Scott Reyburn sums up on Bloomberg the breadth of the Lehman-related sales taking place this Autumn. All together, $16 million is expected to be raised for the works that range from under $1000 office decorations to Freud, Gursky and Hirst works that will be featured in Contemporary art sales in London.
The value of sales is hard to predict because the Lehman provenance has helped attract buyers for both historical reasons and lurid fascination
“Everyone recognizes the bankruptcy was the turning point in the economy,” William Porter, head of British and Irish art at Christie’s South Kensington, said in an interview. “The infamy of the name is a good provenance. The attraction lies in the car-crash element.”
But not all of the provenance comes from Lehman’s misfortune. Philadelphia-based Freeman’s auction house saw buyers in their successful earlier sales who were comforted by Lehman’s imprimatur:
“We had a lot of new buyers,” Anne Henry, the company’s vice-president of modern and contemporary art, said in an interview. “Some were bankers looking for trophies. Others were people who thought that if it was good enough for Lehman, then it was good enough for them to dip a toe into art collecting. Provenance had everything to do with it.”