Monday, July 27, 2009

Simply the best - art collectors

Few of us have billions, or even millions to invest in our art collections. Most of us are lucky to have some works by local artists and maybe a few extraordinary pieces. However, there is a rare breed out there who chooses to not just invest their bags of money in houses, luxury yachts, and cars - but in really great art.

I came across a really great slideshow from Forbes that lists the world's top billionaire art collectors, including Eli Broad, Francois Pinault, and members of the Lauder family.

click here to see the slideshow and see one example below:

Steven Cohen

Art collection: $750 million

Hedge fund titan has been a prolific buyer of art, said to have spent upward of $500 million in recent years. He paid David Geffen a record $137 million for a de Kooning, a month after having paid him $63.5 million for another de Kooning. He agreed to pay $139 million for a Picasso, but the sale fell apart after seller Stephen Wynn put his elbow through the painting. Also owns Damien's Hirst's 13-foot shark (pictured); encased in formaldehyde, it reportedly rotted and was replaced. His SAC Capital bought a stake in Sotheby's auction house earlier this year.

Monday, July 20, 2009


If your art collection consists of your 3-year-old's finger paintings, then your art collection organizational tools probably consist of the front of your refrigerator, the trash bin, and perhaps a cardboard box... for the really good ones.

However, if you are seriously collecting art, then it is important to keep track of your collection with something other than paper and pen - after all, we are living in the digital age now.

Coming to our rescue are art collection management systems! Designed to keep track of sales, purchases, leads, reports, and much more, software systems like these can be tailored to your needs. There are a lot of them out there, some are free and online, while some of the more advanced systems cost a little more. Below are some links:

ArtSystems - a pretty advanced system for galleries and larger collections

ArtBase - excellent - many NYC galleries use this

My Art Collection - a little less sophisticated but good for smaller collections

Monday, July 13, 2009

Craig Robins' residency program

Today I'm going to shift focus just a little bit...

One of the great things about being an avid art collector is getting to know artists. Not only do art collectors meet gallerists, museum directors, and other art world insiders, but collectors often become close with the artists they collect. That love for art and artists, combined with an often larger than life checkbook can actually be used for something quite good...

Craig Robins, an American art collector (and man behind Art Basel Miami Beach), has envisioned and is supporting a very large art residency in Miami (through the University of Miami). Every two years, 25 international artists would take part in the program, which hopes to be very non-traditional and is estimated to cost $7 million for the first 3 years.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yale & Conservation

Today I was posting at another blog of mine about one of my favorite art museums (the Yale University Art Gallery) and realized that their current exhibition focuses on one of my favorite topics I cover on this blog. I have recently been posting about the importance of conservation and the ethics surrounding it (here and here), and think this is a show that I definitely have to get up there to see.

Yale University Art Gallery
New Haven, CT
through September 6, 2009
This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to explore the process of fine-arts conservation, uncovering the relationship between curators and conservators and the objects entrusted to their care. Each of the works in the exhibition illustrates a different conservation dilemma. The passage of time impacts not only the physical state of an object but also the techniques used to preserve it. Time Will Tell examines the evolving science of conservation and the questions that arise in preserving works of art while staying faithful to the artists’ intentions.