Expert dealer Betty Krulik, speaks of the current Masterpiece market
BETTY KRULIK HAS ESTABLISHED THE SIGNIFICANCE AND VALUE OF WORKS ON PAPER, 19th CENTURY and 20th CENTURY, IN AMERICAN ART AND SUPPORTED THE EVER-GROWING INTEREST IN THIS AREA OF COLLECTING EUROPEAN WORK. SHE INITIATED THE DEPARTMENT AT SPANIERMAN GALLERY AS WELL AS THE AMERICAN DEPARTMENT AT PHILLIPS DE PURY AUCTION HOUSE. NOW BETTY ENJOYS THE RELATiVE FREEDOM OF HEADING BETTY KRULIK FINE ARTS, AT 15 EAST 74th STREET IN NEW YORK, AN INTIMATE VENUE FILLED WITH A WONDERFUL SPECTRUM OF WORKS BY MANY STELLAR AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN ARTISTS IN A VARIETY OF MEDIUM INCLUDING PASTEL, WATERCOLOR, OIL, AND PENCIL.
IN TODAY’S MARKET, YOUR INVENTORY HAS A WIDE RANGE, FROM AN EDGY CONTEMPORARY BASQUIAT DRAWING TO AN EXQUISITELY ROMANTIC JULIEN LEBLANC STEWART 19th CENTURY STUDY OF A GIRL’S HEAD. WHAT ARE YOUR CRITERIA FOR REPRESENTING WORK FOR SALE? I like to offer quality. Sometimes the price can be a bit strong but if it is a fine work, I will offer it. I like to be proud of what I sell AND always be happy to get it back!! I have sold a Botero bronze, and an amazing Emil Nolde from 1919, Haseltine, Richards, Heade – I wish I could get any of them back. I will frequently say to myself, “I am not sure if I have a client for that”…but if it is a good piece in good condition, I will find a client.
WE HAVE CERTAINLY OBSERVED AND PARTICIPATED IN THE SIGNIFICANT GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN ART? HOW WAS THIS CATEGORY WHEN YOU STARTED AT SPANIERMAN, HOW HAS IT GROWN AND HOW DO YOU FIND ITS MARKET AT THE PRESENT TIME?
Good question. All areas have ebbs and flows – American impressionism was HOT in the 1980s and early 1990s, now the hot area is Modernism. Hudson River was down in the 1980’s and 90s and after 2000, it became the hottest growth market. The market now is for the best, which will always get the highest prices. We call it a Masterpiece market.
WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE IN THE FUTURE SPECIFICALLY FOR BETTY KRULIK FINE ARTS AND, MORE GENERALLY, FOR THE AMERICAN ART MARKET AS A WHOLE?
I hope to go where the opportunities are. Appraisals help me to broaden my area to include contemporary and regional artists. I am very interested in some of the contemporary artists (like James Turrell, Donald Judd, Michael Heizer). I love that this business expands and broadens our knowledge and intellect. I am now sure what I will end up dealing with. I just hope to maintain quality work and deal ethically with my clients, sellers and buyers.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. In fact, I learned so much from you Leslie, how to research, negotiate and present! You have been an amazing friend, and I thank YOU!
THANKS, BETTY- I THINK THAT IS REVISIONIST HISTORY. I REMEMBER YOUR KINDNESS IN OPENING THE DOORS FOR ME TO APPRECIATE AND LEARN ABOUT AMERICAN ART.
IN OUR NEXT BLOG, I HAVE THE PLEASURE AND THE PRIVILEGE OF INTRODUCING SOTHEBY’S S/2, A STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL GALLERY SPACE BY RICHARD GLUCKMAN, ESTABLISHED AT SOTHEBY’S NEW YORK. S/2, CELEBRATING ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY, HEADED BY MIETY HEIDEN, SENIOR SPECIALIST IN CONTEMPORARY ART, AND GRACED BY THE KNOWLEDGEABLE AND UNFAILINGLY HELPFUL SPECIALIST, ANNA McKNIGHT, IS NOT ONLY AN ASSET TO SOTHEBY’S PRIVATE SALES, BUT ALSO A VENUE IN WHICH INVITED CURATORS ORGANIZE INTRIGUING AND EDUCATIVE EXHIBITIONS. WE WILL HEAR ABOUT THE INNER WORKINGS OF S/2 AND THEIR FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS AND PLANS, THANKS TO THE GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION OF ANNA McKNIGHT.
I WELCOME ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS YOU MAY HAVE – AND CERTAINLY SUGGESTIONS OF EXPERTS FROM WHOM YOU’D LIKE TO HEAR. THANKS FOR READING!