A warm welcome to Wendy Cromwell of the Association of Professional Art Advisors
ART ADVISORY SERVICES CAN RUN THE GAMUT FROM THE FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR WITH “TASTE” WHO HELPS PURCHASE A PAINTING FOR OVER THE SOFA TO THE ART HISTORIAN STEEPED IN DEGREES AND A KNOWLEDGE OF A PARTICULAR PERIOD, THE ART MARKET, ITS AUCTION POLICIES, THE BEST GALLERIES AND PRIVATE DEALERS AND A CURATORIAL EYE THAT MAKES UNEXPECTED AND BRILLIANT JUXTAPOSITIONS TO ENLIVEN AND INDIVIDUATE AN ART COLLECTION. THE BEST ADVISORS ARE EDUCATORS WORKING WITH CLIENTS NOT JUST TO SELL THEM THE LATEST, HOTTEST KID ON THE AUCTION BLOCK BUT TO INFORM THEM OF THE HISTORY OF THE PERIOD AND TO PLACE WORKS IN A HISTORICAL CONTENT AND IN A QUALITATIVE COMPARISON TO OTHER WORKS.
THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS (APAA) IS A NON-PROFIT MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATION OF THE WORLD’S LEADING FINE ART ADVISORS, CURATORS AND CORPORATE ART MANAGERS. WITH MORE THAN 170 INDEPENDENT ART ADVISORS FROM 31 CITIES PRACTICING IN MANY AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION, APAA’S MEMBERSHIP HAS A WIDE RANGE OF EXPERIENCE AND EXPERIENCE. SINCE IT WAS FOUNDED, ITS MISSION IS TO:
establish and disseminate the highest possible principles and guidelines for art advisors in acquiring, maintaining and presenting art for their clients. We are united by our standards of professionalism, and uphold these standards in our work with corporations, public art projects and private collections.
IT IS A PLEASURE AND A PRIVILEGE FOR THE LRFA BLOG TO INTRODUCE WENDY CROMWELL, PRINCIPAL OF CROMWELL ART, LLC, WHO SERVES ON THE BOARD OF APAA AND INTRODUCED ME TO THE ORGANIZATION SEVERAL YEARS AGO.
WENDY, WHEN WAS THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS FOUNDED AND WHO WERE ITS FOUNDING MEMBERS?
The Association of Professional Art Advisors was founded in 1980 under the leadership of Mary Lanier, the organization’s first president, as well as Celia Ascher, Janice Oresman and Tamara Thomas. Janice Oresman continues to be an active APAA member. Mary was the Director of the Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, Celia put together the McRory Collection, which was eventually donated to MoMA. Tamara was working for Security Pacific and Janice was buying art for a few firms, including Amerada Hess, Chemical Bank and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. These advisors also had private clients.
WHAT MOTIVATED THEM TO FORM AN ASSOCIATION?
APAA’s founders were at the forefront of a nascent field, in which both individuals and corporations were contacting experts with art history backgrounds and work experience in the art world to help them build art collections. And yet, there was no public, professional identity of “an art advisor” at that time. The founders recognized the need to codify best practices and created APAA as an organization to professionalize the field of art advisory. Foundational to the founding of APAA was the Code of Ethics and codification of best practices. Today, as the art advisory field has expanded beyond anything the founders could have envisioned, APAA’s presence as the trusted membership organization for the advisory field has never been more important.
WHAT IS YOUR CODE OF ETHICS?
- APAA members may not maintain inventory for sale, accept artwork on consignment or act as private dealers in any transaction.
- APAA members maintain lawful practices, complying with state and federal laws in taxation, exercising due diligence in researching the provenance of recommended acquisitions, and refusing any requests by clients or vendors to subvert the law in any fashion.
- APAA members should not perform services that would be, or appear to be, adverse to the interests of his or her client unless those services are fully disclosed to the client and the client provides advance consent to the services in writing.
- APAA members do not accept financial compensation that creates a conflict of interest between the member and their client.
- APAA members do not solicit or accept compensation from service providers or vendors.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CURRENT MISSION AND GOALS OF THE APAA?
APAA’s mission is to establish and disseminate the highest possible principles and guidelines for art advisors in acquiring, maintaining and presenting art for their clients. APAA’s goal is to foster excellence in the art advisory field by emphasizing integrity, connoisseurship and education as the foundations of professional practice.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, WE WILL LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION. ALTHOUGH THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT DEAL OF CONVERSATION ABOUT THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY IN THE ART WORLD, FOR PEOPLE WITH A KNOWLEDGE OF HOW IT WORKS, IT IS AS CLEAR IN ITS FORM AS ANY MARKET. THE APAA CERTAINLY CONTRIBUTES ENORMOUSLY IN SUPPORTING THE INTEGRITY AND SCHOLARSHIP OF AN INTEGRAL PART OF THIS WORLD, THE ART OF ART ADVISING.
TO BE CONTINUED…