auction houses

auction houses

Can I Get $50,000?: Christie’s and Sotheby’s Degree Programs Are Attracting an Increasing Number of Students

Sotheby's Institute of Art.

How to gauge the ever-increasing reach of the art market? There is, of course, the growing number of art fairs around the world, and the series of record-setting multimillion-dollar prices paid at auction for works by Jeff Koons, Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and so many others. There is the growing scale of art thefts and the frequency with which stories about art purchases and frauds make the front page of The New York Times. But there is also a quieter indicator: the increasing number of students looking to learn about the business of art at the schools set up by the two major auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Read More

auction houses

Away From the Block: Auction Houses Are Conducting More of Their Sales Privately

Sotheby's 'Keith Haring: Shine On' selling exhibition at its S|2 gallery. (Courtesy S|2)

The news last week that Christie’s International will close Haunch of Venison, the gallery it bought in 2007, electrified the art world. Christie’s and Sotheby’s are the twin behemoths of the global auction business, and Christie’s acquisition of Haunch six years ago was a galumphing step onto the turf of dealers. The war of the auctioneers and the dealers over their slice of the secondary or resale market had been underway for two decades, but the Haunch move was a move into the primary market, which handles working artists and new art. Read More

auction houses

Phillips, Sans Simon: What’s Next for Simon de Pury and Phillips Now That They’ve Parted Ways?

Chanel Hosts a Beachside BBQ for

Two Fridays ago, just before the art world split for the holiday break, news broke that has had even market insiders, in vacation spots from St. Moritz to St. Barts to Aspen, scratching their heads: Simon de Pury, who has been very much the public face of the Phillips de Pury & Co. auction house for the past 12 years as chairman and head auctioneer, was parting ways with the company, effective immediately. Mercury, the Russian luxury goods firm that bought a majority stake in the company in late 2008, had acquired Mr. de Pury’s remaining shares, a press release announced. In January, the 200-plus-year-old company’s name will go back to Phillips. An e-mail sent to art world colleagues by Mr. de Pury’s wife, Michaela Neumeister, a specialist at Phillips for 12 years, indicated that she, too, was departing. Read More

auction houses

Sotheby’s Second-Quarter Net Income Drops 33 Percent Versus 2011

Ruprecht. (Patrick McMullan)

Despite some high-flying successes for Sotheby’s this year, like the sale of Edvard Munch’s The Scream for a record-breaking $119.9 million, the house’s profits in the second quarter declined 33 percent compared with those realized during the same period last year. The result reflects a “challenging global economy,” according to the firm’s president and CEO, Bill Ruprecht. Read More

auction houses

Quite Possibly the Funniest Image Ever to Appear in an Auction Catalogue

Brett Gorvy at work. (Courtesy Christie's)

After a grueling but extremely unscientific analysis, as well as much heated debate, we’ve determined that the image at left may well be the funniest one ever to appear in an auction catalogue, and that it offers solid evidence, if any was needed, that auction house specialists are far from the dry, pretentious characters depicted in movies and television shows. In fact, their senses of humor would, by all appearances, seem to be intact. Read More