Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Shifting tastes: the market for American art with expert Debra Force of Debra Force Fine Art

AT THE AMERICAN ART AUCTIONS, FINE PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND WORKS ON PAPER ARE OFFERED FROM THE COLONIAL TO THE POST-WAR PERIOD, INCLUDING WORKS BY THE HUDSON RIVER SCHOOL, THE AMERICAN IMPRESSIONISTS AND THE ASH CAN SCHOOL. OVER THE PAST DECADE, THE AMERICAN ART DEPARTMENT AT CHRISTIE’S STATES THAT IT HAS SET MORE THAN 100 WORLD RECORDS, ACHIEVING RECORD PRICES FOR IMPORTANT NAMES SUCH AS EDWARD HOPPER, ANDREW WYETH AND GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. HOWEVER, BOTH THE AUCTION HOUSES AND GALLERIES SPECIALIZING IN THIS AREA HAVE SEEN A DOWNTURN IN THIS MARKET.

https://www.christies.com/departments/American-Art-3-1.aspx

ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONS WAS THE CHRISTIE’S SALE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY DAVID AND PEGGY ROCKEFELLER COLLECTION THAT REPRESENTED ONE OF THE BEST SINGLE OWNER COLLECTIONS TO COME TO MARKET. HIGHLIGHTS OF AN AMERICAN ART COLLECTION DESCRIBED AS “VIRTUALLY ENCYCLOPAEDIC” INCLUDED EDWARD HOPPER’S CAPE ANN GRANITE, PAINTED IN THE SUMMER OF 1928 ($8.4m), GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S NEAR ABIQUIU, NEW MEXICO ($8.4m) and MILTON AVERY’S WOMEN WITH REBOZA ($2.5m). THIS SALE, HOWEVER, WAS AN EXCEPTION TO THE GENERAL CLIMATE OF THE AMERICAN MARKET.

WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE DEBRA FORCE, OF DEBRA FORCE FINE ART, A SEASONED EXPERT IN AMERICAN ART OF EVERY PERIOD, PROVIDE HER ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE MARKET IN AMERICAN ART.

http://www.debraforce.com/

DEBRA, HOW DO YOU VIEW THE AMERICAN MARKET AT THE PRESENT TIME AND HOW HAS IT CHANGED IN THE LAST DECADE?

The traditional American art market is stable.  It had been at its height up to 2008, but became much softer after that date.  As collectors become older, they are no longer buying as much and younger people do not seem to have an interest in this aspect of Fine Art.  Thus, we are dealing with a more limited market base and of course, do not have international interest in this area. 

Prices for many things are much reduced from what they were over ten years ago, particularly for early and historical material, genre painting, Hudson River painting, and Ashcan artists.  However, we are seeing some revitalization with certain artists in these areas as well as with the American Impressionists.  For those looking for this type of material, there are more reasonable prices and, in some cases, bargains to be had.  Museums are finding that they can now buy artists on their wish lists that fall into these categories. 

Joseph Stella
The Red Pitcher
Oil on canvas

American Modernism and Regionalism, as well as works by African-American and women artists, are very hot, while Surrealism and Magic Realism are rising in popularity. Many of the post-war second- and third-tier Abstract Expressionists are also coming under the umbrella of traditional American art as we move more solidly into the 21st Century.

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET? DO YOU FEEL THAT SOME OF THE LESSER KNOWN ARTISTS WHO WERE WILDLY COLLECTED BY THE LAST GENERATION WILL REBOUND IN TERMS OF PRESENCE AND PRICE?

It is my hope that younger people will turn to and revere traditional American art, which suffers somewhat like the American furniture and decorative arts market, as time marches on.  To do so, American history needs to be taught at both secondary and college levels, museums need to exhibit this type of art and not just focus upon what is “sexy” or of the moment, and auction houses and galleries need to embrace it, rather than shying away from it. 

Milton Avery
Woman with Rebozo, 1946
Christie’s sale, David Rockefeller Collection

Much of the material that is less collectible today does not receive adequate recognition in the marketplace and is routinely relegated to lesser sales or online auctions rather than in the mainstream or in prominent sales.  [Certainly, although the provenance had added cache to the works sold at the Rockefeller sale at Christie’s, the overwhelming exposure did wonders to attract buyers to much of the 19th-century material that sold for double or more what they had been making.]  The validity of the past that has much to teach us in understanding the world today as well as the evolution of Contemporary art, needs to be made apparent to younger generations. 

Georgia O’Keeffe
New Mexico – near Taos 1929
Christie’s sale, David Rockefeller Collection

The other challenge is garnering international interest in American art, as we head toward a more global society.  This is already happening to a degree as the Terra Foundation and others sponsor exhibitions of American art abroad that have been well received to the audiences there; hopefully, this will translate into the market as well. 

As older collectors divest their collections, more major works of art will presumably enter the market and therefore, should generate renewed interest among known buyers as well as attracting new ones.

Presently, buyers are more attracted to well-known artists rather than those less renowned.  Until the market for traditional American art is more buoyant overall, I fear that more minor artists will continue to be neglected.  The only departure from this state is the collectability of lesser Modernist and Post-War artists who are now embraced, as prices for the more blue-chip works from this era are escalating.

DEBRA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE, EXPERTISE AND ANALYSIS OF AMERICAN ART.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, I AM HONORED TO INTRODUCE WENDY CROMWELL, WHO SERVES ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS (APAA), AN OUTSTANDING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION MADE UP OF LEADING ART ADVISORS, CURATORS AND CORPORATE ART MANAGERS. APAA IS DEDICATED TO ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR ACQUIRING, MAINTAINING AND SELLING ART.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

An appeal to support Stronger for Life, a documentary in the works on fitness expert Ilaria Montagnani, breast cancer survivor

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I am writing you a personal note in my unexpected role of Executive Producer of a documentary, Stronger for Life, the story of a very dear friend and international fitness expert, Ilaria Montagnani, and her battle with breast cancer.

Ilaria is extremely private but when diagnosed two years ago, she determined that she would share her journey to help cancer victims and their families and to advocate early detection. Ilaria  is proof that her lifetime dedication to developing physical strength and fitness and to always strive to reach the highest levels of accomplishment serve to create a mental armor that can change the quality of every life in facing adversity of every kind.

Please take a minute to look at the website and trailer.

http://www.strongerforlife.film

We have an excellent editor and cinematographer, an Emmy-award winning consulting producer, strong footage which includes interviews with the cancer surgeon and plastic surgeon at Mt. Sinai,  Ilaria’s treatment choices and painful recover, the story of Ilaria’s family in Florence, Italy, and her father’s death from cancer last year, her achievements in the fitness world as a Nike Spokesperson and recipient of the Equinox Life Time Achievement Award, countless television and media coverage, and most of all, the impact, as an athlete, that cancer had on her livelihood, her work and her mission in life to help others. Ilaria’s determination and strength in the face of this diagnosis is a lesson for us all.

The Crowdfunding and Kickstarter campaigns were very successful thanks to Ilaria’s friends, family and  her fitness community  but we need more to complete the film, for post-production, film festival entries, marketing and distribution.  Some obvious organizations and charities include breast cancer groups, fitness companies, Nike, Equinox, Mt. Sinai,  women entrepreneur organizations, health brands such as Garden of Life and Bulletproof and Italian American organizations. All contributions are tax-deductible through Creative Visions’ fiscal sponsorship.

If this appeal resonates with you, please donate what you can and please share this email with your friends and colleagues. If you serve on a committee or a board that might be a candidate for corporate sponsorship or a grant, please let me know and I would be very pleased to contact them.

Thank you for your support. It means more to me than I can say

Sincerely,

Leslie

Curatorial expertise, a tradition with American art dealer, Debra Force

Debra Force at the Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory
with modernist works by Stuart Davis and Charles Burchfield

MENTION ART AUCTION AND IMAGES Of FAST-PACED AUCTIONEERS, ADRENALIN-FUELED BIDDING AND ELEVENTH HOUR DRAMA COME TO MIND. WHILE WE THINK THAT’S THE FUN PART, IT CAN ALSO FEEL INTIMIDATING TO A FIRST TIME COLLECTOR. **  THIS IS AN AREA OF COLLECTING IN WHICH EVEN THE MOST SOPHISTICATED COLLECTOR CAN BENEFIT FROM THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE OF AN ART ADVISOR.  DETERMINING THE VALUE OF THE WORK, GUIDING THE CLIENT IN THE BIDDING PROCESS AND ESTABLISHING A JUDICIOUS PRICE CEILING, EXAMINING THE WORK’S CONDITION AND COMPARING THIS ARTWORK TO OTHERS IN THE MARKET, BOTH CURRENTLY AND HISTORICALLY, AND ABOVE ALL, AS A COOL SAVVY AND SENSE OF TIMING IN THE AUCTION ROOM ARE ALL SKILLS THAT ARE DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS. ONE OF THE MOST ACTIVE AND SEASONED BUYERS IN THE AMERICAN ART MARKET IN DEBRA FORCE.  I HAVE WITNESSED HER ACQUIRE SUPERB WORKS OF AMERICAN ART ON BEHALF OF PRIVATE COLLECTORS AND MUSEUMS FROM MANY AN AUCTION SALE.

TODAY, DEBRA FORCE RETURNS TO THE LRFA BLOG TO TELL US HOW SHE DOES IT.

**https://www.christies.com/buying-services/buying-guide/

http://www.debraforce.com/artists

Winslow Homer
The Red Canoe

THE CONSULTING SERVICES THE GALLERY PROVIDE A WIDE AREA OF EXPERTISE TO AN EVEN WIDER RANGE OF BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ENTITIES.

DEBRA, PLEASE DESCRIBE SOME OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TRANSACTIONS AND WHY THEY STAND OUT.

 I have several clients for whom I buy at auction. Over the years, I have gotten to know them very well to the point that they may rely on my judgment to buy such works sight unseen. I was able to buy Winslow Homer’s “The Red Canoe” for a private collector in 1999 at Sotheby’s; it is the record price for the artist at auction.  It was truly an exciting moment as was the time I bought Thomas Hart Benton’s “Ozark Autumn” for a museum at Christie’s in 2015; it too holds the record price for the artist at auction.  The museum had been wanting a Benton for decades, and it was fulfilling to find the right work for their collection.

 

Thomas Hart Benton
Ozark Autumn

There have been surprises also.  I was bidding on an important Norman Rockwell, “Framed,” at Sotheby’s in 2002 that sold for the reserve price under its estimate of $ 800,000-1,200,000; this is unheard of with Rockwell’s work.  The reason was that the person who would have been the underbidder never made it to the auction, as they were stuck in traffic and their cell phone died.  This is the beauty of chance at auction and what can happen.

Walt Kuhn
Chico in a Silk Hat

For another private collector, I bought a terrific, very tough Walt Kuhn, “Chico in Silk Hat,” at Sotheby’s in 2005; it also holds record price for the artist at auction.  When I took the painting to install it in the client’s apartment, their miniature white dog barked and barked and hopped around the room, taking the sitter, who is an evil-looking clown, for a person.  This was my first and only experience of seeing an animal reacting to art.

And, on occasion, I work on bigger projects, such as helping a collector furnish their beach house in the Hamptons with a whole collection of works from the 1960s-1980s.  It was great fun.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU ADVICE TRUSTS, LAW FIRMS AND BANKS? ARE THEY SEEKING YOUR CONSULTING SERVICES ON BEHALF OF CLIENTS AND, IF SO,  WHAT ARE THE CIRCUMSTANCES?

I have not worked with trusts, law firms or banks in locating works of art per se, except for offering works that we have in inventory to Citibank’s Art Advisory Service.  However, I have helped law firms and trusts obtain proposals for selling at auction and assisting them in making a choice for the sale and in determining the best venue for the sale.

Lockwood de Forest

YOUR CURATORIAL HISTORY IS OUTSTANDING, AND EXHIBITIONS ARE OFTEN ACCOMPANIED BY SCHOLARLY CATALOGUES. ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND INFORMATIVE WAS “AN EXOTIC JOURNEY: THE FURNITURE AND PAINTINGS OF LOCKWOOD DE FOREST”. THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF SCHOLARSHIP AND RESEARCH, TRACING THE TRADITION OF OUR CONTINUING INTEREST IN THE ART OF THE EAST IN GENERAL AND IN THE WORK OF LOCKWOOD DE FOREST IN PARTICULAR.

There is an ongoing tradition of westerners commissioning decorative objects from the Far East. The classic example of this trend was the China trade in the early 19th century when America was flooded with porcelains, paintings, and furniture made in China after western models.

A generation later, Lockwood de Forest (1850 – 1932) followed this pattern by commissioning decorative arts in India for American interiors. De Forest developed his interest in Indian design in the 1880s when he visited the country during his honeymoon. He eventually established a studio in the city of Ahmedabad where he had teak and brass panels fabricated for import to America for use in his furniture designs. Friend and decorator Louis Comfort Tiffany also employed de Forest’s panels in his furniture.

De Forest designed with a western lens, not striving to create facsimiles of Indian designs, but incorporating those elements into contemporary designs, as seen in this bench. The intricate panels were carved in India and then assembled with pieces manufactured in New York.

http://decoration-ancientandmodern.com/post/113350966220/an-exotic-journey-the-furniture-and-paintings-of

Cahoon Museum of American Art

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXHIBITIONS WE CAN LOOK FORWARD THIS YEAR?

We currently have an exhibition of Herman Maril’s Provincetown works to coincide with an exhibition at the Cahoon Museum on Cape Cod.  It will be followed by a special exhibition of newly found watercolors of the landscape and points of interest in Pennsylvania and Virginia by George Luks. We are also in the process of working on shows that feature more traditional art alongside photography and contemporary works of similar subjects.  And, given my interest in expatriate painting, we are planning an exhibition of works from France, Italy, and England from the late 19th-mid-20thCenturies.

Herman Meril:  The Provincetown Paintings September 5 – October 19, 2018

 

 

IN OUR FINAL BLOG WITH DEBRA, SHE WILL SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE ON THE CURRENT MARKET FOR AMERICAN ART AND ITS FUTURE. HER INSIGHTS ARE NOT ONLY ACCURATE BUT INVALUABLE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

 

 

 

 

The art of relationships: art fairs, appraisal services, museum curators at Debra Force Fine Art

Debra Force
Art League Presents
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

DEVELOPING A DIALOGUE WITH MUSEUM CURATORS AND MUSEUM BOARDS AND PLACING WORKS IN INSTITUTIONAL VENUES IS ONE OF THE GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF ONLY A HANDFUL OF GALLERIES.  IT REPRESENTS AN INVESTMENT OF TIME AND SCHOLARSHIP AS WELL AS ONE OF NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS. SEVERAL CONTEMPORARY GALLERIES HAVE DIRECTORS WHO FOCUS SOLELY ON CULTIVATING MUSEUM RELATIONSHIPS FOR THEIR ARTISTS, TRAVELING ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO NEGOTIATE EXHIBITIONS AND MEETING WITH BOARDS OF MUSEUMS AND CURATORS TO PRESENT WORKS BY ARTISTS THEY REPRESENT. IT IS AN ART FORM IN AND OF ITSELF.

AS THE CHICAGO APPRAISERS ASSOCIATION NOTES:

The trick to selling to museums whether it be a large institution like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or your local historical society is scholarly research, provenance and a lot of patience. Nothing moves fast with museums. They do not have to necessarily operate on at a yearly profit, so they move at their own maddening slow pace.

IT IS A MARK OF THE QUALITY OF THE WORK AND THE EXPERTISE OF THE DEALER THAT DEBRA FORCE HAS SUCH GREAT SUCCESS IN PLACING ART WORKS IN VERY PRESTIGIOUS MUSEUMS.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG CONTINUES ITS DIALOG WITH DEBRA TO LEARN ABOUT THIS ASPECT OF THE ART BUSINESS.

http://www.debraforce.com

DEBRA, THE GALLERY HAS AN EXTREMELY ACTIVE AND IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD OF STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH NUMEROUS MUSEUMS. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

I started out more in the museum field and have an academic background, so have always felt a special affinity for institutions.  Throughout my career, I have made a point of visiting the curator or director of the art museum wherever I am traveling and have welcomed them to the gallery.  At times, we’ve organized small events for museum collecting groups and patrons, including special Saturday visits to discuss American art, using our inventory as visuals.  I have also spoken at various institutions and to their collecting groups, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the High Museum, etc. 

I have always attempted to match works of art with the right institution and find it rewarding to do so.  Museums to which we have sold works in recent times include:  Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vero Beach Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Montclair Art Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among many others.

Norman Bluhm
X, 1964
Oil on canvas

WHAT WOULD YOU DEFINE AS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SALE TO A COLLECTOR AND A SALE TO A MUSEUM?

Both are rewarding, especially if helping a client build a collection; there is a sense of pride in coming up with a theme or plan and finding works to illustrate the goal.  From the museum standpoint, it is so exciting to place a work in an institution where it will be studied and admired for posterity.  It is less interesting to work with clients who are mostly buying art for decorative purposes, but it can be challenging just the same.

Martin Johnson Heade
Cluster of Roses In a Glass
Circa 1887-1895

THE GALLERY IS A REGULAR EXHIBITOR AND PARTICIPANT IN SOME VERY PRESTIGIOUS ART FAIRS. WHICH ONES DO YOU FIND THE MOST PRODUCTIVE AND WHY, IN TERMS OF ATTENDANCE, SALES AND INTRODUCING NEW COLLECTORS TO THE GALLERY

We do a variety of art fairs to reach different audiences.  The best one for traditional American art is the one called The American Art Fair (TAAF) which takes place every Nov. at the same time as the major American Paintings auctions.  We have sold major works there, including ones by Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas LeClear, Thomas Hart Benton, and Oscar Bluemner.  It is the only fair that extols traditional American art; no works by living artists are allowed.

Milton Avery
Pink Island, White Waves, 1959
Oil on canvasboard

Of late, because of the emphasis on art from the second half of the 20th Century and 21st Century, we have exhibited at the Seattle Art Fair in August and Art Miami in December.  In both cases, we have focused upon Post-War era works as well as Modernism.  These fairs give us a chance to meet new clients and to exhibit works that we do not feature in the gallery on a regular basis.  We might also show works by living artists such as Wolf Kahn, Wayne Thiebaud, or Jamie Wyeth.

John Marin
Hudson River Galley, 1911
watercolor on paper

The Art Fair, sponsored by the ADAA in New York in March, is a favorite of ours.  It also allows us to promote our 20th-century material, generally with a thematic approach such as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Armory Show of 1913, social commentary, or urban/rural landscape.  We have consistently sold well at this fair, selling works by Marsden Hartley, Walt Kuhn, Charles Sheeler, Max Weber, Charles Burchfield, John Marin, and Alice Neel, among others.

We have also tried fairs in Palm Beach and Chicago as well as others in New York, always experimenting with new venues to determine where we best fit.

THE GALLERY ALSO PROVIDES LICENSED APPRAISAL SERVICES. WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL AND WHAT DO YOU PROVIDE?

I have been doing appraisals for over 30 years, beginning when I was at Christie’s.  We presently provide formal insurance valuations for both private collectors and museums and assist the latter with insurance figures for exhibition loans.  Over the years, we have appraised entire museum collections.  We do not presently do gift tax or estate appraisals, but we do offer consultation and recommendations for clients in need of either.

O. Louis Guglielmi
Elements of the Street, 1947
Oil on canvas

THE GALLERY TAKES WORKS ON CONSIGNMENT ON OCCASION. WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA WHEN CONSIDERING A WORK OF ART FOR RESALE?

We try to find the best quality works that we can from any period of American art, beginning in the 18th Century up to about 1980. 

For example, we have portraits by Benjamin West and Thomas Sully, landscapes by Jasper Cropsey and Thomas Moran, still lifes by Heade and William Harnett, genre scenes by Eastman Johnson and Winslow Homer, Ashcan works by Robert Henri, William Glackens, and Everett Shinn, Modernist pieces by Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, and Arthur Dove, Regionalist scenes by Thomas Hart Benton, and Surrealist and Magic Realist pieces by George Tooker and O. Louis Guglielmi, among others. 

Winslow Homer
Green Apples, 1866
Oil on canvas

We attempt to find the best of any given artist and work with pieces in a variety of price ranges to accommodate clients with varying pocketbooks.  Generally, most of our inventory is on consignment; it is very difficult to buy works at auction for resale, given public access to price records on the internet.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, DEBRA WILL CONTINUE TO OUTLINE THE EXTENSIVE SCOPE OF SERVICES THAT THE GALLERY PROVIDES.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE HIGH STANDARDS THAT THE GALLERY SETS IN PROVIDING EXPERTISE IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE BUYING, EXHIBITING AND SELLING OF AMERICA ART.

UNTIL THEN, THANK YOU ALL!

 

 

NB The works illustrated in this blog are from the gallery inventory

The Antiques Roadshow and more with American art dealer and gallerist, Debra Force

Debra Force
Antiques Roadshow

FACED WITH AN INCREASINGLY MEDIA-SATURATED, GLOBALIZED CULTURE, ART HISTORIANS HAVE BEGUN TO ASK THEMSELVES CHALLENGING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF THEIR DISCIPLINE ACCORDING TO SYLVAN BARNET IN HIS A SHORT GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT ART. THIS BOOK PROVIDES A GUIDELINE FOR STUDENTS ON  EVERY ASPECT OF WRITING ABOUT ART: FORMAL ANALYSIS, COMPARISON, RESEARCH AND ALL THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO PRESENT THEIR FINDINGS WITH EFFECTIVE WRITING.

https://www.amazon.com/Short-Guide-Writing-About-11th/dp/020588699X

THE BEST ART DEALERS ARE ART HISTORIANS AS WELL, ENGAGED IN THE HISTORY AND PROVENANCE OF WORKS, THE QUALITY AND THE TECHNIQUE.  THEY PROVIDE THE POTENTIAL COLLECTOR WITH INFORMATION ABOUT A WORK IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ARTIST’S ENTIRE OEUVRE AND IN COMPARISON TO WORKS IN THE SAME PERIOD AND GENRE.  ONE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A GALLERIST OR AN ADVISOR IS TO EDUCATE CLIENTS ABOUT THE ARTISTS THEY ARE CONSIDERING OR ARE ADDING TO THEIR COLLECTIONS. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE IN THE AREA OF AMERICAN ART AS IT IS SO RICH IN OUR HISTORY WITH VAST ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE OF THE CULTURE, MORES AND ACTIVITIES OF THE TIME. SCHOLARSHIP IS CRUCIAL IN ENRICHING THE APPRECIATION AND COMMITMENT OF COLLECTORS OF THIS PERIOD.

James Jebusa Shannon
Portrait of Liz Cartwright

THERE IS NO ONE WHO MORE GRACEFULLY COMBINES AN ACADEMIC PASSION FOR THE HISTORY OF AMERICA  AND ITS ART THAN DEBRA FORCE.

ESTABLISHED IN 1999, THE GALLERY SPECIALIZES IN AMERICAN PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURE FROM THE 18th, 19th and 20th CENTURIES. DEBRA FORCE FI”NE ART FOCUSES ON QUALITY WHATEVER THE MEDIUM OR PERIOD AND DEBRA HAS AN EXCEPTIONAL TALENT FOR IDENTIFYING ARTISTS WHO HAVE FALLEN FROM VIEW AND RENEWING OUR APPRECIATION OF THEIR WORK AND REVIVING THEIR MARKET.

http://www.debraforce.com

ONE SUCH ARTIST IS JAMES JEBUSA SHANNON, AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT PAINTER BORN IN NEW YORK, WHO TRAVELLED TO ENGLAND TO STUDY PAINTING AND  BECAME ONE OF BRITAIN’S MOST CELEBRATED PORTRAIT ARTISTS AT THE TURN OF THE 19th CENTURY. IN AN ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, EVE M. KAHN, A FREQUENT CONTRIBUTOR TO THEIR ANTIQUES SECTION, PUBLISHED ONCE FORGOTTEN PAST, NOW RECALLED IN PAINTING, AN EXCELLENT REVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION AT DEBRA FORCE FINE ART OF TWO DOZEN WORKS BY SHANNON, SEEKING BEAUTY: PAINTINGS BY JAMES JEBUSA SHANNON,  AN ARTIST WHO WAS, IN HIS DAY, COMPARED TO JOHN SINGER SARGENT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/arts/design/james-jebusa-shannons-portraits-rescued-from-obscurity.html

DEBRA, WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO NEW YORK, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ART WORLD?

My first job in New York was as Assistant to the Head of the American Paintings Department at Christie’s from 1984-1989, at which point, I became Head of the Department and a Senior Vice President until 1993.

American Art
Christie’s New York

WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL HISTORY PRIOR TO OPENING DEBRA FORCE FINE ART?

Curator and Director of the CIGNA (formerly INA) Museum and Art Collection in Philadelphia (1977-1984)

Assistant to the Head of the American Paintings Dept. and later Head of Dept. and a Senior Vice President at Christie’s, New York (1984-1993)

Director of American Art at Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York (1993-1994)

Director of Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York (1994-1999)

President of Debra Force Fine Art, New York (1999-present)

WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO OPEN A GALLERY?

When Beacon Hill Fine Art closed, I was given a generous severance package that enabled me to start my own gallery.  I had never intended to do so until then.

 

On the air
Debra Force at the Antiques Roadshow

YOU PARTICIPATE IN THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW THAT TRAVELS AROUND THE COUNTRY INVITING PEOPLE TO BRING IN THEIR TREASURED ART OBJECTS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND EVALUATION . WHAT WERE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THAT EXPERIENCE?

I have been on “Antiques Roadshow” for over 18 years and have had lovely experiences, meeting people, and seeing exciting and challenging art. Of course, most of what we see is of minimal value, but we do run across real “finds,” particularly if the owner has no idea of the identity of the artist.  In St. Paul, MN, my guest was an elderly man who had been a farmer (he was wearing bib overalls) and who had gone to a farm auction where he bought a box of stuff, including two paintings, for  $ 4.00.  One painting was worth about $ 500.00 and he liked that one and had it hanging in his living room. He could not read the signature on the other, and since he didn’t care for it, he had it in a closet.  ThIs painting was by Victor Higgins, the Taos artist, and it was a New Mexico scene worth about $ 100,000.00.  It was a true find!

Victor Higgins
Arroyo Landscape
Watercolor on paper

In Jacksonville, I surprisingly saw two paintings by Thomas Hart Benton; both were authentic and belonged to different people….it was quite amazing since guests come to us “first come, first serve.” One was a rare still life given by the artist to the owner’s parents; the other, was a Martha’s Vineyard scene belonging to a descendant of a Missourian involved with the Truman Library in Independence, MO…strange that both ended up in Florida!

Thomas Hart Benton
Martha’s Vineyard
Oil on canvas

One of my more amusing spots was with a man in Washington, DC, who was very colorful in his dress and who had a Jessie Willcox Smith…when he learned that the value was over $ 100,000, he did his “Happy Dance,” as he called it.

I have also received works to sell from people who watch the show, but who have not appeared on it.  These have included an important Maurice Prendergast watercolor of St. Malo and an amazing Herbert “Buck” Dunton of the artist’s daughter on her favorite horse with Taos in the distance and belonging to a descendant of the artist.

Maurice Prendergast
Beach at St. Malo

And, you never know why people give you things to sell…one guest who was on the show with a Willard Metcalf painting ultimately decided to sell it through me purely because we had both “Quakers;” that is, we had both gone to Penn.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG WITH DEBRA FORCE, AMERICAN ART SPECIALIST, WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE GALLERY’S PARTICIPATION IN ART FAIRS AND THE APPRAISAL SERVICES THE GALLERY PROVIDES. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY RELEVANT QUESTIONS- WE HAVE ACCESS TO A SEASONED EXPERT IN THE FIELD OF AMERICAN ART OF THREE CENTURIES–

FIRE AWAY!

The LRFA blog is pleased to introduce Debra Force, expert extraordinaire in American Art

Debra Force
Debra Force Fine Arts

DEBRA FORCE FINE ART, ESTABLISHED IN 1999, IS HIGHLY RESPECTED FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO THREE CENTURIES OF AMERICAN ART OF THE FINEST QUALITY. THE GALLERY SPECIALIZES IN AMERICAN PAINTINGS, DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURE FROM THE 18th, 19thand 20thCENTURIES AND THE SCHOLARSHIP, EXHIBITIONS CATALOGUES AND PASSION FOR THE WORK IS EVIDENT IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE GALLERY.  LOCATED ON NEW YORK’S UPPER EASTSIDE IN AN ELEGANT BUILDING AT 13thEAST 69thSTREET, THE GALLERY CURATES NUMEROUS EXHIBITIONS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND HAS A STRONG PRESENCE AT SEVERAL PRESTIGIOUS ART FAIRS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

http://www.debraforce.com

IT IS A PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE MY HIGHLY ESTEEMED COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND, DEBRA FORCE, TO THE LRFA BLOG.

DEBRA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION. WHAT WAS YOUR CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE THAT PROMPTED AN INTEREST IN ART?

WERE YOUR PARENTS COLLECTORS?

My interest in fine art really didn’t begin until I was in 8thGrade and made my first trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  However, I was always interested in American History and begged my parents to let me stop at every historic site or house that we encountered.  My dream was fulfilled when we moved to Williamsburg, VA, and I was ensconced in 18th-century life.  I spent my high school years growing up there and summers working in costume during college. Because of this passion, I was driven toward more traditional American art rather than Contemporary or European. My parents were not collectors except for family heirlooms and decorative arts from their native Ohio.

Thomas Sully
Portrait of Patrick Henry

WHAT WERE THE FIRST PAINTINGS THAT RESONATED THE MOST STRONGLY WITH YOU?

The first paintings that resonated with me were portraits by Thomas Sully, Charles Willson Peale and other early artists who featured historic personages such as Patrick Henry, George Washington, and Nancy Hallam, an early actress.  This later was followed by a lovely Mary Cassatt at the National Gallery of Art, “Child with Straw Hat,” with her empathetic demeanor, reminding me of my father’s sister.  From there, I became enamored with mostly historical material and marine art as these genres made up the corporate collection in Philadelphia (INA, later CIGNA Corporation), for which I was curator and director. 

Charles Willson Peale
Self-portrait

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE FIELD OF AMERICAN ART AS A FOCUS?

I had an affinity for American art; I related to it and it brought visual interpretation and excitement to the history that I was studying. I also had opportunities in college and graduate school and in my first jobs that led me in this direction.

Mary Cassatt
Child with a Straw Hat
National Gallery of Art

WHAT WAS YOUR ACADEMIC FOCUS THAT FURTHERED THESE INTERESTS?

In college (Ohio Wesleyan University), it was History and Politics and Government as a double major.  My focus narrowed with graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, where I was in a program called American Civilization, with emphasis on Material Culture; 1.e., studying art and artifacts and how they related to American life.  I had great mentors along the way, including my adviser, Dr. Anthony N.B. Garvan at Penn. He convinced me to stay beyond a Masters’ Degree; I ended up completing all requirements for the PhD except for writing my dissertation, the topic of which was “Upholsterers in Philadelphia in the 18thCentury,” harkening to my decorative arts days and my graduate school research on Betsy Ross who was an upholsterer and flag maker, as were two of her three husbands.

Birth of our Nation’s Flag
G.H. Weisgerber
State Museum of Pennsylvania

WHEN YOU FIRST CAME TO NEW YORK, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE ART WORLD?

My first job in New York was as Assistant to the Head of the American Paintings Department at Christie’s from 1984-1989, at which point, I became Head of the Department and a Senior Vice President until 1993.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, DEBRA WILL SHARE HER VAST EXPERIENCE IN MANY ASPECTS OF THE AMERICAN ART BUSINESS AS  AUCTION SPECIALIST, CORPORATE COLLECTIONS CURATOR AND GALLERY DIRECTOR. HER DRIVE AND HER EYE FOR QUALITY ARE CONSISTENT WHATEVER THE VENUE.

PLEASE JOIN US.

Read all about it! Great reviews of Ellen Winner’s new book, How Art Works

How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration 
by Ellen Winner, Ph.D.

IN A RECENT SERIES OF POSTS, THE LRFA BLOG WELCOMED ELLEN WINNER BACK, PSYCHOLOGIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, TO SHARE HER LATEST FINDINGS ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ART AND OUR PERCEPTION OF IT. THESE STUDIES OFFER INVALUABLE INSIGHT FOR INTERESTED IN ART AND OUR PSYCHOLOGICAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS IT, BE THEY GALLERISTS, DEALERS OR COLLECTORS.

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO FOLLOW UP WITH ELLEN NOW ABOUT HER MOST RECENT BOOK, HOW ART WORKS AND SHARE SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING REVIEWS IT HAS ALREADY RECEIVED!

IT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OCTOBER 3rd. PREORDER NOW!

https://www.amazon.com/How-Art-Works-Psychological-Exploration/dp/0190863358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536529213&sr=8-1&keywords=how+art+works+ellen+winner&dpID=51k1QqbgE-L&preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

In this thoughtful, judicious, and fascinating book, you’ll find our best current answers to all the questions that thinking people ask about art, including what it is, what makes it great, whether it is universal, why we make and enjoy it, and whether it is good for us.How Art Works will be the place to look for knowledge on how art works for years to come.
Steven Pinker, Harvard University 

Never have the links between the world of the arts and the sciences of the mind been so carefully and fruitfully drawn as they are in Winner’s new book.
David Olson, University of Toronto

If you read one book on the psychology of art, make it this one. Ellen Winner gives us a book that celebrates the importance of art even as she remains grounded in experimental data and avoids hyperbole. She asks deceptively simple questions. What is art? Why do we make art? Does art make us better people? The clarity of her logic and the elegance of her prose as she answers these and other incisive questions makes this book a delight to read.
Anjan Chattergee, University of Pennsylvania

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW APPEARED IN THIS WEEK’S PRESTIGIOUS NEW YORKER MAGAZINE AND THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO REPRINT IT HERE.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-we-know-about-art-and-the-mind

 

What We Know About Art and the Mind

Piero Manzoni
Piero Manzoni’s “Artist’s Shit.” In 2016, one of the tins that make up the abstract work was bought in Milan for two hundred and seventy-five thousand euros.

London, New York, and soon Asia: Venues for the Art Business Conference with director Louise Hamlin

BARELY RECOVERED FROM THE MASSIVE AUDIENCE AND ENTHUSIASM OF THE LONDON ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE ON SEPTEMBER 4th, LOUISE HAMLIN, FOUNDER AND ORGANIZER OF THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE, IS PLANNING THE NEW YORK SPEAKER PANELS AND AGENDA. THE NEW YORK CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT THE TIME WARNER BUILDING IN MANHATTAN NEXT APRIL 2019.

IN THE MEANTIME, THE LRFA BLOG WILL CONTINUE ITS INTERVIEW WITH LOUISE ABOUT THE CURRENT PROGRAMMING AND HER PLANS FOR THE FUTURE OF THE CONFERENCE. YOU COULD HARDLY IMAGINE THAT A WOMAN OF THE CALIBER AND ENERGY OF LOUISE HAMLIN WOULD STOP AT TWO VENUES.  READ ON!

IN THE CONFERENCE, SPEAKERS EXPLORE WHY PEOPLE BUY OBJECTS, ART WORKS AND ANTIQUES. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE DOMINANT REASONS?  HAVE THEY CHANGED OVER THE YEARS FROM A COLLECTOR ZEAL TO ONE MORE FOCUSED ON ART AS AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT?

There will always be collectors but there are an increasing number of other groups buying art, including those looking to make alternative investments.  The internet has made the art market accessible to all and more and more businesses are ready to provide services which will help buyers make informed choices. 

Such examples recently highlighted at the NY conference in April, were The Magnus App, which works like Shazam for art, founded by art market economist and entrepreneur Magnus Resch, is a good example of the art world accommodating the consumer.  Jennifer Deason, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Strategy & Corporate Development at Sotheby’s made some fascinating insights on Taste Profiling in the Art Market in her closing address.  Art is evocative and inspiring – there will always be buyers – but understanding their needs and educating them will only help to broaden the buying market and this is key.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT REGULATIONS THAT GOVERN THE ACQUISITIONS IN THE UK AND THE US AND HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE THEY MIGHT CHANGE? WILL THEY LOOSEN OR TIGHTEN IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

Wow tough question! And as I am not an expert on this, I consult with the conference legal and tax & accounting sponsors who are best placed to advise on this.  In fact, there was just a session on Anti-Money Laundering at the London conference on Tuesday. I also consult with the heads of the Trade Associations to see how we can best to shape presentations to make them relevant and useful for art businesses.

GLOBALIZATION MAKES IT IMPERATIVE THAT WE CAN TRADE INTERNATIONALLY IN ART AND ANTIQUES. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES IN TERMS OF BREXIT AND U.S TARIFFS?

Leslie, I think you might have just offered me a topic for the NY Conference in 2019?  As it’s something I can’t answer….perhaps we should include this next year?

LVR: AND ALSO THE TOPIC OF US AND CHINA TARIFFS AND HOW THEY ARE AFFECTING THE ART MARKET! I’D LOVE A PANEL ON THAT.

THE PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF THE ART MARKET, THE INSURANCE, THE SHIPPING, THE TRANSPORT, ARE CRUCIAL TO THE BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE BEST PEOPLE IN EACH OF THESE AREAS OF THE INDUSTRY TO SPEAK AT THE CONFERENCE.

My years at The Art Newspaper certainly helped provide me with a nice list of contacts, but there are also a number of trade associations in the Art Market whose members all have to adhere to strict guidelines of best practice.  Many of our speakers are members of these associations including APAA, PAIAM and CINOA.

IN APRIL 2018, THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING TOPICS, SUPPORTED BY KNOWLEDGEABLE SPEAKERS IN EACH FIELD.

Art Market Principles and Best Practices

This session opened with a presentation by Noah Horowitz, Director of Art Basel Americas, who defined these sets of principles and their implications for exhibitors. This was followed by a panel discussion exploring the codes of conduct and best practices that already exist in the US art market and looked at what can be done to improve standards in the industry for the future. 

Protecting an Artist’s Legacy

This session offered practical advice for artists’ estates and foundations and explored how technology is working to support artists and their estates. 

Traveling Exhibitions

This session explored the planning process behind travelling exhibitions from the museum perspective, discussed changing trends and how technology is assisting the evolution of travelling exhibitions globally.  The panel also examined best practice when loaning to traveling exhibitions focusing on insurance and contracts.  

The Future of Collecting

How will the next generation collect Art, Antiques and Collectables?  

Cybercriminals in the art world

This interactive workshop offered guidance on proactive measures art businesses can take to protect themselves and covered the following areas: the Human Firewall – training staff to detect and respond appropriately to threats, invoice fraud, password hygiene, shadow IT. Plus GDPR – the largest shake-up in data protection for 20 years, and what it means for US art organisations.

DO YOU FORESEE THE GROWTH OF THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE TO INCLUDE HONG KONG, OR SHANGHAI OR ANY OTHER INTERNATIONAL SITES?

Yes absolutely, I am working on developing the conference in the Asia for 2019.

IT IS WONDERFUL WHEN SOMEONE DILIGENT AND COMMITTED HAS THE INSIGHT TO OFFER A WONDERFUL PROGRAM AND THE FORTITUDE TO EXPAND IT FIRST TO NEW YORK AND THEN TO ASIA. HATS OFF, LOUISE! I ADMIRE YOU AND THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCES ENORMOUSLY AND LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN NEW YORK IN APRIL.

SO MANY THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO THE LRFA BLOG!

 

IN OUR NEXT POST THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO INTRODUCE DEBRA FORCE, PRESIDENT OF DEBRA FORCE FINE ARTS. DURING A TImE WHEN CONTEMPORARY ART DOMINATES THE MARKET, DEBRA HAS COMMITTED HER PROFESSIONAL LIFE TO THE MASTERWORKS OF EARLY AMERICAN ART. HER EXPERIENCE IN THE ART WORLD IS VAST, RANGING FROM MANAGING A DISTINGUISHED CORPORATE COLLECTION TO HEADING CHRISTIE’S AMERICAN PAINTING DEPARTMENT TO OPENING HER OWN GALLERY. THE CONSTANT IN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THESE POSITIONS IS HER KNOWLEDGE AND COMMITMENT TO AMERICAN ART AND HER ENTHUSIASM IN SHARING IT WITH US.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING DEBRA’S VAST KNOWLEDGE AND INTELLIGENCE WITH YOU.

London September 4th, The Art Business Conference continues to grow both in attendance and relevance

 

IN A RECENT PODCAST PRODUCED BY ART AGENCY, PARTNERS, AN ALWAYS INFORMATIVE AND LIVELY FORUM, CHRISSIE ILES FROM THE WHITNEY MUSEUM, CAROLYN RAMO FROM ARTADIA, AND HAMAZA WALKER FROM LAXART, JOINED THE ARTICULATE EDITOR OF IN OTHER WORDS, CHARLOTTE BURNS, TO DISCUSS “ART ACROSS AMERICA”. THEY POSED THE VERY RELEVANT QUESTION OF WHERE GREAT ART IS BEING MADE IN AMERICA TODAY.  THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF CONVERSATION IN THE ART WORLD NOT ONLY ABOUT THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE ART MARKET (OLD NEWS) BUT ALSO ABOUT THE EXCELLENT QUALITY OF ART BEING MADE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES OUTSIDE OF THE MAJOR MARKET HUBS AND THE INCREASING SUPPORT BY COLLECTORS AND CURATORS OF THE INNOVATIVE ART OF THE REGIONS.

IT IS NO SURPRISE, THEREFORE, THAT LOUISE HAMLIN, FOUNDER AND ORGANIZER OF THE UNIQUE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE HAS FOCUSED ON THIS SUBJECT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND TALKED ABOUT TOPIC OF ALL, THE ART FAIR.  THE NEXT ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE THAT TAKES PLACE IN LONDON ON SEPTEMBER 4th AT THE CHURCH HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTER IN WESTMINSTER, LONDON, GATHERS TOGETHER SENIOR ART MARKET PROFESSIONALS, GALLERISTS, ADVISORS, LEGAL EXPERTS, ART FAIR DIRECTORS AND COLLECTORS. EACH YEAR IT BECOMEs MORE AND MORE POPULAR AND CONTINUES TO GROW BOTH WITH AN INCREASE IN ATTENDANCE AND AN AGENDA FILLED WITH FIERCELY KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS IN EVERY AREA OF THE ART MARKET.

http://www.artagencypartners.com/podcast/art-across-america-with-chrissie-iles-carolyn-ramo-and-hamza-walker/

http://www.theartbusinessconference.com/home

THE LRFA BLOG AND LOUISE, AFTER OUR “LUNCH BREAK” AND A CHANCE TO LEARN ABOUT LOUISE’S PROFESSIONAL HISTORY IN THE ART WORLD AND THE HISTORY OF THE CONFERENCE, WILL RESUME THE AGENDA FOR THE FORTHCOMING CONFERENCE.

13.00 – 14.00: Lunchtime discussion tables and buffet lunch served in the Business Pavilion and Media Pavilions sponsored by Richard Nicholson, Willis Towers Watson 

Dirk Boll
President, Christie’s EMERI

THE FIRST TOPIC WILL ADDRESS THE CURRENT MARKET, AND THE SURGE OF ONLINE AUCTION PURCHASES IN THE DECORATIVE ARTS WITH THE PRESIDENT OF CHRISTIE’S EMERI. THE COLLECTION OF PEGGY AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER AT CHRISTIE’S IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE OF THE WAY THE AUCTION HOUSE HAS USED BOTH LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTIONS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE AND TO ACHIEVE ASTONISHING RESULTS FOR THE ROCKEFELLER ESTATE NOT ONLY WITH THE MASTERPIECES OF FINE ART BUT ALSO WITH THE ENORMOUS CUMULATIVE COLLECTION OF DECORATIVE ARTS AND FURNITURE INHERITED AND WELL AS COLLECTED BY PEGGY AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER.

14.00 – 14.20: Why brown is the new black?  Whether new audiences coming to auctions online, or a re-birth for the decorative arts sector, there are exciting developments impacting the way in which people are engaging with collecting today. Christie’s has been instrumental in shaping opinions and influencing a new appreciation for heirlooms in recent months.  As tastes evolve, Dirk Boll, President of Christies’s EMERI, discusses current trends and shares predictions for the future of collecting with Anna Brady (The Art Newspaper).

Anna Brady
The Art Newspaper

FROM THE RENOVATION AT THE FRICK TO THE COSTUME INSTITUTE AT THE MET, AND THOSE ARE ONLY IN NEW YORK, THE TOPIC OF REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MUSEUMS IN THE 21st CENTURY IS NOT ONLY RELEVANT BUT CRUCIAL. LOUISE HAS JOINED TOGETHER AN ESTEEMED PANEL OF INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM CURATORS TO EXPLORE THIS SUBJECT.

14.20 – 15.20: The Entrepreneurial Museum: With contributions from the Royal Academy of Arts, the Van Gogh Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, this international panel will explore, in the wake of funding cuts, what are the new revenue opportunities for museums?  This will also explore how museums are working more closely with the art trade together with a focus on travelling exhibitions, with new data and research on the growth of the travelling exhibitions market globally.  Speakers: Charles Saumerez Smith (Royal Academy), Jessica Litwin  (National Portrait Gallery), Milou Halbesma (Van Gogh Museum), Louise Steward  (National Portrait Gallery),  Bernardine Brocker Wieder (Vastari) and moderated by Jane Morris (Culture Shock Media & The Art Newspaper).

Milou Halbesma
Director Public Affairs
Van Gogh Museum

AS THE VALUE OF ART HAS INCREASED AND THE NUMBER OF COLLECTORS, NASCENT AND ESTABLISHED, CONTINUES TO GROW, THE ISSUE LEGAL RIGHTS AND SOLUTIONS AFFECTS EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS OF ART.

Adrian Parkhouse
Farrer & Co
Chair, Art & Heritage Group

15.20 – 16.20: Comparative Art Law: Arbitrate, Mediate or Litigate? This session brings together a panel of art law experts from the UK and Germany to explore a series of art law cases and possible art law solutions, whether through arbitration, mediation or litigation. Speakers: Nicola Wallace (4 Paper Buildings), Richard Edwards QC  (3 Verulam Buildings), Friederike Grafin von Bruhl (K&L Gates) and moderated by Adrian Parkhouse  (Farrer & Co)

16.20 – 16.40: Refreshment break in the Business Pavilion and Media Lounge 

James Green
David Zwirner Gallery

THE CHANGES IN THE ART FAIR AND THE INVOLVEMENT IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND CHALLENGING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL TIMES WILL CLOSE THIS CONFERENCE.

16.40 – 17.40:  The Evolving Art Fair. This panel discussion will explore how art fairs are evolving into new geographical areas, working with local communities and also working in some challenging political/economic climates.  Our panellists will discuss the question of market saturation of the art fair model and the session will ultimately explore the insights and dynamics of the art fair business model and all that is involved in putting together a successful art fair. Speakers: Jagdip Jagpal  (India Art Fair), Touria El Glaoui  (1:54), James Green  (David Zwirner) and Kamiar Maleki (Contemporary Istanbul), moderated by Melanie Gerlis  (Financial Times)  

17:40: Closing address

18.00 – 19.00: Evening networking drinks in the Business Pavilion and Media lounge 

19.00: Conference close


IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, WE LOOK FORWARD TO RESUMING OUR INTERVIEW WITH LOUISE HAMLIN, FOUNDER OF THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE, ON ALL OF THESE TOPICS AND MORE.

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

The Art Business Conference, united by our love of art, with founder and director, Louise Hamlin

Louise Hamlin & panelists
Founder and Director
Art Business Conference

THIS YEAR’S ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE, IN ITS FIFTH YEAR IN LONDON AND THIRD IN NEW YORK, IS GROWING IN ATTENDANCE BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS. IN A REVIEW OF THE NY CONFERENCE BY JOURNALIST, TIM SCHNEIDER, IN THE APRIL 20, 2018 ISSUE OF ARTNET NEWS, THE EXPLANATION IS SIMPLE: THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSES THE MOST PRESSING IDEOLOGICAL CONCERNS IN OUR CURRENT ART MARKET.

http://www.theartbusinessconference.com/

Earlier this week, a cross-section of art industry professionals converged in Midtown Manhattan to debate some of the market’s most urgent questions. Hailing from around the globe and across sectors, participants in the second annual ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE in New York dissected topics ranging from the practical (how to guard your data against malicious hackers) to the philosophical (how to steward an artist’s legacy). 

We’ve packed the most important themes into an easy-to-digest capsule for anyone not in attendance. And since every good medicine is just the result of chemical reactions, here are the three main ideological collisions on display at the conference—and why they matter so much for where we go next.

TRANSPARENCY VS. OPACITY : The importance for dealers to do away with the secrecy-driven elitism of the traditional art sales process but to think of transparency is a much broader sense for the arts to continue to grow.

PROVINCIALISM VS. PROFESSIONALIZATION: From the challenges of globalization to the escalating scale of exhibitions, to the 21st century courtroom battles, the conference addresses the vast change of the art business from a cottage industry…Art has become too expensive, too complex and too globally mobile to keep handling with handshakes and ad hoc plans.

TECHNOLOGY VS. TRADITION: Technology is coming to the art world, whether the art industry is ready or not. The Art Business Conference should be applauded for giving the subject as much stage time as it did. But it will be the industry’s loss on multiple levels if it runs from the changes instead of meeting them head-on.

https://news.artnet.com/market/art-business-conference-1270700

BEFORE RETURNING TO THE AGENDA AND PANELISTS FEATURED IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE FORTHCOMING LONDON CONFERENCE ON SEPTEMBER 4th, WE REJOIN LOUISE HAMLIN, ITS FOUNDER AND ORGANIZER, TO CONTINUE WITH HER PROFESSIONAL HISTORY AND THAT OF THE CONFERENCES THEMSELVES.

LOUISE, THANK YOU AND WELCOME BACK!

THE ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE IS IN ITS FIFTH YEAR, A ONE-DAY CONFERENCE FOR ART MARKET PROFESSIONALS. HOW WAS IT INITIALLY FORMED AND WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA?

During my time at The Art Newspaper, I worked with a very large number of businesses across the art market, from galleries and museums, trade associations, art fairs and auction houses to professional service providers including insurers, shippers and web designers.  I saw the need for a forum to bring all these different businesses together in a new learning environment to share knowledge in this unique and special industry. 

As Kevin Lay of Arcis said in his closing remarks, at the most recent NY conference, “we are all united in our love for art”.  A love of art and a desire to bring those working with it together was the inspiration for the conference.

APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY PEOPLE ATTEND AND HOW MUCH WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IT GROW?

The conference now has over 630 delegates attending the 2018 conferences, representing over 350 global art organizations. I would love to grow, but physically, I think there is a limit. If we had unlimited space available, would we want to have unlimited places available?  I don’t think so.  It would become too difficult to make the presentations relevant to all and networking could become more challenging. 

Growth in terms of reputation and success:  Yes, of course. I would like to continue to build on the current success to ensure we attract good people to attend and put on presentations which are interesting, informative, educating, challenging, inspiring.

WHAT ARE THE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STORIES IN WHICH NETWORKING PRODUCED POSITIVE GROWTH RESULTS FOR THOSE WHO ATTEND?

As I have said previously, networking is key to the event and we provide a good number of opportunities to do this throughout the day (networking breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, and of course evening drinks).  In New York, the conference room is set up so that delegates sit at large round banqueting tables to encourage this.  And at the forthcoming London conference on 4thSeptember, we will be introducing networking tables over lunchtime. This is a great opportunity to join a discussion around a specific topic, ask experts and meet fellow attendees. We have facilitated a number of connections during the conferences and also post conference – connecting people and businesses is what we love to do.

THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS ARE VERY DISTINGUISHED IN THEIR AREAS OF EXPERTISE. WHAT ARE THE SUBJECTS THAT THE CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON WHEN CREATING PANELS OF DISCUSSION?

The subjects are diverse but the brief is the same for whatever the subject. I want to secure speakers who are knowledgeable and engaging.   A lot of time and effort is given to putting together panels of people who do not necessarily share the same opinion on a subject but can bring different perspectives and experiences to the debate. There is always a need to be a little creative in putting together an interesting panel group. In terms of the topics, I try to make them timely, whatever is shaping the art market news at the time that is relevant to the buying and selling of art and also consulting widely across the industry to gauge interest in topics.  

WHAT IS THE CURRENT MARKET IN THE U.K. AND THE U.S. AND HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE IT SHIFT AND GROW?

As a humble conference organizer and not an art market economist or journalist, I wouldn’t like to say!

However, in consulting across the market on topics as I do, it is an interesting time. Brexit in the UK and the Trump administration in the US have brought uncertainty to the art market, but as with everything there is always opportunity too!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, WE WILL RETURN TO THE SPECIFICS OF THE NEXT ART BUSINESS CONFERENCE ON SEPTEMBER 4th IN LONDON. IT WILL BE WELL-ORGANIZED, INFORMATIVE AND PROVIDE A HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO CONNECT WITH OTHER PROFESSIONALS IN A WIDE RANGE OF AREAS OF EXPERTISE.

WELL WORTH ATTENDING!