Carol Vogel bows out of the New York Times with a long valedictory essay that probably should have been avoided. At a newspaper where reporters and editors regularly change beats both for their own good and the paper’s, Vogel has had a remarkably long tenure in the art market job.
Whatever other reasons there were for Vogel to remain in the position, one thing her final column reminded us of is her penchant for predicting an imminent market crash:
At both Sotheby’s and Christie’s in November, during the last round of big auctions, bidding at the top was noticeably thin. How soon before the bubble bursts?
The comment neatly echoes this one from November 2007:
After three years of speculation about a bust, will this be the moment when the art market finally crumbles?
Of course, Vogel was hardly alone in expressing her disquiet any time that the market rose. And the art market did come to a crashing end a year later but only because the entire world economy faced a stunning jolt. What makes the art market coverage, especially Vogel’s art market coverage fairly unique, was how conflicted and sometimes even outright hostile the reporting was toward market forces.
The price of oil has dropped precipitously in the last six months. Before it fell, journalists covering the markets for crude were not likely to repeatedly ask when the bubble would end.
Going, Going, Not Gone (Medium)