The muted Impressionist & Modern sales in New York raise the real possibility that investment-grade sector of the art market has lost some of its demand. When you think about it, there’s a certain macro-sense to all of this. During the height of the deflationary moment from 2009-2011, many business owners were still generating a great deal of cash and saw no place in the financial universe to store it.
Prominent investors were extolling the value of art as a strong-box. But as the worst of Euro crisis has subsided (for now) and corporate earnings seem stalled, there may simply be less demand for storing value in art; therefore, there’s less demand for blue chip Picassos & Monets.
Then, again, Bloomberg announces the launch of another art fund. This one heavily skewed toward the asset management side of the business instead of being driven by a strong art thesis:
“Tangible assets remain firmly in investors’ focus,” Raymund Scheffler, the manager of Berenberg Art Advice and head of the bank’s Dusseldorf branch, said in an e-mailed release. “Because their value moves independently of classic investments like shares, bonds or even real estate, an art investment can complete every well-structured portfolio.”
The bank will cooperate with museums and collectors to identify top-quality artworks, according to the bank’s statement. The Fine Art Fund Group, an art investment company established in London by Philip Hoffman in 2001, will advise it on acquisitions.