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Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b Roubaix, March 5, 1949).

French businessman, patron, and collector. Born into an industrial family from northern France, Bernard Arnault studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. After completing his studies, Arnault took over the family’s construction business, Ferret-Savinel, which he converted into a real estate company by the name of Ferinel in the 1980s. He then took over the Boussac Group, which was facing financial difficulties but controlled the department store Le Bon Marché and the fashion label Dior, among other assets. The ‘Arnault System’, which evolved from these moves, relied on a series of acquisitions that culminated on 13 January 1989 in his being appointed chairman of France’s foremost luxury goods conglomerate, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). With a net worth of an estimated 37.2 billion euros in 2015, Bernard Arnault became the second wealthiest individual in France. The entrepreneurial structure of the French luxury industry is oligopolistic, with three international conglomerates dividing the market among themselves: LVMH, PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, controlling Gucci), and Richemont. This structure was created through the absorption of a number of independent small-scale businesses (so-called PMEs) associated with specific products and well-known brands. Since the late 20th century, the luxury houses have maintained privileged relationships with the art market. Window displays of luxury brands are frequently designed by artists, while the auction houses play more and more with the codes of the luxury industry, making the demarcations between these two worlds increasingly tenuous; art is central to the marketing strategy of the LVMH group....

Article

French, 19th century, male.

Born 1798, in Paris.

Painter, picture dealer. Panoramas.

Charles Arrowsmith studied with Daguerre and painted dioramas alongside him. He exhibited in Paris in 1827, in Douai in 1829, and at the Royal Academy in London in 1830. He was responsible for promoting English watercolourists and introducing them and also Constable to a broader public in France....

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Article

Lee Sorensen

Person who sells, resells, or distributes works of art to third-party clients. Dealers are sometimes referred to as gallery directors or gallerists. Although some artists may personally sell their own art works and auction houses may place works of art up for public bidding, the profession of art dealing remains an entity distinct from these trades. Art dealing as a profession is intimately tied to the activities of private collectors, art historians, and the wider economy.

Art dealers emerged as a class of professionals whose work represented a blend of disparate traditions in the ancient world. No clear point marks the beginning of commerce in art as a departure from regular trade. Cicero mentions a sculpture dealer, Licinius Damasippus, with whom he considered doing business (ad Fam. vii.23). Arkesilas, an art restorer and friend of Julius Caesar, also dealt professionally in objects, together with others located in the Saepta and the Via Sacra in Rome....

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Statistical measure showing the development of art prices since a chosen base year. Index series are often represented as graphs, and allow for a comparison with the performance of other assets. An index also enables the measurement of the correlation of art returns with changes in valuations of other investments. Two techniques are commonly used to construct an art price index based on auction transaction data. First, so-called ‘hedonic’ methods use all available sales information to measure changes in quality-adjusted average transaction prices. Second, ‘repeat-sales’ regression models only use price information on artworks for which at least two transactions are observed to estimate the average return in each period.

Measuring the returns to art Investments is not methodologically straightforward. While for a publicly traded financial asset (e.g. a stock in a large company) a price can typically be observed on any given day, in the Art market each item is unique and trades only very infrequently. Ideally, an art index would track the total monetary value of a representative portfolio of objects over time, but this is not possible as we do not observe prices for the same set of artworks in every period. For this reason, even an index based on unadjusted average prices will not accurately capture changes in the willingness to pay for art over time. For example, even if the average price of all transacted artworks is twice as large in one period compared to the previous one, this does not mean that the typical item has doubled in value; it could be that in the second period there were more transactions of relatively more attractive works....

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

(b New York, March 31, 1848; d Hever Castle, Kent, Oct 18, 1919).

British collector of American birth. He was a member of a wealthy family whose fortune came from fur trading; he became interested in art and antiquity during his appointment as American Minister in Rome (1882–5), rapidly acquiring a fine collection of ancient and Renaissance sculpture. He transferred the collection to England when his term as minister ended, dividing it between his country houses at Cliveden, Bucks, and Hever Castle, Kent. His eclectic, Neo-classical displays were in keeping with the nostalgic grandeur of Edwardian England. At Cliveden, eight Roman sarcophagi in the forecourt were matched on the rear terraces by Renaissance fountains and balustrades exported from the Villa Borghese in Rome. Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, was restored and enlarged by Astor far beyond its medieval extent, and a Renaissance atmosphere was achieved by means of the placement of numerous Roman sculptures, including further fine sarcophagi (sold in ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches.

Historically, the patrons who commissioned Old Masters placed a premium on subject-matter rather than originality, and popular narratives were requested by multiple patrons, creating conditions in which the demand for copies could flourish (see Copy). Popular compositions were often reproduced many times: by the master himself, an apprentice in his workshop, or even a later follower or imitator. A master trained his apprentices to approximate his manner as closely as possible, and sold the finished work under his own name. In some cases a master would paint the most important part of a work (such as the faces of the central figures) before delegating the rest to apprentices. Through the 19th century, pupils at prestigious institutions were taught by making copies of works by acknowledged masters. Many pieces, particularly drawings (which for much of their history were working tools, rather than art objects), were unsigned. Damaged or incomplete works of art were subjected to extensive restoration or reworking by later artists, a process that can cloud the question of attribution....

Article

Italian, 19th century, male.

Active in Livorno (Tuscany).

Died after 1873.

Sculptor, art dealer.

Torello Bacci produced the monument to his father at the Santa Croce convent in Florence and the statue of Pier Capponi in a portico at the Uffizi Gallery.

Article

Lynn Catterson

(b Prato, Mar 17, 1892; d Florence, Sept 27, 1965).

Italian art dealer. The son and heir of the Florentine art dealer Stefano Bardini, Ugo was born some nine years after his sister Emma (1883–1962), who was a writer and a painter and also involved in her father’s art dealing business; both were illegitimate but later recognized. Little biographical information is known about Ugo, except that he was a talented artist, attended military school, and was an active equestrian. He evidently enjoyed a privileged lifestyle owing to the wealth accumulated during his father’s successful career.

Upon his father’s death in 1922, the Galleries in Piazza Mozzi were bequeathed to the city of Florence and are now the Museo Stefano Bardini. Along with other properties, Ugo and Emma inherited Palazzo Mozzi, in the same piazza as the museum, together with its vast gardens ascending the hill to the south of the Arno river. In addition, Ugo was left with some 70,000 objects and pieces of objects in his father’s storerooms. Thus, he personally acquired little, and mainly sold fine and decorative art from his father’s business until his own death. Indeed, writing to the director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fiske Kimball, in ...

Article

M. Sue Kendall

(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 2, 1872; d Chester County, PA, July 24, 1951).

American chemist and collector. Barnes made his fortune after discovering the drug Argyrol in 1902. By 1907 he had become a millionaire. He and his wife moved to the suburb of Merion on Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line and with his new income began to collect paintings of the Barbizon school. In 1910 he renewed contact with a former school friend, William J. Glackens, who introduced him to the works of Maurice Prendergast, Alfred H. Maurer and Charles Demuth, and who encouraged Barnes to collect Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings instead of Barbizon works. In 1912 Barnes gave Glackens £20,000 to go to Paris and buy whatever art he saw fit. Glackens, with the help of Maurer, acquired for Barnes works by Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet, Gauguin, Pissarro, Sisley and Seurat. In Paris, Glackens introduced Barnes to Gertrude and Leo Stein, through whom he became familiar with the work of Picasso and Matisse....

Article

Italian, 18th century, male.

Born c. 1675, in Rome; died c. 1730.

Engraver (burin), art dealer. Religious subjects, architectural views.

Worked initially under the tutelage of his father, Pietro Santo Bartoli. It is probable that this is the same artist as F. Bartoli who produced coloured drawings based on religious works in St Peter's in Rome on behalf of the English art collector John Talman. The volume containing these engraved illustrations has been in the British Museum in London since ...

Article

French, 18th century, male.

Active in Paris during the second half of the 18th century.

Engraver, art dealer.

Article

Malcolm Gee

(b Berlin, Jan 6, 1914; d Paris, Feb 23, 2007).

German American art dealer and collector, active in France. Berggruen came from a middle-class Jewish family. He immigrated to the USA in 1937, and was granted American citizenship in 1941. He served in the army between 1942 and 1945. After a period working as a journalist in Munich and in the museum section of UNESCO, he set up as an art dealer in Paris in 1948, based from 1950 onwards in a modest gallery on the Rue de l’Université. The Berggruen Gallery specialized in modern graphic art, including Pablo Picasso, and was the principal source in Paris of the work of Paul Klee. Berggruen retired in 1980 and focused on his personal collection of classic modern art. In 1996 Berggruen was invited to put his collection on public display in Berlin in what was originally barracks for the Gardes du Corps, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, where it was known as the Berggruen Collection. In ...

Article

Anne McClanan

American collectors. Robert Woods Bliss (b St Louis, MO, 5 Aug 1875; d Washington, DC, 19 April 1962) and his wife, Mildred Bliss (née Barnes) (b New York City, Sept 1879; d Washington, 17 Jan 1969), developed their interest in art while living abroad, where Robert Bliss served as a diplomat until his retirement in 1933. They were particularly concerned with the then neglected areas of Pre-Columbian and Byzantine art. Their Byzantine collection included coins, icons, ivories, mosaics, jewellery, and textiles; their Pre-Columbian collection was similarly wide-ranging. In 1920 Robert and Mildred Bliss purchased Dumbarton Oaks, a large house in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. Although they lived there intermittently for only seven years, they extensively renovated the house and over 53-acre garden. Lawrence Grant White (1887–1956), who had worked at McKim, Mead & White (where his father, Stanford White, was a founding partner), was the architect responsible for adding the music room in ...

Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b 1939).

French art dealer. Blondel became active as an art dealer in Paris in the late 1960s, and his high-profile gallery in the Marais district closed in December 2014. Blondel is best remembered for restoring attention, in the market and in the scholar community, to figurative painters from between the two world wars such as Tamara de Lempicka, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881–1949). Blondel was also interested in the applied arts, dealing for instance in Jean-Jacques Ruhlmann furniture and Gallé glass, when few collectors were interested in these objects. After studying architecture, Blondel became keenly interested in art, developing a special fascination with Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer who famously created the iconic Parisian Métro entrances. In 1966 Blondel’s passion inspired him to open his first gallery, the Galerie des quatre vents (Gallery of Four Winds), in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. His intention at the time was to re-value forgotten artists from the first half of the 20th century. Due to public indifference, many paintings and objects from this period were very accessibly priced. Demand for such objects was very low, and a functioning market for this niche hardly existed. At the same time, Blondel and Laurent Sully Jaulmes began an urban photography project, which they pursued between ...

Article

Swiss, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1664 or 1673, in Augsburg; died 1758 or 1766, in Augsburg.

Draughtsman, engraver, picture dealer. Historical subjects, figures, landscapes.

Gabriel Bodenehr the Elder painted historical figures and views, some of which were collected under the title: The Glory and Might of Europe...

Article

Bonhams  

Molly K. Dorkin

[Jones and Bonham; Bonhams & Brooks; Bonhams & Butterfields; Bonhams & Goodman]

Auction house established in London 1793 by William Charles Bonham, a book dealer (also recorded as Walter Bonham), and George Jones, from a gallery founded by Thomas Dodd (1771–1850), a dealer in antiquarian prints. Bonhams originally specialized in sales of prints in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the market was robust. By the 19th century Bonhams was also holding sales of antiques, which were advertised in the London press alongside similar offerings from Christie’s and Phillips. In the 1820s Dodd and fellow print dealer Martin Colnaghi catalogued the print collection belonging to Horace Walpole prior to its sale. Dodd and Colnaghi also catalogued the 50,000 works in the collection of Francis Douce for their donation to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. By the 1850s Jones’s son Henry and Bonham’s son George had taken over the business, which became known as Jones and Bonham. Paintings had been offered in their sales alongside print collections since the 1840s....

Article

Thomas P. McNulty

American philanthropists and art collectors. Eli Broad (b New York, June 6, 1933) spent most of his youth in Detroit, MI. In 1954 he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting, and married Edythe Lois Lawson. Upon graduation, Eli Broad began his career as a professional accountant but changed course when in 1957 he co-founded (with Donald Kaufman, a builder) the Detroit company Kaufman & Broad, which produced inexpensive homes for the rapidly expanding post–World War II population.

Kaufman & Broad attained considerable success in the 1950s, and continued to expand in the decades that followed. In an attempt to diversify its income stream, Kaufman & Broad entered the insurance market, beginning with its acquisition of Sun Life Insurance in the late 1970s, and its addition of a second insurance firm—Coastal States Corp.—by the mid-1980s. With the acquisition of still more insurance and financial companies, Broad’s holdings were organized under a new firm—Broad Inc.—later renamed SunAmerica, which in turn would be acquired by the international insurance giant American International Group (AIG). Broad remained with AIG through to the end of the 1990s, when he retired and, with his wife Edythe, began to pursue their interests in collecting and philanthropy....

Article

Simon Pepper

(b Dunfermline, Scotland, Nov 25, 1835; d Lenox, MA, Aug 11, 1919).

American industrialist and patron of Scottish birth. Aged 11, Andrew Carnegie immigrated with his parents to Allegheny, near Pittsburgh, PA, where he educated himself while working as an office messenger and telegraph operator, before rising to enormous wealth through railroads, oil, and the iron and steel industries. During his lifetime he gave more than $350 million to a variety of social, educational, and cultural causes, the best known being his support for public libraries, which he believed would provide opportunities for self-improvement without ‘any taint of charity’. Here communities had to pay for the building site and the books, and to commit at least 10 per cent of Carnegie’s initial gift in annual support. As Carnegie struggled to give away money—for ‘to die rich was to die disgraced’—music, fine art, archaeology, and technical schools also became beneficiaries, together with programmes for the education of minorities in recognition of civilian heroism and world peace (still a central concern of the Carnegie Foundation)....