Thursday, August 29, 2013
Before Robert Rauschenberg’s death in 2008, the inventive artist appointed three good friends and business associates as trustees. These three men were tasked with administering his over $600 million estate as well as protecting the welfare of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
The trustees now seek at least $60 million in fees, which an expert hired by the artist’s charitable foundation believes would amount to a $40,000-an-hour wage. To date, the three trustees have paid themselves a combined $5.7 million in fees and received $3.9 million for work they have done as consultants for Rauschenberg’s business.
The trustees admit they have not kept records of their work. However, they believe $60 million or more would be “reasonable” for all the trouble they have been through for the trusteeship.
See Patricia Cohen, Foundation Fights Fees for Artist’s Trustees, The New York Times, Aug. 21, 2013.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.