The Clarion List: an indispensable companion to the art of collecting
THE IDEA FOR THE LRFA BLOG WAS PROMPTED BY THE SALE OF A WORK TO A CLIENT IN THE MIDWEST FROM A EUROPEAN DEALER IN WHICH MANY PRACTICAL THINGS WENT WRONG, ALL RIGHTED IN THE END THANKS TO THE DECENCY OF BOTH BUYER AND SELLER. THIS INCIDENT INSPIRED THE PURPOSE OF THE LRFA BLOG: TO SEEK OUT THE EXPERTISE OF THE REMARKABLE COLLEAGUES, GALLERISTS, AUCTION SPECIALISTS, AND SERVICE COMPANIES THAT SUPPORT THE ART WORLD OF COLLECTORS, ART ADVISORS, AND GALLERISTS. AT THE TIME, THE ART OF LEARNING WITH WHOM TO WORK WAS EXPERIENTIAL. NO SINGLE, VETTED, SOURCE EXISTED TO PROVIDE THE HUGE SCOPE OF EXPERTISE AND SERVICES THAT IS REQUIRED IN THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING OR DEACCESSIONING ARTWORKS.
NOW, GRATEFULLY, WE HAVE THE CLARION LIST!
THE CLARION LIST WAS LAUNCHED FOR THE SINGULAR PURPOSE OF PROVIDING THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION, AND SO MUCH MORE. THIS 21st CENTURY ONLINE DATABASE FEATURES A VERY BROAD RANGE OF 35 ART SERVICE CATEGORIES FROM THE PRACTICAL (ART TRANSPORT, INSTALLATION, FRAMING, ETC.) TO THE HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED (ART FUNDS, ART LAWYERS, ACCOUNTANTS AND ESTATE SPECIALISTS). MOST SIGNIFICANTLY, THE DIRECTORY PROVIDES A RATINGS AND REVIEW SYSTEM THAT EVALUATES THE QUALITY OF SERVICE OF EACH PROVIDER.
THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH CLARION LIST’S CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, JESSICA PAINDIRIS.
JESSICA, WE LIVE IN A TIME ABUNDANT WITH START UP IDEAS FOR ONLINE COMPANIES. HOW DID THE CLARION LIST DISTINGUISH ITSELF AND, IN JUST OVER A YEAR, GAIN THE MOMENTUM AND ATTENTION IT CURRENTLY ENJOYS?
A big reason we’ve gained momentum so quickly is that the art world is very receptive to our idea! We’re constantly fielding inquires to be added to the list or to expand our database to new markets. Even veteran art world insiders understand the need for the accessibility, transparency, and accountability that The Clarion List provides.
Also, our timing is right – more and more collectors are entering the market especially with “entry level” purchases, often by buying online which cuts them off from traditional referral sources. The art market is going global – art collectors are traveling and needing services in new markets. Finally, the “collaborative economy” is mainstream – most people are used to review sites – like Yelp, Tripadvisor and more – and used to researching companies online before making hiring decisions.
WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION IN LAUNCHING THIS DATABASE?
The 21st-century collector – both established and new – demands transparency, accountability and online accessibility to information. And, art companies want to reach new clients online more efficiently.
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE CLARION LIST?
Our mission is very simple: give art collectors who are looking for art services access to a list of service professionals in a given market and to supplement their research with feedback from these vendors’ clients and colleagues. In other words, we want to reveal what was once hidden behind closed doors and change the established, inefficient word-of-mouth system of sourcing vendors.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCEDURE TO JOIN THE DIRECTORY AS AN ART SERVICE PROVIDER?
If not already listed, an art service company can contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We review all inquiries individually; if it meets our listing criteria (location & category) then we add the listing for free.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR AN ART ADVISOR OR CONSULTANT INTERESTED IN JOINING THE DIRECTORY?
Same procedure as above! We endeavor to respond to all inquiries within 1 to 2 business days.
THE CLARION LIST PROVIDES A VERY COMPREHENSIVE ONLINE DATABASE. HOW DOES THE DIRECTORY RESEARCH THE RECOMMENDED PROVIDERS TO BE CERTAIN THEY ARE QUALIFIED AND RELIABLE?
Our business model is to give collectors a list of options and to let real clients & colleagues leave feedback via reviews. A company may have a beautiful website or be extremely friendly when you meet with them at an art fair, but that does not mean they have the best expertise, client service or competitive fees. It is impossible for a single person to vet all 4,000+ listings, but real clients and colleagues of the listed companies are doing the vetting via reviews. We have many companies with glowing reviews, but also have other companies with the opposite. As The Clarion List grows, so too will our number of reviews – better enabling collectors to choose the right provider for them.
YOU HAVE ORGANIZED THE DIRECTORY TO TARGET NOT ONLY CATEGORIES OF SERVICE BUT ALSO LOCATION, NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES AND YEARS IN BUSINESS. IT MAKES IT INVALUABLE.
WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES OF SERVICE? DO YOU FIND THAT THE DEMAND FOR SPECIFIC AREAS OF PROFESSIONAL INPUT DIFFER FROM STATE TO STATE?
Our goal was to create a searchable and sortable database, not just a A-Z list. We have 35 categories – from art consultants, galleries, appraisers, private dealers, storage companies, conservators to more niche categories like art lighting firms, lenders, leasing companies, PR specialists and more. Many categories also have subcategories, so you can sort out impressionist & modern specialists from old master specialists, for example.
Across the board, art consultants, appraisers, transport/storage/logistics companies, art galleries and private dealers searches see the most traffic; but then again, those are categories also have the most listings.
IN THE NEXT POST, JESSICA WILL PROVIDE DESCRIBE SEVERAL USER PROFILES AND THE INNUMERABLE WAYS IN WHICH THE CLARION LIST CAN BE OF SERVICE.
WE WELCOME QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS, SO PLEASE, FIRE AWAY!