The article was originally published by Spear’s on 24 September 2018.
Who really owns Lynn Chadwick’s art?
A dispute over the estate of the late artist and sculptor provides an important message for those passing on valuable artwork, write Camilla Wallace and Michael Gardner.
Lynn Chadwick is widely recognised as one of the great sculptors of our age. His sculpture Couple on a Seat was sold for £1.4 million in 1996 and his works are exhibited in modern art museums all over the world. He died in 2003 leaving a widow (his third wife) and three children from his second and third marriages. His career started around 1946 when he produced his works of art as a sole trader but by 1973 he had formed a company, Lypiatt Studio Limited, and his remaining works (until retirement in 1995) were produced as an employee of the company.
Chadwick left a will leaving two shares in Lypiatt Studio Limited to his widow giving her a controlling 52 per cent share in the company. The children were left with the remaining 48 per cent. One of the children, Sophie, is now contesting ownership of most of Chadwick’s works and IP rights, claiming that these belong to the estate rather than the company.
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