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PRINT November 2004

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Alex Mar on the Artist Pension Trust

THE ARTIST PENSION TRUST breezed onto the New York scene in May with a master plan to rescue emerging artists from their time-honored plight of lifelong destitution. A barter-based mutual fund—the first of its kind—APT invests artworks rather than money: Artists sign on to contribute twenty pieces over twenty years; works are sold as they appreciate; and profits go toward building up a tax-deferred retirement trust. Under the stewardship of David A. Ross, former director of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and with advice and support from heavy hitters like Jeffrey Deitch and John Baldessari, news of the fund sparked a buzz of excitement and quite a few questions: Who are the unknowns bankrolling this venture? Where do the gallerists fit in? And is it too good to be true?

With an international agenda and a separate fund of 250 artists for each

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