Dorsey Waxter, President, on the scope of services and contributions of the ADAA

by leslierankowfinearts

ADAA's ART SHOW Park Avenue Armory, NY

ADAA’s ART SHOW
Park Avenue Armory, NY

THE HIGHLIGHT OF NEW YORK’S ART WEEK, OPENING NEXT WEEK IN NEW YORK, IS THE  ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA’S  FAIR, THE ART SHOW.  ONE OF THE  BEST EVENTS OF THE WEEK IS THE ADAA COLLECTORS’ FORUM THAT ENRICHES AND INFORMS US ON THE ART MARKET AND COLLECTING. THIS YEAR, THE FORUM PRESENTS WRITER AND ART CRITIC, ADAM GOPNIK,  BEST KNOWN FOR HIS WONDERFUL ARTICLES IN The New Yorker. ONE OF HIS MEMORABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ART HISTORICAL WORLD WAS HIS COLLABORATION WITH THE REVERED KIRK VARNEDOE OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART ON A GROUND-BREAKING EXHIBITION ENTITLED  “HIGH AND LOW” THAT EXPLORED THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN MODERN ART AND POP CULTURE.

ON FRIDAY, MARCH 7TH, AT 6:00 PM, THE ADAA FORUM PRESENTS “WHAT MAKES THE HUMANITIES HUMAN: WHY IS ART MORE THAN AN INVESTMENT?”.  IN THIS TALK, ADAM GOPNIK  QUESTIONS THE NEED FOR ART IN AN AGE FOCUSED ON COMMERCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION. HE EXPLORES WHAT THE ARTS GIVE US THAT SCIENCE DOES NOT.  TO ATTEND, RESERVED SEATS ARE AVAILABLE, UPON REQUEST. http://www.artdealers.org/events.forum39.html

HOSTING THE ART SHOW IS THE MOST PUBLICIZED CONTRIBUTION THAT THE ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA MAKES TO THE ART COMMUNITY BUT ITS SCOPE IS FAR BROADER THAN THAT. TODAY, DORSEY WAXTER, PRESIDENT OF THE ADAA, WILL INFORM US OF THE MANY SERVICES THAT THE ADAA PROVIDES THE ART COMMUNITY.

DORSEY, IN MY VIEW, ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING ASPECTS THAT THE ADAA PROVIDES IS THE DEMYSTIFICATION OF ACQUIRING ART AND PROVIDING TOOLS TO COLLECTORS IN MAKING GOOD DECISIONS AND NAVIGATING WHAT IS NOW AN INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON WITH A MULTIPLICITY OF ART FAIRS, GALLERIES AND EXHIBITIONS.  WHAT ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS THAT ADAA ADDRESSES IN THEIR COLLECTORS’ GUIDE?

The Collector’s Guide is a real “how to” compact manual.   The contents include what to look for in a work of art, understanding the different areas of the market in which dealers operate, what services dealers provide, how to buy and sell through a dealer, advice on buying at art fairs and auctions and finally buying on the internet.

ANOTHER INVALUABLE SERVICE THAT ADAA PROVIDES IS THE APPRAISAL OF WORKS OF ART. HOW IS THE ADAA APPRAISAL SERVICES STRUCTURED, WHAT PERIODS OF ART DOES IT COVER AND WHAT DISTINGUISHES IT FROM OTHER APPRAISAL SERVICES.  FROM MY VANTAGE POINT, SINCE THE ADAA APPRAISAL SERVICES CONSIDERS NOT ONLY AUCTION RESULTS BUT ALSO PRIVATE DEALER AND GALLERY SALES, IT OFFERS A MORE ACCURATE AND BROADER EVALUATION  OF THE WORKS.

The ADAA appraisal service is unique in its scope. The department is comprised of Susan Brundage, Director, and three other appraisers who cover a range of works from Old Masters to the present. They have the great advantage of 180 member galleries as their database for sales information. In addition, they factor in auction records and dealers outside of the Association when necessary. They have a broad reach when it comes to appraising and are able to build a convincing case for supporting the appraised value for donations, estates or gift tax purposes. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF EVENTS AND PROGRAMS THAT ADAA ANTICIPATES IN 2013-2014?   DOES ADAA HAVE ANY PLANS OR NEW DIRECTIONS THAT REFLECT THE PROFOUND GROWTH OF THE ART MARKET IN THE LAST DECADE?

The biggest plan we are implementing for 2014 is a total revamping of the ADAA website. We want to bring to the site not just the factual information about the ADAA, but also anecdotal information about what it means to be an art dealer. I think people are interested in people’s stories about art, historically and in real time.  We also want to drive conversation about art to the site through social media. And because art is about images we hope to have lots of them. The website is an essential tool to attract an audience to our membership and a way to promote the best and the brightest of the industry.  ADAA also wants to be proactive for its members. As an example, we will be conducting a series of legal seminars exclusively for members on subjects ranging from contracts to copyright law to tax issues. Each seminar will be conducted by a legal expert from Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP to help our members to be conversant in these important areas.  

ART FAIRS ARE, AT PRESENT, THE MOST ACTIVE VEHICLE TO PRESENT AND SELL WORKS OF ART. MANY GALLERIES ARE DOUBLING THEIR WORK LOAD AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS NOT ONLY TO SUPPORT EXISTING GALLERY ACTIVITIES BUT ALSO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ART FAIRS THAT ATTRACT AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF COLLECTORS AND MUSEUM GROUPS.  HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE FUTURE OF ADAA IN PARTICULAR AND THE ART MARKET IN GENERAL?

The ADAA is only as good as its members, therefore, we must continue to bring excellence, integrity and scholarship to the field. What I find problematic in the expanding world of art is a lack of connoisseurship. I believe in expertise and experience, which make for informed decisions when buying art. This message is harder and harder to convey in a world where many choices are made in haste, without prior knowledge or based on statistics and hype. Make an informed decision and live with art – that is what is satisfying. 

ALONG WITH HER IMMENSE RESPONSIBILITIES AS PRESIDENT OF THE ADAA, DORSEY IS A PARTNER IN THE WELL-ESTABLISHED GALLERY, VAN DOREN WAXTER, LOCATED AT 23 EAST 73RD STREET, BETWEEN MADISON AND FIFTH AVENUE.   http://www.vandorenwaxter.com/exhibitions/2014-01-24_emil-nolde/   I LOOK FORWARD TO INTERVIEWING DORSEY ABOUT THE HISTORY AND FUTURE PLANS OF THE GALLERY AT A LATER DATE. IN THE MEANTIME, I JUST VIEWED A REMARKABLE EXHIBIT OF WATERCOLORS BY EMIL NOLDE AT THE GALLERY AND READ A TRULY BRILLIANT CATALOGUE ESSAY BY ART HISTORIAN AND CURATOR, JEFFREY HOFFELD.  SINCE THE EXHIBIT ENDS ON FEBRUARY 28TH, ALTHOUGH I TRUST THE WORKS WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE TO VIEW FOR A LIMITED TIME, I LOOK FORWARD TO PUBLISHING THE FIRST PART OF THE ESSAY LATER THIS WEEK. SINCE THIS IS A “TIME SENSITIVE” SERIES OF POSTS, I  ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT THE GALLERY BEFORE THE EXHIBITION ENDS.

THE NOLDE EXHIBIT IS VERY MUCH WORTH BRAVING OUR POLAR WINTER!