Thursday, May 3, 2012

Booming Sales!

The Art Market is BOOMING.  At yesterday's Sotheby's auction Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” sold for $119.9 million.  The auction—which lasted 12 intense minutes—surpassed the previous record for an art sale:  the 2010 sale of Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust” for $106.5 million.
Can this trend continue?  Some speculate that the auction houses’ hyped-up PR will put the entire art market at risk.  This has already been seen this spring in the sale of Cezanne’s “Card Players,” which was promoted with an estimate of $15-20 million and realized $17 million.  While this is by no means a small sum, the auction of “Card Players” has been described as “anemic”—devoid of all suspense and excitement.
In any case, the trends of the art market—and the reactions of the public—provide truthful glimpses into the economic world.  A $120 million art sale indicates that there is a great deal of surplus capital ready to be invested in such assets, and the outpouring of “tweets” via Twitter demonstrate the public’s investment in passing along the news of this extraordinary sale. 
We must wait and see if/how the art market will alter.  It is important to consider whether a decrease in the valuation of art will be reflected on cultural artifacts.  How will a shift in the art market factor into the assessment of cultural security?
Originally posted by Sally Johnson on
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