Private Art Transaction Alliance (“PATA”) provides highly specialized services in the brokering of fine art of high quality and value. We represent masterworks in all mediums, all periods, all nationalities, and all styles — from Rembrandt to Warhol.
We are very active as art detectives, skilled at ferreting out top quality works that are fresh to the market. As a result, we largely represent sellers, but also serve as acquisition advisors for strategic collection building — particularly for buyers with individual wish lists. In each case we implement a careful and scholarly approach. In the valuation process we are especially careful about weighing the idiosyncratic characteristics inherent in all fine art — aesthetic quality, historical importance, provenance, and physical condition.
For each seller we develop a unique strategy that carefully considers the artwork itself, the size of the market for the specific artist and work, the specific goals and timing requirements of our client, and prevailing economic and market conditions. These and other internal or external factors require special attention before formulating a single or multi-phased strategy. Next, our success in identifying the most appropriate buyers for specific artworks is owing to our greatest asset: a network of close working relationships with the world’s elite dealers, brokers, advisors, and art historians. In turn, these trusted colleagues have close personal relationships with the world’s top buyers, be they private collectors, museums, or corporate collectors.
This foundation of strong connections to the right individuals and institutions, combined with our carefully considered and customized sales strategies, enables our clients to benefit from a sales process that maximizes the opportunity at hand, but does so privately and without the downside-risks often associated with auctions, that have proven ruinous for many works of art.
Of course, successful and timely transactions are financially rewarding, but we get equal satisfaction from serving our clients with the highest levels of professionalism and integrity. We cherish the personal and professional
reputations that we’ve earned over many decades. That is why privacy, intelligence, efficiency, honesty, and full transparency are the standards by which we conduct our business.
The partnership of Peter Hastings Falk and Don Leeds (PATA’s two founding principals) is built upon a foundation of more than thirty-five years of close friendship and professional association. Falk is a leading art historian, author, and publisher, as well as a curator, appraiser, and art dealer. Leeds is a successful and experienced investment banker, dealmaker, marketer, and entrepreneur (who coincidentally is also an exhibited artist). We are proud that our combined skills, expertise, and professional experience provides our clients with a powerful skill-set that is unique in the industry.
Publishing the Leading Art Reference Tools: Peter Hastings Falk has long been recognized as one of the country’s leading experts on American art. He is best known as the author of the biographical dictionary, Who Was Who in American Art. Lauded by critics as “the most significant research tool ever published in the field,” the massive 3-volume opus won the Wittenborn Award for the best art reference book published in North America, awarded by the Art Libraries Society. It also won the American Library Association’s “Outstanding Academic Title.” Among his published reference series is the Exhibition Record Series, which William Gerdts, dean of American art historians, calls “the most important basis for art historical research in late 19th to mid 20th century American art.” Other continuing series include monographs on American artists, catalogues raisonnés, conservation and art forensics; and, appraisal databases.
Pioneer in Auction Indices: Falk pioneered in the publishing of auction indices tracking the art market. In 1981, he published (with Don Leeds) the first index to photographs sold at auction, entitled The Photographic Art Market. In 1991, he published the largest index to fine prints sold at auction, entitled the Print Price Index. And in 1993, this expanded into the “blue book” for the entire art auction market, Art Price Index International. Having established new editorial standards and conventions for documenting information in art auction catalogues, since the 1990s he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the three major online art information companies, developing their databanks of auction price records and artist biographies. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of ArtNet.com in New York and later Editor of AskArt.com. He is the U.S. Editor of Artprice.com (France), the market leader, which acquired his publishing company in 2000. His feature articles on art as investment and the art market have appeared in Art + Auction magazine.
Appraisal & Authentication Services: Well-known as an appraiser, Falk has served on a number of important trial cases. In 1994, for example, he served as a key expert witness in helping to ultimately win what the media referred to as the “Warhol War” — the highly publicized trial over the worth of the extensive collection of art produced by Andy Warhol. He continues to provide testimony on high-profile litigation cases involving works of art from all periods and all mediums, including the paintings of Monet, Picasso, Malevich, and other masters. He has been a key appraiser for cases regarding the repatriation of Nazi-looted art.
Art Succession Planning: Falk has assembled specialist teams to guide individuals and family offices in developing best practice programs to help keep collections intact, to develop the most tax efficient distributions to heirs, and to create philanthropic opportunities with maximum impact. Key art arbitrage issues are addressed, such as the reduction of federal tax liabilities, tax preferred cash flow, optimization of intergenerational wealth, and philanthropic gifting of the art.
Rediscovered Masters: A natural extension of Falk’s publishing initiatives includes the proper and effective management of artist estate collections and the collections of late career artists. In 2012 he founded RediscoveredMasters.com to bring long overdue recognition to late career artists whose accomplishments have slipped from sight or deceased artists whose lives have been forgotten by successive generations. Artists are identified and nominated by an Art Advisory Board composed of art historians, critics, and museum directors. Elected artists are represented online by a scholarly monograph and thematic exhibition — actively reintroducing them to museum curators and gallerists.
Professional Memberships & Education: Falk is listed in Who’s Who in America and has lectured throughout the United States and Europe, for various organizations. He earned his undergraduate degree in art history from Brown University in 1973 and completed his graduate work (architecture) at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976. He is a member of the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association (CRSA), the Association of Historians of American Art (AHAA), the American Association of Museums (AAM), the National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME), the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS), and the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA), the Association of Art Editors (AAE), and the Association of Online Appraisers (AOA), and others.
Don Leeds was born into a long line of artists and originally trained as an artist himself, attending the High School of Art & Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York, and then studying painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Leeds went on to spend most of his 40-plus year business career focused on the media and marketing industries, serving as both a high-level creative and business executive, and an entrepreneur and deal-maker. As an investment banker or senior corporate executive he has either led or participated in approximately 100 completed transactions in various sectors of the media and other industries, exceeding $1 billion in aggregate value.
From 1989-1996, Mr. Leeds was a Managing Director at Veronis, Suhler & Associates, (currently Veronis Suhler Stevenson), which at the time was one of the merchant banks and private equity firms serving the communications, media, publishing, and broadcasting industries. At Veronis Suhler, Mr. Leeds either led or participated in approximately 70 completed transactions ranging in value from a few million dollars to over $600 million, with Mr. Leeds serving as the lead banker on the majority of those transactions.
Mr. Leeds has served as a senior executive and member of the Board of Directors of public companies in the entertainment and media industries, including Network Event Theater (NASDAQ - NETS a/k/a YouthStream Media Networks) and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ-TTWO), publisher of the “Grand Theft Auto” videogame franchise.
Mr. Leeds also represented Bungie Studios, spearheading their spinout negotiations with Microsoft Game Studios. The successful conclusion of that deal made Bungie once again a privately held, independent video-game studio (now publishing through Activision). Bungie is best known for creating and developing the 2 phenomenally successful “Halo” and the recently released “Destiny” videogame franchises. Mr. Leeds was also a consultant to the founders of the record-breaking videogame franchise, “Call of Duty.”
Mr. Leeds has been a successful serial entrepreneur with businesses in publishing, marketing, real estate, and the restaurant industry. He continues to consult and participate in a range of transactions and is best known among his clients and peers as a highly creative and innovative problem solver, who knows how to strategically plan, manage, and close complex transactions.
Mr. Leeds and Mr. Falk have been close friends and associates for nearly
40 years. They have completed numerous transactions together since the begining of their relationship, and they officially established Private Art Transaction Alliance in 2013.
Private Art Transaction Alliance, LLC
210 East 73rd Street,
New York, NY 10021
Office | 203.245.2246
Cell | 203.496.2885
Cell | 917-596-4401