Donald Trump Trademarked ‘Trump Art Collection’ as Part of Goofy Art Business

Trump wanted to trademark the Trump Art Collection. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

While Donald Trump dominates the 2016 election news cycle with his seemingly endless stream of inane, offensive comments, very little is known about The Donald’s interest in the art world. (His daughter, Ivanka, a collector whose favorite artists include Christopher Wool and Cy Twombly, is another story, of course).

Other savvy investors and real estate moguls, such as Aby Rosen, are driving the art market higher and higher, but there is little evidence that blue chip artworks are among Trump’s assets; Eaton Fine Art is behind the works on display at the Trump Hotel Tower in New York, but when artnet News called to get more information, a representative was unavailable for comment.

What a quick Google search did turn up, however, was a lapsed trademark application for the Trump Art Collection, filed in 2006.

Trump wanted to sell "printed art reproductions." Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Trump wanted to sell “printed art reproductions,” but probably not this one.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

The application involves abandoned art-related business endeavors, rather than a planned institution of artwork owned by Trump, which is too bad—the US is lacking an eccentric billionaire museum of its own.

What the trademark does appear to cover is an online art-selling business, a retail store for selling art, and a whole slew of presumably art-related products. The extensive list includes every type of booklet imaginable: wedding booklets, note booklets, check booklets, autograph booklets, and totally-not-outdated telephone number booklets, to name just a few.

Trump was also apparently looking into selling paintings, art prints, graphic art reproductions, art and photography coffee table books, and puzzles—both jigsaw and crossword—among other items.

Trump wanted to sell "wedding booklets." Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Trump wanted to sell “wedding booklets.” We’re imagining what they would look like, above.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

If the Trump Art Collection had become a reality, it also would have offered photo enlarging and framing services.

Tamar Niv Bessinger, an attorney at Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman, and Zissu, who filed the application on Trump’s behalf, declined to elaborate further on Trump’s plans for trademark, or his decision to abandon the application. “I don’t mean to be rude but I can’t talk to you,” she told artnet News in a phone call.

While the application was scuttled in 2009, you can always get your Donald Trump butt plug, courtesy of the artist Fernando Sosa. We can only hope The Donald shows as little follow-through with his current campaign efforts as he did with his failed art business.

Trump’s decision not to pursue the trademark is understandable, considering that a search for his name at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website yields 325 results, only 170 of which are still active. The reality star’s other applications include “Trumptini,” which one assumes is a revolting drink; the pervy-sounding Trump Touch; and the Trump Follies—surely destined for vaudeville greatness.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics