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Adventures in Media – Collecting and Protecting Unusual Art
Speaker(s): David Sleeman, Gregory Smith, Sam Pugatch, Simon Hornby
Recorded at: Art Southampton 2014

Adventures in Media – Collecting and Protecting Unusual Art

Panelists will conduct an interactive discussion on past and present mediums used by fine artists and how they affect aspects of valuation, security, shipping, storage, restoration, climate controls, title and authenticity.

Talk Details

Participants will learn:

  • What VARA is and how it relates to damaged works.
  • How new and different mediums affect the way a work is valued long-term, how it must be cared for and how it can be restored.

Speaker Details


Gregory Smith

Continuing a family legacy, Greg Smith started in the loss adjusting and loss control business in 1987. He was trained by his world-renowned father, Harold J. Smith, in a firm called Smith Adjusters. For over 20 years, Greg has been enhancing and refining his knowledge in the niche markets of fine art, jewelers block, armored car and crime, from both the loss control and adjusting perspectives. Greg sold Smith Adjusters, Inc to Cunningham Lindsey International (CLI) in 1999. He was the Director of the Fine Arts and Jewelry division of CLI in the United States.

In 2004, he began his own company called G. J. Smith & Associates, Inc. and remained at it’s helm until he joined Berkley Asset Protection Underwriters. Greg has been instrumental in settling many of the most notable insurance claims and in property recoveries in his fields of expertise over the past two decades. His experiences have enabled him to foster extensive contacts in the International fine art & jewelry communities and in law enforcement. Greg’s advice on loss control is often sought by insurers seeking ways to better protect valuables from both security and operational standpoints. His expertise in risk assessment and direct knowledge of insured’s and premises is a valuable asset.


Simon Hornby

Simon Hornby is President, Art Services for Crozier Fine Arts, the industry leader in Fine and Decorative Arts storage, transport and art collection management. Mr. Hornby is responsible for Crozier’s art storage division and its specialized climate controlled facilities in New York and New Jersey, development of new services, liaison with key clients, and working with insurance and other industry partners. Before joining Crozier, Mr. Hornby was Senior Vice President & Executive Director of Global Risk Partners, an international risk control and loss prevention firm specializing in fine art and valuables.

Working primarily for insurers and a range of public/private companies and public institutions, Mr. Hornby travelled extensively and became a recognized expert on the development of risk assessment programs and mitigation strategies. He has spoken at a variety of international and regional conferences, and has been featured in a number of published articles relating to risk control and risk transfer programs. Mr. Hornby was raised in England, has lived and worked in London, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Miami but is now based in New York and resides in Connecticut.

Sam Pugatch

In his current position as Director of Business Development for the Fine Art Department at DeWitt Stern, Sam is responsible for overseeing a number of premier accounts as well as developing marketing and sales strategies for continued growth. He has created initiatives including an automated online program for insurance targeting the rare book market and a post-Sandy flood insurance program for fine art businesses. Before joining DeWitt Stern in 2007, Sam began his career with Sterling and Sterling, Inc., an insurance brokerage in Woodbury, New York in 2004.  As an Account Executive, Sam was responsible for handling large commercial Entertainment and Non-Profit related risks.

Sam received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany in 2004.  In 2008 he completed a Masters of Business Administration concentrating on Risk Management and Insurance from St. John’s University.  In 2013 and 2014, Sam was recognized with the Power Broker: 40 Under 40 award and in 2014 as a Power Broker in the Fine Art category by Risk & Insurance Magazine.

David Sleeman

David Sleeman is Director of Business Development at Winston Art Group, the largest independent art appraisal and advisory firm in the United States. Winston Art Group assists clients with appraisals for all purposes, advises clients on buying and selling works of art, and handles the management of clients’ collections. The firm’s 50 specialists cover all areas of fine and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles in the United States and overseas through offices in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Palm Beach, Houston, and Denver, and representatives in Miami, London, and Geneva. Prior to joining Winston Art Group, David was Senior Vice President of Business Development at another art appraisal firm for nine years. Before that, he was a Fine Art Specialist and Risk Management Appraiser for Chubb Insurance Company in London and a Manager in the Valuation, Tax, and Heritage department at Sotheby’s, London.

David attended the University of West England, where he received his B.S.C. degree with honors in Valuation and Estate Management. David serves on the Steering Committee of Professional Affiliates for the Appraisers’ Association of America, the Arts and Records Committee for the Inland Marine Underwriting Association, and is a member of the Estate Planning Council of New York City. He is also an adjunct lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and has lectured at numerous art institutions and events around the country, including the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, Art Hamptons, the US Artists American Fine Art Show in Philadelphia, New Britain Museum of Art in Connecticut, The Bruce Museum in Connecticut, The von Liebig Art Center’s Lecture Series in Florida, and the South Eastern Museums Conference in Virginia.

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