Loretta Würtenberger, together with Daniel Tuempel, runs Fine Art Partners in Germany. The firm advises artists’ estates and provides financing to dealers for both the fabrication of primary works and the acquisition of works for secondary market deals.
This conversation ranges over the challenges of financing art deals, how works are bought and sold in this new market environment as well as a discussion of guarantees and auction strategies. The interview also addresses the challenges facing artists’ estates.
Marion Maneker: Let’s switch for a second and talk about artist’s estates, because I know the other part of your business is advising artist’s estates, and helping them manage the estate. I know that you’ve done, or are in the midst of doing, a lot of work with the Arp estate. Could you sort of walk me through your relationship with them, and what you were able to do, and where you see it going next?
Loretta Würtenberger: The estate management side is one that is particularly close to my heart. It is extremely fulfilling to work with estates on a long-term basis. It’s something which is not directly connected to our financing business. It’s really more about using our know-how in the art market to the best benefit for the estates.
What we have been doing with the Arp estate and which we also do with the estate of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Keith Arnatt, and Wolfgang Tuempel, is that we manage three pillars. One is the contact to the museums, making sure that the artist stays in favor of curators. It is about enabling each curator generation to re-find their way to interpreting the artist and by that keeping the discourse alive. The second pillar we work on is the field of academia, which is often strongly interlinked with the museums world. We all know many wonderful publications come out of the museum world. On the other hand, people in the art historical departments look at what’s being exhibited. And the aim of an estate should be to keep the discourse within academia and the museum world alive, and not having the artist being forgotten by these two very strong and important institutions. And the third pillar is the art market. Prices are made in the art market, we all know that if the prices rise the artist’s esteem rises. It’s really a triage between those three pillars. Managing an estate successfully means to service these three pillars in the best way for the artist. It is about supporting his work as well as his market support.
You can download a transcript of the interview here: Loretta Würtenberger Artelligence 2014 transcript.