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Category Archives: Art Finance

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Top Four Auction Houses With Online Art Trading Platforms Lead Global Online Trade Volumes Capturing $144 Million In Combined 2014 Sales

Posted in Art Finance, Art Intelligence

As recently reported by Skate’s earlier this week, four art auction houses with online art trading platforms, namely, Auctionata, Paddle8, Christie’s, and artnet.com AG, generated a combined $144 million in gross merchandise volume (“GMV”) in 2014, which represents on average a doubling of the volume of global online trade compared to 2013. Berlin-based Auctionata came… Continue Reading

Davos Debate: Growth of the International Art Market

Posted in Art Finance

Last week, the Financial Times and Julius Baer hosted a debate in Davos, where writers, economists, art show producers, and collectors discussed the significant growth of the international art market, and recognized the $70 billion a year industry as a significant economic force.  Read the full article here. Here are some high points: Peter Aspden,… Continue Reading

Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction Sets All-Time Record For An Auction

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

Not to be outdone by its rival, Sotheby’s, as reported here, last week Christie’s in New York surpassed its prior record of $745 million set back in May at Christie’s contemporary art auction and brought in the “highest-ever for an auction” at its recent contemporary art auction “grossing $852.9 million across 75 lots.”  Nearly all… Continue Reading

Delaware Museum of Art Receives Generous Donation Despite Recent Move to Sell Off Art

Posted in Art Finance, Art Museums

The Delaware Museum of Art, home to the Bankcroft Collection – a beautiful collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, recently received three generous gifts totaling $1.7M from two anonymous donors and prominent Wilmington, Delaware residents, Peggy and Edgar S. Woolard. The museum invested the funds in what has been named the Annette Woolard-Provine Endowed Curatorship, which is… Continue Reading

Sotheby’s Fall Impressionist And Modern Auction Is A Success Setting Record High Of $422M In Sales

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

Earlier this week Sotheby’s opened the fall auction season with an impressive record high of $422 million in sales in a single auction for the world’s fourth oldest auction house in continuous operation. As reported here, of the 73 lots up for auction, 15 lots did not sell, hence the average sell-through rate of 79… Continue Reading

Skate’s Releases Inaugural Masterpieces Market Report for Fall 2014

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

This week Skate’s LLC, often referred to as one of the world’s leading art investment firms, released its inaugural Masterpieces Market Report for the third quarter of 2014.  If you haven’t already noticed from my previous posts on Skate’s publications, I am a frequent reader and admirer of Skate’s various reports, which I personally find… Continue Reading

Duke University’s the Nasher Art Museum Receives Generous Donation from Alumnus

Posted in Art Finance

Last week, Nasher Art Museum, the museum of my alma mater, Duke University, received a generous $1 million donation from Dallas entrepreneur and collector, Derek Wilson (Duke, Trinity College ’86; Fuqua School of Business ’90) and his wife Christen, an avid connoisseur of art and fashion in her own right.  I worked at the museum (before being… Continue Reading

Collateral Damage: Mexican Drug-Money Law Impacts Mexican Gallery Owners

Posted in Art Finance

The Washington Post recently reported that a Mexican anti-money-laundering law that went into effect last year has unintentionally “frozen” the art market. The anti-money-laundering law is aimed at “limiting the use of cash and requiring [certain] businesses to give more information to the government about their customers.” Gallery owners and auction houses have become “collateral… Continue Reading

A Unique Blend Of Artist Collective And Hedge Fund To Benefit Artists From Around The World

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

A fascinating article on Bloomberg.com recently highlighted the globally based Artist Pension Trust (APT), which is claimed to hold the largest global collection of contemporary art, including 10,000 contributed artworks from 2,000 artists in 75 different countries.  APT offers artists a unique blend of artist collective and hedge fund. Launched ten years ago by high-tech… Continue Reading

Skate’s Unveils Its Art Industry Scorecard 2013 in Part 2 of Skate’s Annual Art Investment Report for 2013

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

In Part 2 of Skate’s Annual Art Investment Report for 2013, Skate’s Art Market Research reveals its Art Industry Scorecard 2013, a unique art industry rating created by Skate’s in 2012.  The companies selected for the recently developed rating participate in the art industry either through a significant part of their activities or have an… Continue Reading

Update – Sotheby’s Fetches $13M USD for Esmerian Collection of Folk Art

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Last month, Sotheby’s sold the art collection of former jeweler to the stars, art collector and former chairman of the Folk Art Museum in New York City, Ralph O. Esmerian.  Fetching $13M USD, the sale has been reported to be the highest for any American folk art collection.  As reported in a previous blog post, Esmerian… Continue Reading

Art of War: Asher Edelman Brings Suit Seeking Over $200 Million in Damages for Alleged Art Fraud

Posted in Art Finance, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

The well-known art collector and financier Asher Edelman has instituted a lawsuit in Manhattan claiming that his firm, ArtAssure, was fleeced of over $200 million arising out of an allegedlly fraudulent art transaction. ArtAssure claims that it was fraudulently induced by the Swiss firm Artmentum to believe that Japan’s Hiroshima Art Museum was trying to sell approximately $400… Continue Reading


Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation

As a supplement to its highly acclaimed publications devoted to the state of the global art market, Skate’s Art Market Research recently launched its latest publication entitled Skate’s Focus. In its selection of the country of Poland, regarded as a “young but innovative and quickly growing art market in central Europe,” for the pilot issue Skate’s… Continue Reading

London Auction Results Indicate Art Market Remains Strong

Posted in Art Finance

A recent contemporary art auction at Sotheby’s in London brought in more than £74 million, which, according to the Huffington Post, is the auction house’s second-highest total for a February sale of contemporary art in London. The sale of the auction included works by Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko and Francis Bacon.  According to the article, buyers from 14 countries participated… Continue Reading

Strong Contemporary Art Sales in London

Posted in Art Finance

Following their American counterparts, which occurred last month in New York, Contemporary art sales in London held strong this week.  An article in The Art Newspaper discusses these successes but asks "how much longer the art market, especially at the top end, would remain unaffected by the turmoil in the global economy." Certain blue chip… Continue Reading

Contemporary Strongest of May Auctions

Posted in Art Finance

According to Skate’s Art Market Research, "the contemporary segment experienced the most valuable sales results in May."  The most expensive piece at these auctions, Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow, sold for $86.9 million – almost double its estimate.  The work is the most valuable work by Rothko ever sold.  Repeat sales also showed the strength of… Continue Reading

Art: A Smart Investment?

Posted in Art Finance

With art prices rising higher and higher, speculators wonder if art is and will continue to be a good investment.  After all, eleven of the twenty highest prices ever paid at auction have occurred since the financial bubble burst in 2008.  Adam Davidson asks this question in this New York Times Magazine article.  He explains… Continue Reading

Gender Can Affect Art Market Prices

Posted in Art Finance

In this article, the Economist finds a disparity between the price of art works by men and works by women. At a recent auction at Christie’s which brought in $388 million, for example, 20% of works were by women, but less than 5% of total profits came from those works.  The average price of the ten… Continue Reading

Upcoming Week of Big Ticket Auctions

Posted in Art Finance

This week, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips de Pury will take turns selling blue chip Contemporary Art at their respective May sales.  After Sotheby’s success at its Impressionist and Modern sale last week, what should we expect from these auctions? According to ArtInfo, a Rothko titled "Orange, Red, Yellow" (1961) at an estimate of $35-45 million… Continue Reading