Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Tag: art market

Introducing Dana Prussian, Bank of America Private Bank Art Services, combining business acumen and a passion for art

Dana Prussian
VP, Art Services, Bank of America Private Bank

IN MARCH 2016, THE NEW YORK TIMES PUBLISHED A STUDY ON A TREND IN THE ART MARKET WHICH HAS BEEN ON THE RISE  FOR AT LEAST THE LAST DECADE: ART AS AN ALTERNATIVE ASSET AND AS COLLATERAL FOR A LOAN.

Highlights from

ART AS COLLATERAL IN A FICKLE MARKET, Scott Rayburn, March 7, 2016, New York Times

Art and money have long been closely linked, but in the 21st century, it seems, the two have become synonymous.

One way to extract the latter from the former is art-based lending, in which paintings or sculptures are used as collateral for loans. Now that the notoriously fickle and opaque art market is seemingly headed toward a downturn, with money tighter and the prices of many artworks lower, will this kind of niche financing become more attractive to collectors?

Art lenders who have offered full-recourse loans, secured by a range of personal assets, have faced unfavorable publicity. During the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the photographer Annie Leibovitz pledged her four homes and the rights to her images to secure a $24 million loan from Art Capital. She was unable to service the debt, and a high-profile court action ensued.

“This is an opportunity,” Andrea Danese, a co-founder of Athena and the company’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. Mr. Danese said there was potentially about $150 billion worth of art in private hands that could be collateralized. He identified three groups to whom his company’s products might appeal.

“First, there are billionaires who put the money into private equity deals, where they make 20 to 25 percent,” he said. “Then there are collectors with, say, $30 million of art they leverage to buy another piece. And thirdly there are the art-rich and cash-poor in their 70s and 80s who don’t want to sell because of capital gains or estate taxes.”

But art lenders, like pawnbrokers, can get a boost when markets dip.

THIS UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENT IN THE ART MARKET OVER THE LAST DECADE HAS RESULTED IN A FOCUS ON THE FINANCIAL ASPECTS OF ART. ART IS SEEN NOT ONLY AS AN OBJECT THAT IS AESTHETIC PLEASING OR CHALLENGING AND INTELLECTUALLY FULFILLING BUT ALSO AS A NEW ALTERNATIVE ASSET CLASS OFFERING INTERESTING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. THUS, IT HAS PRODUCED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EXPERTS IN THE FINANCIAL WORLD WHO ARE INTERESTED IN ART TO ENJOY EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE CAREERS THAT COMBINE THE TWO.

DANA PRUSSIAN, VICE PRESIDENT, ART SERVICES AT BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK, IS AN IMPRESSIVE, ARTICULATE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE WOMAN WHO IS  APPLYING HER INVESTMENT AND FINANCIAL BACKGROUND AND TRAINING TO ASSIST INDIVIDUAL COLLECTORS  AND ART INSTITUTIONS IN THE ACQUISITION, DONATION AND DEACCESSION ART AND TO USE ART AS AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT VEHICLE.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden

THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO WELCOME DANA PRUSSIAN.

DANA, SO MANY THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? DID YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN ART AT AN EARLY AGE AND, IF SO, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

I grew up in Louisville. My parents encouraged me to be active in the arts- I danced with the Louisville Ballet, took acting classes, played the violin. I’m not sure where my interest in fine art came about, though I do remember being obsessed with Linnea in Monet’s Garden when I was very young. Did anyone else have that doll? Book? Video? Childhood affinity for Giverny?

Diego Rivera Industry Murals
Detroit Institute of the Arts

WAS YOUR FAMILY INTERESTED IN OR COLLECT ART?

Not particularly, but my family has always supported the arts, whether it was the symphony, the theater, or the ballet. Much of my extended family lives in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and my aunt was a docent at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) while I was growing up. I vividly remember visiting Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals and the beautifully intricate Dutch Golden Age paintings.

Gerard der Borch, The Younger
Lady at Her Toilette
Collection of the Detroit Institute of the Arts

WHAT IS YOUR ACADEMIC BACKGROUND?

I moved to New York City 10 years ago to attend Barnard College at Columbia University where I received a degree in both Art History and Political Science. It was really my secondary school that influenced me more than anything. I went to Louisville Collegiate School, which is this very close-knit, traditional college prep school, and I still feel endlessly lucky to have attended. We had a required course, HATA (or, History and the Arts) that was a two-year world history class with corresponding art, dance, music, and religion. It was my first serious exposure to art history and the material was woven in this organic, experiential way. After that course, I moved right into AP Art History, and it was a love story from there. I ended up passing out of the first three levels of art history when I arrived at Columbia. Even though I was so influenced by Collegiate, that there is nothing, NOTHING like being an Art History student in New York City. My senior seminar was at the Met on Monday mornings (the good old days when the Met was closed on Mondays and we essentially had the museum to ourselves), and I vividly remember meeting classmates on the Met steps on crisp autumn mornings, taking class with one of the Met’s curators, and then heading down 5th avenue to Christie’s for my fall internship. You simply cannot replicate that experience anywhere else.

Johannes Vermeer
Young Woman with a Pitcher
Metropolitan Museum of Art

WHAT DID YOU INTEND YOUR CAREER PATH TO BE WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED WORKING?

My exact role, except it did not exist when I graduated!

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, DANA WILL START TO DETAIL HER PROFESSIONAL ROLES THAT LEAD HER TO HER CURRENT POSITION. GREAT INSIGHTS FOR EVERYONE INTERESTED IN COLLECTING OR IN FOLLOWING IN HER FOOTSTEPS!

PLEASE JOIN US!

 

The importance of the new technology in the art market as analyzed in the Bank of America Private Bank survey

THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAS DRASTICALLY AFFECTED MANY INDUSTRIES, CHANGING THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE, ACQUIRE AND SELL PRODUCT. ONE OF THE INDUSTRIES THAT HAS, SURPRISINGLY, BEEN IMPACTED LESS THAN ONE WOULD THINK, GIVEN ITS BASICALLY VISUAl NATURE, IS THE ART MARKET AS SEEN IN THE RECENT PIERCINGLY INFORMATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK REPORT.

  • ART AND TECHNOLOGY
  • The art market remains one of the few industries still largely undisrupted by technology. We’re seeing innovation, but it’s still at the fringes. While online transactions are increasing, the growth of online sales has slowed, growing at 9.8% in 2018 versus 12% in 2017.
  • Internet-native art companies are trying to help. In June, private equity firm Cove Hill made an investment in online marketplace LiveAuctioneers, aiming to accelerate online sales growth for their auction house partners, while Invaluable has made it easier to source and buy lower value items. Major galleries like Gagosian and David Zwirner launched digital sales channels, but the digital revolution still eludes the art world.
  • On the transparency front, Christie’s became the first major auction house to record sales via Blockchain with the sale of the Ebsworth collection in November. At the request of the seller, Christie’s partnered with Blockchain-secured registry Artory to record its transactions. It’s an interesting development, but we’re a long way from Blockchain becoming industry standard.
  • The most significant art world technology has been the rise of Instagram. Artists market themselves, museums announce exhibits, dealers initiate sales, and collectors tout their purchases through the platform. In 2017, when the “Untitled” Basquiat sold at Sotheby’s for over $110 million, Yusaku Maezawa posted his photo on Instagram to let the world know of his acquisition. Younger collectors, artists, dealers and auction specialists are increasingly using Instagram to enhance their personal and professional brands. Expect the new status loop to fuel a herd mentality for some artists and more price volatility. So collector beware.

 

  • AS AN ASIDE, ARTISTS ARE CREATING WORKS THAT REPRODUCE EFFECTIVELY ON INSTAGRAM IN TERMS OF COLOR, DIMENSIONALITY AND SURFACE WITH THEIR AESTHETIC PRESENCE IN PERSON SOMETIMES TAKING A BACK SEAT.

 

  • ART LENDING

    Our art lending business grew by 20% year-over-year, as you all continue to unlock capital from your art to build hotels, buy sports franchises, expand companies and even buy more art, just to name a few. The four most common situations we’re seeing are:

    1. The balance sheet arbitrage: With historically low interest rates, more of you are unlocking capital from your art to redeploy into higher-return areas of your financial life, like private equity.

    2. Working capital line: During the current economic expansion, more of you are using art loans to fund the growth of your privately held companies.

    3. Monetizing a collection: The passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, making it more expensive to sell art. Instead of selling art and dealing with paying the 28% federal tax + 3% health care surtax + state taxes + sales commission, many of you have chosen to leverage your art via an art line to generate liquidity.

    4. Guarantees: We’re seeing more of you using art facilities to back guarantees at auction (but we advise caution).

    We estimate that total U.S. art loan commitments stand at $16 billion. We’re proud to have a significant portion of those loans, and we remain staunchly committed to the space. Given our forecast of continued low interest rates, stratified wealth creation, and expansion of the collector base, we expect continued growth in the space.

    Top five artists we lend against, by value:

    1. Willem de Kooning

    2. Andy Warhol
    3. Constantin Brancusi

    4. Paul Cezanne

    5. Roy Lichtenstein

    AT THE CLOSE OF THE SURVEY, BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK TARGETS THE OPPORTUNITY ZONES AND THE EFFECT OF CAPITAL GAINS TAX INCREASES AND THE REPEAL OF THE SECTION 1031 LIKE-KIND EXCHANGES PROVISION. THIS IS INVALUABLE INFORMATION FOR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN THE ART MARKET: DEALERS, GALLERISTS, AUCTION SPECIALISTS, AND MOST OF ALL COLLECTORS.

    PLEASE JOIN US!

     

A comprehensive report on the current art market from the Art Lending Services division at U.S. Trust

U.S. TRUST, AS DO MANY OF THE MOST HIGHLY REGARDED BANKING AND FINANCIAL ADVISORY INSTITUTIONS, OFFERS EXTENSIVE ART SERVICES. AS ART IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT, AND NOT SIMPLY AN AESTHETIC PLEASURE, BANKING HAS ENTERED VERY FORCEFULLY IN THE COMPETITION TO PROVIDE ART LENDING SERVICES TO HELP BOTH COLLECTORS AND INSTITUTIONS HELP NAVIGATE THE COMPLEX ART WORLD.

RECENTLY U.S. TRUST, THE PRIVATE BANKING ARM OF BANK OF AMERICA,  PUBLISHED AN EXTREMELY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS ON THE STATE OF THE CURRENT ART MARKET. IN A TIME OF TURMOIL AND CHANGE, GENERAL REEVALUATION AND A GLOBAL SHIFT IN THE ART MARKET, IT IS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT AND THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. WE ARE DELIGHTED, AS WELL, TO REPORT THAT DANA PRUSSIAN, VICE PRESIDENT AT U.S. TRUST ART LENDING SERVICES, WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG IN THE MONTHS AHEAD.

PART ONE

“We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for love, desire, legacy, culture, pleasure, addiction,

status, and community.”

Art Services Market Update

At Bank of America Private Bank, we maintain a sharp focus on the art market and on the collectors, dealers, auctions specialists and institutions that make it function. We work closely with many of you across four pillars: art lending, art planning, consignment services and institutional arts endowment management. This update features our observations on the current state of the art market from a business perspective.

The Market

  • Current low interest rates, solid equity markets and more stratified wealth creation worldwide continues to drive capital toward art. The maturation and globalization of the art market has expanded the collector base and transformed the art market from a niche lifestyle into a $60 billion global industry.1 Still, overall art market growth in terms of total art sales has stalled since 2012, even as the S&P 500has currently more than doubled since that time.
  • If the Federal Reserve (Fed) continues its dovish policy, we expect collectors’ continued allocation of capital to art. When interest rates fall, the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets like art goes down. The art market is driven by sentiment, so the greatest risk we see is a geopolitical event that impedes the global flow of capital and credit prompting collectors to pause.

• We anticipate that financial returns for contemporary art will be lower in the next decade than some may expect. The market has absorbed a lot of art since the turn of the century. An exceedingly large percentage of those works may be worth close to zero in a generation or so. And because we’re in a more mature and efficient art market, there may be fewer upside surprises than in decades past. We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for your passion, enjoyment, legacy, culture, status or community.

The Auctions

• During the New York Spring Auctions, the market absorbed over $2 billion of art at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, handily above the $1.6 billion pre-sale estimate. It was the first auction season defined by large estates of postwar
and contemporary art. Eye-catching results such as the $91 million Koons “Rabbit”, the $110 million Monet “Haystack” and the rapidly growing market for KAWS belie a more modest 5.1% annualized return2 achieved for repeat sales during the season. Given the recent performance of London auctions and the lack of clarity around a Brexit deal, New York will continue to be the premiere sale site for high-end postwar and contemporary art for the foreseeable future. Fresh-to- market works, typical of the artist’s oeuvre, in good condition, with strong provenance, continue to perform strongest at auction. Works by female and black artists also continue their rise.

• You likely saw that in June, Sotheby’s accepted a $3.7 billion buyout offer from French media entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Interestingly, Bonhams was also bought out earlier this year. Going private will allow Sotheby’s more flexibility to compete for top lots, which will benefit major collectors, and will provide time and space to evolve its business model, which, like Christie’s, is challenged. Competition for top pictures has become a race-to-the-bottom: China isn’t the growth engine everyone hoped it would be, and online sales have yet to deliver meaningful scale or margin expansion. With business margins at around 10% for the industry, auction houses are officially on the hunt for new revenue streams.

• Look for the auction houses to continue to expand into art advisory, financial services, brand licensing and even investment research as they look beyond their supply-constrained auction business. As a collector, you may see better terms when consigning top works at auction, but expect higher commissions for lower- value works. Buyer premiums will continue to expand at all levels. Finally, get ready for more convenience. Virtual reality will change how you view upcoming sales, and artificial intelligence will soon be sending you an endless array of Netflix-style lot recommendations across all categories based on what you’ve perused across the internet.

Sotheby’s now and ahead with Senior VP and Contemporary Specialist, Courtney Kremers

Sotheby’s New York

In 2015, Tad Smith was appointed to head Sotheby’s. Prior to that, Mr. Smith had spent a year as chief executive of the Madison Square Garden Company, which, among other businesses, owns the New York Knicks basketball team, the New York Rangers hockey team and Radio City Music Hall. Before that, he spent five years at Cablevision Systems, which like MSG is controlled by the family of Charles Dolan.

In an interview, Mr. Smith said he could not add to the expertise of Sotheby’s art experts, but he could act as a business catalyst. “The market for art is very large, it is global and there is an immense amount of new wealth being created every year,” he said. Sotheby’s said it was also splitting the jobs of chief executive and chairman of the board, both of which had been held by Mr. Ruprecht. Domenico De Sole, former chief executive of the Gucci Group and chairman of the luxury retailer Tom Ford International, who is currently Sotheby’s lead independent director, became its new chairman.

Tad Smith
President and CEO
Sotheby’s

In January 2016, Schwartzman and Cappellazzo joined Sotheby’s as Chairmen and Co-Heads of its newly formed Fine Art Division and the traditional structure of the auction house radically changed in an effort to adapt to an industry in flux.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2019/by-women-for-tomorrows-women-n10041.html

A recent auction was just one way in which Sotheby’s reflects and responds to the social and political issues of our times: an art exhibit and auction hosted by Sotheby’s and Miss Porter’s School called “By Women, for Tomorrow’s Women.” The event was the first all-women-artist benefit held at a major auction house.

Carmen Herrera
Sotheby’s By Women, For Tomorrow’s Women auction

Sotheby’s has taken a major leap into the 21st Century with its acquisition of Thread Genius, an AI-based recommendation platform, and Viyet, a high-end furniture design consignment platform focused on an emerging generation of antique and high-end interior design enthusiasts, just two of its recent corporate acquisitions since Mr. Smith took charge.

Viyet at Sotheby’s

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO CONTINUE ITS CONVERSATION WITH COURTNEY KREMERS, SENIOR VP AND CONTEMPORY ART SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S.

COURTNEY, WELCOME BACK.

IN 2015, TAD SMITH WAS APPOINTED PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SOTHEBY’S. SOTHEBY’S HAS BEEN RESTRUCTURED AND TRANSFORMED, ACQUIRING SEVERAL BUSINESSES THAT EXPAND OUR IDEA OF THE ROLE OF AN AUCTION HOUSE.  HOW HAS SOTHEBY’S GROWN AND CHANGED SINCE HIS APPOINTMENT?

We have changed a lot in the last few years, and that change has been exciting. We are adapting to a more global market and one that increasingly operates on digital platforms and outside the traditional auction seasons. Our business has become a 360 degree endeavor – and we are investing as much in new collectors, across all categories, as we are in those bidding in the blockbuster evening sales.  

Sotheby’s BIDnow
Live Online Bidding

SOTHEBY’S IS, UNLIKE CHRISTIE’S OR PHILLIPS, A PUBLICLY HELD COMPANY. HOW DOES THAT AFFECT ITS BUSINESS DECISIONS AND POLICIES?

As a public company, Sotheby’s has to maintain the highest standards of transparency and accountability. In a business that has a reputation for not always being those things, this distinction sets us apart. Trust is an advantage. 

Sotheby’s London

WITH A SOFTENING ART MARKET, POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY, A HIGHLY VOLATILE STOCK MARKET AND A SLOWDOWN OF GLOBAL GROWTH IN GENERAL, HOW IS THE ART MARKET AFFECTED BOTH SHORT TERM AND LONG TERM?

The art market isn’t immune to the global financial markets and political turmoil. But it is remarkably more resilient and less volatile than it was 12 years ago; it is a much more global market. I was in London in June 2017, when we held our Contemporary Sales only a few days after the Brexit vote. We had no idea what would happen, but we didn’t think it would be good. Contrary to expectations, any slack in UK bidding was far outweighed by the enthusiastic paddle raising from US and Asian collectors saw an opportunity because of currency fluctuations. The auctions were likely stronger than they would have been with no-Brexit. 

Sotheby’s Hong Kong

WHAT ARE YOUR IMMEDIATE PLANS AND FUTURE PROFESSIONAL AMBITIONS?

If I am doing exactly what I am doing now, in 20 years, I would consider myself lucky. I love my job, the artworks, the collectors I work with, and the team of people I work with. If it sounds unambitious to hope for more of the same, then so be it. 

IT DOESN’T SOUND UNAMBITIOUS AT ALL- BUT THE LRFA BLOG IS CERTAIN THAT IN MUCH LESS THAN 20 YEARS, YOU WILL HAVE RISEN HIGH IN THE RANKS AT SOTHEBY’S OR ANY OTHER ENDEAVOR YOU PURSUE. COURTNEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR INSIGHTFUL CONTRIBUTION.

Sotheby’s Paris

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, WE WELCOME TIMOTHY MACDONALD, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED, A NEW YORK BASED INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM. TIM HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COLLEAGUE, FRIEND AND SOURCE OF CLIENT REFERRAL AND WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE MANY PROJECTS HE HAS OVERSEEN, BOTH HERE AND ABROAD AND HIS LOVE OF ART AND DESIGN.

PLEASE JOIN US!

Collecting advice from an expert: Sotheby’s contemporary auction specialist Courtney Kremers

Courtney Kremers
Sotheby’s

AUCTIONS ARE BIG BUSINESS WITH EVER INCREASING INTEREST AND PARTICIPATION FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD. THANKS TO THE GLOBALIZATION OF THE ART MARKET AND THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF ART BOOSTED BY INSTAGRAM IN PARTICULAR AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN GENERAL, AND BY THE HEADLINE MAKING SUMS THAT ARE BEING REALIZED, EVERYONE FINDS THIS AN INTRIGUING SUBJECT TO FOLLOW WHETHER THEY ARE COLLECTORS OR NOT. THE COMPETITION BETWEEN HOUSES IS FIERCE AND THIS WEEK, IN NEW YORK, PRESENTS MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO PROVE THESE POINTS.

Claude Monet
Meules
Sotheby’s May 2019

ON TUESDAY OF THIS WEEK, SOTHEBY’S TRIUMPHED, OPENING THE NEW YORK AUCTION WEEK, WITH THEIR IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN SALE. ARTnews DESCRIBES IT AS SUCH:

Powered by a stunning Claude Monet landscape that doubled its estimate and elicited hearty applause in the grand salesroom, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale in New York on Tuesday galloped to a market-affirming $349.9 million tally.

Only five of the 55 lots offered failed to sell, yielding a svelte buy-in rate by lot of 9.1 percent.

The buoyant result surged past pre-sale expectations of $252.6 million to $333.2 million. Those estimates do not include the buyer’s premium. (The hammer tally for the evening, before fees, was $300.5 million.)

The total also shot past last May’s $318.3 million result for the 32 lots that sold. The top lot at that sale was Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché (sur le côté gauche), 1917, which fetched $157.2 million, making it the most expensive work ever to sell at Sotheby’s.

Tuesday’s auction ranks as the highest-earning Impression-modern evening sale at Sotheby’s since one in May 2015 that took in $368 million.

http://www.artnews.com/2019/05/15/sothebys-imp-mod-monet-meules-record/

Hans Hofmann

BEFORE WORKS CAN REACH THE DAZZLING HEIGHTS OF THE AUCTION WORLD, THEY MUST FIRST BE ACQUIRED BY PRIVATE COLLECTORS AND THAT TAKES CAREFUL DELIBERATION, INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE AS WELL AS THE GOOD FORTUNE OF A GREAT EYE AND/OR A GREAT ADVISOR.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO HAVE SOTHEBY’S SPECIALIST, SENIOR VP, COURTNEY KREMERS, TO SHARE HER ASTUTE INSIGHTS ON THE ART OF COLLECTING.

COURTNEY, WELCOME BACK! THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE.

SOME COLLECTORS, SUCH AS THE MUGRABIS,  FOCUS ON A HANDFUL OF ARTISTS, BUYING NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF WORK FROM ALL PERIODS OF THE ARTIST’S CAREER, THUS CONTROLLING TO SOME EXTENT THE MARKET FOR THE WORK?

WHAT IN YOUR OPINION ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND THE DISADVANTAGES?

There is a big difference between trying to control an artist’s market, by acquiring a significant number of works, and collecting an artist in depth. The pros/cons of this strategy are no different than having undiversified risk in any other asset class. It is high risk, high reward.

Lucio Fontana

WHEN YOU ARE WORKING WITH A RELATIVELY NEW AND UNSEASONED COLLECTOR, WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE THAT YOU CAN GIVE THEM?

Collecting involves a careful balance of restraint and gut. At the beginning, the formula should be weighted toward restraint and research, but as you develop a real eye, gut becomes a crucial part of the equation.

HOW DO YOU EDUCATE THE POTENTIAL COLLECTOR IN THE ART OF COLLECTING? WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES DO YOU GIVE THEM?

It isn’t only about buying what you love. For an unseasoned collector, that advice can be a recipe for disaster, or at the very least, for overpaying. The word, “love”, is also confusing to collectors, because what does that mean when it comes to art? Your relationship with an object can grow from something that first would be described as discomfort, because it gets under your skin, stays with you, challenges something you thought you knew. In other words, the reaction to a great object doesn’t always start out as positive experience in a traditional sense, but it can evolve into that. Aside from the gut reaction you feel, which is what makes collecting so emotionally rewarding, you should always ask questions and understand what you are buying, how the work fits into the artist’s overall body of work, what the condition is, which galleries support the artist, which museums have shown the artist, etc. The list of questions is long and you should consider the answers to each one.

Sam Francis

YOU WORKED FOR KIM HIERSTON, WHOM I LIKE AND ADMIRE, IN HER ART ADVISORY FIRM.  WHAT WERE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?

Tons of research, among other things. Kim is extremely thorough and disciplined about every artwork she puts forward for a collector’s consideration. It was an information gathering operation first, art advisory second; you can’t advise unless you have all the facts. We spent a lot of time reviewing the artworks on offer through galleries, at art fairs, and in the auctions, and then thinking about how those works might fit into a particular client’s collection, and if so, what the right price was. Once an acquisition was made, we handled all the back end logistics that come with building an art collection – insurance, shipping, framing, conservation. It was a soup to nuts job.

George Condo

WHAT WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS YOU LEARNED WHEN WORKING AS AN ADVISOR?  YOU MUST INTERACT WITH A GREAT MANY ADVISORS NOW, AS A SPECIALIST AT SOTHEBY’S. WHAT CHARACTERIZES THE BEST AND THE WORST OF THEM?

There are advisors who do their own research and who spend a considerable amount of time looking at art and understanding the objects, and then there are advisors who just repeat what they hear elsewhere. The parrots are just that, parrots.

NB- THE WORKS ILLUSTRATED IN THIS BLOG (EXCEPT THE MONET) ARE FORTHCOMING LOTS IN THE SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY DAY SALE, ON FRIDAY, MAY 17th.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, COURTNEY WILL SPEAK ABOUT LIFE AT SOTHEBY’S IN THIS AGE OF COLLECTING. WE CAN’T WAIT!

Face to face with Julia Wehkamp, co-founder of One Art Nation: seminars, symposia, lectures

One Art Nation
Co-founders Julia Wehkamp and Amanda Dunn

AS COMPETITIVE AND GLOBALIZED AS THE ART MARKET ITSELF, THE DEMAND FOR INTERESTING, INFORMATIVE EDUCATIONAL LECTURES ON ART AND ART MANAGEMENT AND SEMINARS FEATURING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS, LUMINARIES IN THE WORLD OF ART, HAS GROWN IN RESPONSE TO THE EVER INCREASING NUMBER OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO VISIT ART FAIRS, MUSEUMS, AND GALLERIES AS WELL AS  THOSE WHO ACTUALLY PURCHASE WORKS.

ONE ART NATION OFFERS OFFLINE SYMPOSIA TO BRING TOGETHER LEADING ADVISORS, DEALERS, CRITICS AND ARTISTS TO SPEAK, IN NEW YORK, TORONTO, SOUTHAMPTON, AND OTHER VENUES, AND INITIATES PANEL DISCUSSIONS WITH  EXPERTS FROM THE CREATIVE FIELDS AS WELL AS FROM THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ART WORLD.

Guerrilla Girls

JULIA, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SYMPOSIUM IN TERMS OF ITS TOPICS AND ITS SPEAKERS?

Yes, we have had the pleasure of working with various art fairs, heading up their educational programing. All our talks have been recorded and produced as online content, for those who were not able to make it on site to the fairs. These can be found here. The One Art Nation Symposia have allowed us to work with some incredible experts and opinion leaders. Some highlights include a talk at CONTEXT / Art New York, where we featured a panel, led by pre-eminent art lawyer Barbara Hoffman with an original member of The Guerrilla Girls, Rosalba Carriera, legendary photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, and artist and filmmaker Jack Waters, as they discussed New York’s electrifying cultural scene, the artists that left their mark, and the vibrant scene today, which is the legacy: When Creativity Ruled the Streets. The same Symposium presented When Art Meets Rock n’ Roll, a discussion between celebrated photographer Bob Gruen ​and rock and roll icon Jason Newsted of Metallica, who was making his artistic debut. 

Barbara Hoffman
Hoffman Law Firm

THE SITE ALSO ACTS AS A GUIDE TO UPCOMING ART FAIRS, MUSEUM SHOWS AND GALLERY EXHIBITIONS. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FAIRS AND EXHIBITIONS YOU PUBLICIZE AND HOW HAS THIS SELECTION – AN ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING – BEEN MADE?

Yes, we feature talked-about events in an easy to navigate calendar  with specific search functionality, ensuring art lovers never miss an important art fair, exhibition or event. We invite our Network Members to submit events, which are then vetted for relevance. Those that our selection committee deems to be significant for our overall global membership are published live within 24 hours. We also feature events that 1AN is involved with or attending, supporting the community as a whole. Every month, we select four of those events to feature in our eNewsletter.

Demystifying the Art World panel

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH TOPICS ARE THE MOST RELEVANT AND WHAT TO HIGHLIGHT TO YOUR READERSHIP FROM THE VAST POOL OF INFORMATION CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO US IN EVERY FORM?

We curate our content very carefully to the needs of our membership. We do so, by sending out monthly polls to gather information on what type of education they are seeking, what is currently missing, where their interests lie, what their art market goals are, etc. By analyzing the results, as well as more targeted surveys, general market research and face-to-face conversations about the learning needs of our audiences, we design an ever-evolving selection of content, which we then match up with opinion leaders in those given fields to deliver education based on their experiences and expertise.

Evan Beard
U.S. Trust
National Art Services

YOUR NETWORK INCLUDES TOP PROFESSIONALS GLEANED FROM A VERY WIDE RANGE OF EXPERTISE: LEGAL, COLLECTION MANAGEMENT, INSURANCE, APPRAISALS, WEALTH AND FINANCE. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR MOST RESPECTED CONTRIBUTORS AND HOW DOES THE SELECTION PROCESS WORK?

As mentioned above, we start by determining what our audience wants and needs to learn about. From there, we research the most knowledgeable sources to deliver that education. These sources are targeted, regardless of their geographic location, and invited to contribute to our growing program of courses under various models of collaboration. We are very selective of whom we invite to contribute, but some of our most popular videos are led by Annelien Bruins, whom Spears Wealth Management named Best Art Advisor multiple years in a row; Evan Beard, the Global Art Services Executive with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; and Gracie Mansion, legendary New York art dealer. 

Gracie Mansion
Art dealer

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, CO-FOUNDER JULIA WEHKAMP WILL INFORM US OF THEIR MEMBERSHIP PROFILE AND PLANS FOR THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS EXCEPTIONAL ART EDUCATION SITE.  PLEASE JOIN US!

Educating the art advisor, with co-founder of One Art Nation, the art education go-to site, Julia Wehkemp

Art Advisory 101
One Art Nation

IN TODAY’S OVERHEATED YET UNPREDICTABLE ART MARKET, WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF ARTWORK CHANGING HANDS ANNUALLY, SOME COLLECTORS LOOK TO THE EXPERTISE OF ART ADVISORY SERVICES FOR GUIDANCE ON HOW TO COLLECT WITH CONFIDENCE AND LONG-TERM VALUE.  THE BEST ADVISORS START WITH AN INITIAL DIALOGUE WITH THE CLIENT TO ESTABLISH THEIR GOALS AND AESTHETIC DIRECTION, INVESTING TIME IN VISITING GALLERIES, PREVIEWING AUCTIONS AND TRAVELING TO ART FAIRS BEFORE ANY PURCHASES ARE MADE. WHEN THE SELECTION PROCESS BEGINS, THE HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE, INVESTMENT VALUE, CONDITION AND PROVENANCE OF THE WORK ARE BUT A FEW OF THE ISSUES THAT A PROFESSIONAL CONSIDERS IN DETERMINING THE ACQUISITION OF A WORK, AND HOW HIGH TO BID AT AUCTION OR IN THE SECONDARY MARKET.

Art Advisory 101
One Art Nation

THE AUCTION HOUSES OFFER COURSES, BOTH ONLINE AND IN PERSON, IN BUILDING A COLLECTION AND THE VALUE OF ART AND INTRODUCTIONS TO CONTEMPORARY ART BUT ONE ART NATION IS UNIQUE IN ITS FOCUSED AND ACCESSIBLE PROGRAMS ON BECOMING AN ART ADVISOR AND ON THE ROLE THE ADVISOR PLAYS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ART MARKET AND COLLECTING.

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO INVITE JULIA WEHKAMP, CO-FOUNDER OF ONE ART NATION, TO EXPOUND ON THE ART ADVISORY PROGRAMS 1AN CAN OFFER BOTH THE ASPIRING AND THE EXPERIENCED ADVISOR.

https://www.oneartnation.com/

Julia Wehkamp
Co-Founder, One Art Nation

JULIA, ART ADVISORY 101 IS A VERY COMPREHENSIVE COURSE ON THE BUSINESS OF ART CONSULTING.

THE ART ADVISORY FIELD DOES NOT HAVE A STANDARD FOR BEST PRACTICE UNLESS ONE WISHES TO VOLUNTARILY APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP TO AN ORGANIZATION SUCH AS THE APAA (ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS).

WHAT ARE THE TOPICS THIS COURSE COVERS?

That’s true… No industry-wide standard exists for best practice: not for individual art advisors nor art advisory firms. Oftentimes this opacity prevents collectors from hiring an art advisor. This is unfortunate because a good art advisor provides tremendous value to their clients: educating them on art, saving them time and money, and reducing their transactional risk.

Aspiring art advisors, too, are left to their own devices when it comes to navigating the idiosyncrasies of the art market. No education exists on topics such as appropriate fee models or managing client relationships, including potential conflicts of interest. Until now…

We have created the Art Advisory 101 Program to set an industry-wide standard for the art advisory profession. The program consists of a series of informative and interactive online courses, which have been created to guide aspiring art advisors on how to navigate the art world, set up a successful art advisory business and follow best practice. The five pre-recorded modules cover:

  • Art Market Fundamentals
  • The Drivers of Value in Art
  • Helping Your Clients Build a Meaningful Collection
  • Managing and Selling Art Collections
  • How to Set Up Your Own Art Advisory Business

Annelien Bruins of Tang Art Advisory

ON THE ONE ART NATION WEBSITE, ANNELIEN BRUINS, CEO AND SENIOR ART ADVISOR OF TANG ART ADVISORY, SHARES HER EXPERIENCE ON HOW TO BECOME AN ART ADVISOR. THIS IS JUST A SAMPLING OF THE SCOPE OF THE 1AN ART ADVISORY 101 PROGRAM

What does an art advisor do?
An art advisor advises emerging and experienced art collectors on all matters related to the acquisition, sale and management of their art collections. In a market as opaque as the art market, art advisors provide value by acting as their clients’ advocate. By providing market research and art expertise, art advisors save their clients money and time, and reduce their transactional risk.

How can I set myself apart as a professional, best-in-class art advisor?
It starts, of course, with your knowledge of and eye for art. You simply have to be good at what you do. But in an unregulated market like the art market, it’s possible to distinguish yourself by how you conduct your business. You set yourself apart by following best practice guidelines: transparency on remuneration, avoidance of conflict of interest and complete independence from auction houses and galleries.

How can you distinguish between a novice and an experienced art advisor?
There is of course no substitute for experience. The longer you do something, the better you become at doing it. That said, we feel that we can make it easier for emerging art advisors like yourself to enter the market and set up your business. Rather than you having to learn the ropes for yourself over the course of years, we save you that time by providing art advisory essentials in the Art Advisory 101 program.

https://www.oneartnation.com/5-questions-on-becoming-an-art-advisor/

JULIA, HOW DO YOU PLAN TO EXPAND THIS PROGRAM?

Currently, we are producing Art Advisory 201, the sequel to Art Advisory 101 program, based on popular demand by more established art advisors. We discuss best practice, legal and business considerations for art advisors and how to successfully market their services and grow their firm. We have also included two in-depth modules on acquisitions and sales – all with the idea of bringing increased professionalism and transparency to the international art world.

CRUCIAL TO ANY BUSINESS BUT PARTICULARLY SIGNIFICANT IN THE ART BUSINESS, WHICH HAS EXPLODED TO GLOBAL PROPORTIONS, IS THE ART OF STAYING CURRENT. ART ADVISORY 201 SHOULD PROVE AN INVALUABLE TOOL FOR EVERY ADVISOR, NO MATTER HOW EXPERIENCED.

THE LRFA BLOG LOOKS FORWARD TO LEARNING ABOUT ONE ART NATION’S PARTICIPATION IN SEMINARS AND LECTURE SERIES IN OUR NEXT POST WITH CO-FOUNDER JULIA WEHKAMP.

JULIA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BLOG AND THE GREAT PROGRAMS YOU OFFER.

STAY TUNED!

Ellery Kurtz and the Spanierman Gallery, a heyday in American art

 

John Henry Twachtman
American, 1853-1902
Kepler Cascades, circa 1895.

SINCE ITS FOUNDING BY IRA SPANIERMAN IN THE 1960S, SPANIERMAN GALLERY’S EXHIBITIONS, RESEARCH AND CATALOGUES HAVE MADE AN IMMEASURABLE CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN ART HISTORY AND CONNOISEURSHIP. MR. SPANIERMAN’S SCHOLARSHIP AND DEEP UNDERSTANDING HAVE PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN BUILDING THE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE THAT NOW EXISTS ON AMERICAN ART AND ARTISTS FROM THE COLONIAL ERA THROUGH THE MID-20TH CENTURY. SPANIERMAN GALLERY HAS ALSO PLACED MANY WORKS OF ICONIC VALUE IN PROMINENT PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Philip Leslie Hale
Collection of Spanierman Gallery at Doyle

IN 2012, THE GALLERY INVENTORY WENT ON THE BLOCK AT DOYLE AUCTION HOUSE. SPANIERMAN GALLERY’S EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF TRADITIONAL AMERICAN ART CREATED AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR COLLECTORS AND CURATORS TO ACQUIRE WORKS CAREFULLY CHOSEN BY ONE OF THE ART WORLD’S LEADING FIGURES IN AMERICAN ART. MR. SPANIERMAN’S EYE FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY, THE UNIQUE, THE INTERESTING AND THE BEAUTIFUL WAS WELL DEMONSTRATED.

https://doyle.com/auctions/12pt02-european-american-modern-contemporary-art/spanierman-gallery-llc-collection

William Merritt Chase
At the Seaside
Metropolitan Museum of Art

IN 2014, SPANIERMAN GALLERY CLOSED. ANTIQUES AND THE ARTS INTERVIEWED IRA AT THE TIME.

NEW YORK CITY — Spanierman Gallery, a leading specialist in American art, is closing its doors in December. The gallery’s owner and namesake, Ira Spanierman, said that, at age 86 and after more than 60 years in business, he is ready for some time off.

“I didn’t want to sell my business to anyone because I don’t want to entrust my name. I want to go out the way I came in,” Spanierman told Antiques and The Arts Weekly.

Founded in 1928, Spanierman initiated catalogue raisonné projects for the artists John Henry Twachtman, Theodore Robinson and Willard Metcalf, and sponsored work on Winslow Homer. It has organized or underwritten exhibitions of Homer, Twachtman, Fitz Henry Lane and Emile A. Gruppe, among others, and has sold to nearly every major museum in the United States plus many abroad.

Raphael
Lorenzo de Medici

Ira Spanierman said that his most exciting discovery may have been a portrait of Lorenzo de Medici by Raphael that he bought for $325 in 1968. Auctioned by Christie’s in 2007, it brought $37.3 million.

Spanierman said he was instrumental in selling Alice Walton her first historical American painting, a landscape by William Merritt Chase.

https://www.antiquesandthearts.com/web-10-3-14-spanierman-closing/

Boston Harbor, Sunset
Oil on canvas
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Gift of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr.

ELLERY, WE MET WHEN YOU WERE A DIRECTOR AT SPANIERMAN. IRA WAS LEGENDARY IN HIS COMMITMENT AND PASSION FOR AMERICAN ART AND EDUCATING BOTH AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN COLLECTORS IN THIS FIELD.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR COLLECTIONS YOU WORKED ON?

I joined Spanierman Gallery in 1986 as their Registrar.  The American Art world was on fire with paintings coming out of the woodwork and new collectors, as well as older collectors acquiring paintings on a regular basis.  One of the collections I helped build was for a very quiet but astute gentleman who acquired wonderful Impressionist and Modernist paintings by artists such as Winslow Homer, Theodore Robinson, Willard Metcalf, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper and many others.  Every 8 to 12 months a new work was added to his walls.  Another quiet but diligent collector was buying luminist paintings of the Hudson River School.  Both of these collections are of the highest caliber.

Victor Dubreuil
Grover Cleveland
White House Historical Collection

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MUSEUM PLACEMENTS THAT YOU HAVE MADE?

One of the more satisfying experiences for me was placing a small recently rediscovered trompe l’oeil painting by Victor Dubreuil of a postcard President Grover Cleveland tacked to a wood background.  The White House Historical Association acquired the painting for the residence. Although it was far from being what I would have called an expensive work of art, I felt like a million dollars. I was extremely proud of that sale. Placing an American painting of an American President into the most famous residence in America made me feel….well, very American.

HOW DOES SELLING TO A PRIVATE COLLECTOR DIFFER FROM SELLING TO A MUSEUM OR PUBLIC INSTITUTION?

Museums require more patience as their acquisition process is more involved and has more hurdles to jump.  Initial curator visits turn into requests for paintings to be sent to the institution for multiple board meetings.  The process often takes many months.  Still, placing works with a museum is quite rewarding.  Knowing that those paintings will now be seen by hundreds of thousands of people thanks to my efforts does make the waiting worthwhile.

Private collectors do require patience as well, but in a dissimilar fashion.  Collectors generally do not have as much knowledge as museum curators although there are always exceptions.  While there are many private collectors who are knowledgeable about the artist, there are other factors that still require explanation such as condition, or historical significance.  Collectors react to paintings more intuitively while museums are far more focused on historical significance and how a work “fits” into the collection academically.

Willard Metcalf
Summer Morning, Giverny

CAN YOU TRACK THE INTEREST IN AMERICAN ART FROM WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED TO WORK IN THE FIELD TO THE PRESENT TIME?

Looking back to 1970, scholarship in American Art has exploded.  In 1970, while you could have a rather large library dedicated to American Art, the amount of publications since then has been incredible.  Museums and galleries both published monographs, catalogue raisonnés, coffee table books, and countless exhibition catalogues on private collections, individual artists, movements or themes.  The level of scholarship increased with each year. Dozens of galleries devoted their bin space strictly to American Art.  New museums opened that were dedicated to American Art and older museums added works to their collections annually. It became competitive. Auction prices rose dramatically with the exception of years of economic distress.

Frederic Childe Hassam
The Afternoon in the Rain

HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE PEAKS AND VALLEYS OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET?

It was those years when markets slowed down as prices dropped but the troughs were always accentuated by the peaks and prices moving up as economic prosperity returned after each recession.

The current downward trend has many reasons.  The economic recession of 2008 took the wind out of the sails after many good years of strong headwinds.  It has not quite returned.  Why? Older buyers have filled their walls. Important collectors have donated their collections to museums or promised them upon their demise.  Not enough top end material is being discovered anymore. 

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, ELLERY WILL ANALYZE THE PROFILE OF THE CURRENT COLLECTORS AND HOW THEIR ATTITUDE AFFECTS THE CURRENT MARKET FOR 19th AND 20th CENTURY AMERICAN ART.

WE HAVE WITH US A GREAT EXPERT IN THIS FIELD WHO HAS PLACED MANY MASTERPIECES OF AMERICAN ART IN BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS. ELLERY IS AN ASTUTE OBSERVER OF THE EBB AND FLOW OF ITS MARKET. ELLERY AND THE LRFA BLOG WELCOME YOUR QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON THE SUBJECT.

FIRE AWAY!

 

APAA: best practices now and in the future

APAA

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ART ADVISORS IS UNIQUE IN OFFERING A FORMAL REGULATORY BODY OF RULES FOR THEIR MEMBERS. THIS CODE OF ETHICS MAINTAINS THAT FIRST AND FOREMOST, AN ADVISOR SHOULD SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE CLIENT, NOT HOLD INVENTORY, OR ACCEPT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION THAT COULD CREATE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
ON A PRACTICAL NOTE, THE EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE AN ADVISOR CAN DEMONSTRATE IN THE DAILY REQUIREMENTS OF THE JOB (SHIPPING, INSURANCE, FRAMING, CONSERVATION, ETC.)  REASSURE A CLIENT THAT THE ADVISOR KNOWS WHAT HE OR SHE IS DOING WITH THE DETAILS AS WELL AS THE BIGGER PICTURE OF THE MARKET, AUCTION AND BIDDING.  APAA PROVIDES A PHENOMENAL SUPPORT SYTEM, SENDING NEARLY DAILY EMAILS REQUESTING AND GIVING RECOMMENDATIONS OF SPECIALISTS IN THE ART WORLD’S FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
TODAY, WE WELCOME BACK WENDY CROMWELL, BOARD MEMBER OF APAA, FOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL OF CROMWELL ART, LLC. TO SPEAK ON THIS AND THE FUTURE OF APAA.

WENDY, HOW DOES THE APAA PROVIDE INFORMATION ON THE SERVICE INDUSTRY THAT IS CRUCIAL TO THE ROLE OF THE ART ADVISOR? WHAT ARE SOME CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION THAT ARE AVAILABLE?

One of the great aspects of membership is our ability to tap into each other’s expertise. If you need an installer in Shanghai or a framer in Dubai, an APAA member will have a suggestion for you. These contacts and resources – appraisers, framers, installers, insurance experts, lighting specialists, photographers, shipping/storage experts – are part of a database maintained by APAA that is accessible to APAA members.

APAA PROVIDES A CONNECTION TO BUSINESS THAT PROVIDE RESOURCES THAT ARE VITAL TO THE ART COMMUNITY, SUCH AS LICENSED APPRAISALS, MARKETING, LIGHTING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE. HOW DID THIS LIST EVOLVE AND WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR BEING INCLUDED?

APAA Affiliate members are industry experts who are recommended by current APAA members.  The criteria for Affiliates is similar to those for advisors – everyone has at least 10 years’ experience in the field.

APAA IS PREDOMINANTLY AMERICAN IN MEMBERSHIP BUT WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE REPRESENTED AND WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS TO EXPAND THE MEMBERSHIP NOW THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A GLOBALIZED ART MARKET?

Many of APAA’s US members have been working internationally for decades. Over time, the business practices of our colleagues worldwide have begun to reflect APAA’s code of ethics and best practices, and there are a growing number of APAA members in London, Paris, the Netherlands and Switzerland.  We hope to see more growth in Asia and the Pacific Rim in the coming years.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR APAA IN GENERAL AND FOR PANEL DISCUSSIONS, MEMBERSHIP EVENTS?

Technology makes it possible for APAA members to be in regular communication, but the opportunity to meet in person is always energizing. Our annual meeting is coming up on May 1, and we recently toured the Rockefeller collection at Christie’s in advance of those sales.  We’ll also focus on member programs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. The goal is to provide timely, smart information that supports APAA members in their work, and helps spread the philosophy of connoisseurship and best practices to the art field at large.

WENDY, AND THE TEAM AT APAA, THIS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE INFORMATIVE OR BETTER RECEIVED. THE LRFA BLOG THANKS YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION AND SUPPORT!

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!