AS THE EXECUTOR of a large estate, I recently engaged Barbara Jo Lubitz of BJL Appraisal to appraise the contents of a large Manhattan apartment as well as fine art located in the deceased’s Florida residence. The estate contained many paintings, mostly French impressionist oil paintings collected by the deceased over a long life-time, as well as fine household furnishings. Not only was Barbara a pleasure to work with, but the report she produced was informative and beautifully prepared. The appraisal included excellent photographs, biographies of the artists and their styles and influences and comparables and biographical references supporting the conclusions. Barbara even went to far as to track down the expert in Paris of a French impressionist sculpture to determine its authenticity, which had a significant impact on its value. Barbara’s personal involvement, attention to detail and professionalism resulted in a product that exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend BJL Appraisal to anyone without reservation. — Raymond C. Griffis, Jr.
BARBARA LUBITZ (BJL Appraisal) has advised me on the acquisition of a number of pieces to enhance my collection of abstract expressionist art. She recently advised me on the purchase of a wonderful Hans Hoffman work on paper, a Baziotes oil and a Motherwell work on paper, all of which were wonderful additions to my collection. Not only does Barbara have an exacting eye for quality pieces that will retain their value, but her years as a corporate attorney have honed her skills as a negotiator. She has an eye to value in assembling a collection, focusing on quality pieces that will retain their value. Because she is always keeping her ear to the ground, not only does she find pieces in mainstream venues, but she will often find hidden gems in less obvious places. She keeps me focused, by considering value, condition, restoration, shipping, framing and the practical realities of resale as well as aesthetics. — Glen Shults
BARBARA LUBITZ was referred to me by a mutual and trusted friend in the legal profession. I was very impressed with the directness, professionalism and knowledge clearly demonstrated during the selection process and the competitiveness of the fees. Barbara not only provided estate and insurance appraisal reports, but also a very accurate, detailed and professionally photographed and extremely helpful and complete catalog of the substantial portfolio of my late husband, which spanned his 60-year career.
As an attorney, I felt comfortable that Barbara would provide the same degree of accuracy and attention to detail that I am used to in my own practice and I was right. Barbara is highly professional and responsive; working with her has been a pleasure. I was especially impressed that she was able to see, understand and appreciate the development of Len's work as it evolved over the years, and to perceive its value and importance in the context of American art. Her genuine personal involvement, coupled with a high degree of knowledge, professionalism and ethical standards, resulted in a product beyond what I had even anticipated.
Since completion of this enormous project, I have consulted with BJL Appraisal on several occasions regarding donation of the works to various institutions, potential exhibition of the works, framing, conservation and storage. I would not hesitate to recommend Barbara for art appraisal and art consulting projects of any scale. — Janet Hoffman, Executor of the Estate of Leonard Rosenfeld
BARBARA LUBITZ (BJL APPRAISAL) was referred to me by a mutual professional contact to assist me in the valuation and sale of two very special objects, a marble statue that had been in my family for years and a very fine photograph. After initial valuation, she located the right venues for disposition, handled everything from negotiating the terms of sale, packing and shipping to final settlement of the transaction. She is very professional and takes a personal interest in her clients and her legal background is a great asset. I have recommended her unconditionally to business contacts and friends. As a real estate agent, I understand how important it is to find a trusted resource. — Laurie Diamond
WHEN MY FATHER PASSED AWAY, I turned to Barbara Jo Lubitz (BJL Appraisal) for advice and assistance, having gotten a fabulous review about her from a client. I had to decide what to do with my father’s two-bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility, and I needed to do it fast.
Barbara rearranged her schedule to accommodate me. We spent a day together at the apartment where she advised what would be most saleable, what I might want to donate to charity and what I should probably just dispose of. She demonstrated an in-depth knowledge, and passion for, fine and decorative arts. She also promptly assisted me in selling a piece of Japanese ceramics that my father cherished – as well as several pieces of jewelry. Barbara was always concerned about maximizing the return and minimize the costs of consignment (fees, shipping, etc.). I also liked the fact Barbara has a legal background and reviewed contracts with auction houses with a lawyer’s eye.
This was both an emotionally exhausting and professionally busy time for me, and Barbara was always sympathetic, calm, thorough, and efficient. I have already recommended Barbara to others. — Judith Turkel, Esq.
AS ADMINISTRATOR OF AN ESTATE, I was faced with an apartment and outside storage packed with a lifetime’s accumulation of books, artwork, Japanese Ikebana baskets, jewelry, dishes, bric-a-brac, clothes (some vintage), pottery and furniture from a woman who threw nothing out. Closets were packed to the brim, and books lay piled up on the floor. I selected Barbara Lubitz because 1) she was the sole appraiser who took the trouble to visit the apartment before quoting, and 2) she offered the most service at the best price.
Most important, Barbara provided a detailed formal appraisal, which was everything I'd expected. Following the appraisal process, she sorted through the apartment contents quickly distinguishing between items of value and no value, and offered a knowledgeable perspective of the current market for the different property. She quickly found purchasers for the books, getting a better price than I could have managed on my own (the books numbered in the thousands), some of the furniture, and helped repack and store items so that the contractor could begin plastering and painting on schedule. She then helped stage the apartment for selling, and it looked better than it had in years. It sold quickly.
I can heartily recommend Barbara to anyone who needs an appraiser and evaluating and finding buyers for items in an estate. — Bill Glass
I SERVED AS EXECUTOR of my cousin’s estate. Barbara Jo Lubitz (BJL Appraisal) was referred to me by a major national auction house to appraise a collection of art that was being bequeathed by the estate. She prepared a well-thought-out professional appraisal, explaining clearly the methodology used to value the collection, with color photographs of each piece.
What set her apart, however, from other qualified appraisers, was the additional assistance she performed in the disposition of the rest of the property that remained in the townhouse that needed to be removed in two weeks. My cousin’s father was a well-regarded NY artist who had received art from other NY artist friends. Several of these works were unsigned and difficult to identify. Barbara performed research, contacted dealers and auction house specialists and was able to identify the artists. She arranged for the works to be auctioned in the appropriate venues to maximize value. She also had one of the pieces reframed to show it to its best advantage. In addition to her work with the art, she arranged for the auction of general household contents, donations to a charity that was willing to pick up on short notice and sale of some very large architectural items to an architectural salvage company.
Barbara Jo is a valuable resource for anyone in need of an appraiser of fine and decorative art or assistance with property disposition. I will recommend her enthusiastically to friends and family. — Karen Stewart Cornman