Ed Dolman says everyone has to do more with less; Who bought the KAWS? Not Bieber; Calouste Gulbenkian's deal with Stalin; Melva Bucksbaum's Litchfield retreat.
Who Makes Money in the Art Market? CollectorsKathryn Tully caught Ed Dolman’s keynote at a conference this week that included this very interesting comment on the business:
- “The people who have really made a great deal of money in the art market over the last few years are the people who put capital to work in it,” he said in a speech at The Art Business Conference in New York on Tuesday, pointing out that although global art sales are growing, revenues at auction houses and dealers are falling. “The onus is on us to be able to compete with much lower revenues than we expected in the past.”
Is There a Single KAWS Buyer Driving This Market?The latest KAWS parlor game is trying to identify who bought The KAWS Album which a number of over-excited folks worked themselves up into believing was purchased by Justin Bieber. Independent art market journalist Judith Benhamou-Huet has heard that the buyer is a French industrial scion, Raphael Geismar, who lives in Hong Kong and owns a restaurant group:
- Rumour has it that there has been a purchase by Raphael Geismar owner of the Bibo restaurant in Hong Kong among other things […]
The Passion of Calouste GulbenkianThe London Review of Books has Christina Riggs’s take on the life of Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian, who like J. Paul Getty after him, became an obsessive art collector. “The future of my paintings, to which I have given the best of myself, torments me constantly,” Riggs quotes him as saying in her review of Jonathan Conlin’s biography, Mr. Five Percent. The collection wound up in Portugal with a massive endowment. But before that, Gulbenkian was able to use his unique position in the world of oil exploration to acquire some of his best pieces:
- “In one of the stranger episodes in his collecting career, Gulbenkian was invited to go shopping at the Hermitage. In 1928 Stalin set sales targets for Soviet museums, just as Gulbenkian was smoothing the path of Russian oil interests in Persia. It took two years of hard negotiating, but for £155,000 (nearly £9,000,000 today), he secured a Rubens, two Rembrandts, an assortment of silver and Jean-Antoine Houdon’s life-size marble Diana, which took pride of place in the entrance of his Paris house as it once had at Tsarskoye Selo. All the works avoided French customs duty due to Gulbenkian’s diplomatic status as a member of the Persian legation in Paris.”
Can’t Live Without Your Art When You’re in Litchfield?Melva Bucksbaum’s 51-acre compound of a 9,000 sq ft five-bedroom home, three guest houses, a caretaker’s cottage, a swimming pool and 14,000 sq ft art gallery with additional storage is listed for $20m, according to the WSJ’s Mansion Global:
- “The most distinctive feature of the estate is The Granary, the art gallery that was designed by New York City-based architect Steven Learner and built by the security specialist firm Structure Works in 2009.The Granary, which features geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, has four distinct exhibition spaces, two art-storage vaults and a glass freight elevator. “
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