, that’s a small number.