The art market may be getting some zzzz’s these days, but you wouldn’t know that from the crowd that turned out to celebrate the new offices of Ronald Varney Fine Arts Agents.
One hundred or so people collected in the firm’s pleasant new digs at 130 West 57th Street, munching hors d’oeuvres and rubbing elbows, literally, with people they knew or wanted to.
The rooms were full of private bankers, trust and estate lawyers, financial advisers, auction house specialists and some friends of friends. Among the guests: Linda Zambelli and Charles Merrill of US Trust; Janay Wong of the Nabi Gallery; Charles McCool of UBS; Sally Bliss of Merrill Lynch; Rozlyn Anderson of Brown Brothers Harriman; G. William Haas of Morris Cohen LLP and David Park of Bedford Insurance Brokerage as well as people from Bessemer Trust, Fiduciary Trust, Morgan Stanley, etc.
Varney, whose extensive background includes a lengthy stint as a senior exec at Sotheby’s, launched his art advisory business from his Westchester home in 2002, and recently expanded, bringing in as his managing director Jane Borthwick, formerly the U.S. President of D. Porthault. Also newly arrived, associate Anne Bracegirdle, ex-Christie’s.
Varney’s website(www.ronaldvarney.com) now produces a newsletter, the first edition of which identifies his new location as the landmarked Renaissance Studios, built in 1907 and long-time home to the studio of American Impressionist Childe Hassam.
The site features a highly personal, engagingly digressive newsletter, intended to appear monthly, which will cover “various themes and topics while providing my own personal perspective on the global art market. We will recall some of its history and traditions; speak with collectors, dealers and auction house specialists for their insights and opinions; and explore some of the controversies that occasionally swirl about us.”