Some find the blandishments of auction house specialists intrusive. But as Kelly Crow’s deeply reported piece on the big two’s efforts to expand their reach shows, others find the attention to be, well, comforting:
Belgian collector Mark Vanmoerkerke is certainly flattered. After the real-estate investor began collecting contemporary art in 1998, auctioneers started cold-calling him, seeking to visit his home in Oostende, he said. Since then, at least 50 have come by and he gets invited to dinners and studio tours, although he rarely attends. He does go to the major sales in London and New York, though, and buys between 10 and 20 pieces a year at auction.
“It’s a badge of honor if an auction house calls to see your collection,” he added. “The first time I got a call, I felt like I joined the inner circle.”