Category Archives: art

Brandeis, UMIFA, and UPMIFA

The WSJ has a good article today on the UMIFA vs UPMIFA endowment debate, although it sensibly avoids even mentioning the acronyms. In case you’re not a non-profit legislation nerd, it basically comes down to when you can spend your … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

Good News: Brandeis Backpedals

Brandeis president Jehuda Reinharz has given interviews with both the Boston Globe and the Brandeis student newspaper, the Hoot, in which he starts backpedalling madly on the subject of closing the Rose Art Museum. (As Richard Lacayo notes, the very … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

How Brandeis Has Changed the Museum World Forever

Donn Zaretsky responds to my post below, which says that museums should have control over their collections: Why must the museum have full control over whether or not a given work is sold? Why can’t the university overrule the museum? … Continue reading

Posted in art | 2 Comments

Deaccessioning Datapoint of the Day

One of the most scandalous aspects of l’affair Brandeis/Rose is the fact that the Rose doesn’t need any money, and is essentially being raped by its parent. Donors to the Rose Art Museum probably never stopped to wonder whether their … Continue reading

Posted in art | 2 Comments

Art as a Financial Asset Class

This is one of the most depressing abstracts I’ve seen in a while: This paper analyzes the performance and risk-return characteristics of three major emerging art markets: Russia, China, and India… The Russian art market exhibits positive correlations with most … Continue reading

Posted in art | 2 Comments

Why Brandeis is Closing the Rose Art Museum

The Brandeis Hoot has put up an audio recording of a Wednesday presentation from Jehuda Reinharz, the president of Brandeis University, and Peter French, its COO. There are summaries here and here which give an idea of how the presentation … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

How Deaccessioning Rules Doomed the Rose Art Museum

Shortly after posting my blog entry on Brandeis and the Rose Art Museum this morning, I received a series of unsigned emails, demanding that I take the blog down, asking that I hand over not only my own phone number … Continue reading

Posted in art | 2 Comments

Brandeis and Rose: The Numbers Emerge

Many thanks to Paddy Johnson for tipping me off to an astonishing article by Judith Dobrzynski at the Daily Beast, who’s managed to get the COO of Brandeis University, Peter French, to go on the record about his decision to … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

A Deaccessioning Thought Experiment

This is for Tyler Green, who hates the idea of museums "deaccessioning" (ie selling) art in order to pay their operating expenses. And it’s based around an imaginary institution I’m calling the Museum of Underappreciated Art, or MUA. MUA is … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

The Deaccessioning Debate

I’ve been catching up on the art blogs this slow news day, which means catching up on a long and sometimes confusing debate about deaccessioning which was sparked by the sale of two paintings by New York’s National Academy. Ground … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

In Favor of Arts Spending

Michael Kaiser makes some good arguments in favor of increased arts funding, but unfortunately he mixes them up with bad ones, and he glosses over the best ones. The result is that Tyler Cowen gets to take the moral high … Continue reading

Posted in art, fiscal and monetary policy | Comments Off

Art Auction Datapoint of the Day

Remember those furtive seller’s rebates from auction houses? Georgina Adam says that in at least one instance they might have risen to include the entire buyer’s premium: In some cases the whole of the buyer’s premium was given to the … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art: The Case of Ana Tzarev

How does any painting get to be worth, say, $70 million? Sometimes there might be a speculative component to high prices: people are often willing to spend a lot on just about any asset if they think the chances that … Continue reading

Posted in art | 1 Comment

Art World Cost Saving Datapoint of the Day

According to Alexandra Peers, the trendy way to economize these days is to increase Champagne consumption: at Art Basel Miami Beach, she says, "many events are doing just Champagne, to cut out the bartenders." I can’t make the sums work … Continue reading

Posted in art, consumption | Comments Off

Art Market Datapoint of the Day

There aren’t many minimalist artworks with their own Wikipedia page, but Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII is one of them, thanks to the uproar it caused in the UK press in the 1976. To this day, a huge proportion of the … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art Auctions: The End of Seller’s Rebates

I wonder whether Edward Dolman is one of those people who, long after they’ve left home, casually drop into a conversation with their parents that they’ve stopped smoking cigarettes — having never admitted, in the prior years, that they were … Continue reading

Posted in art, auctions | Comments Off

Auction Results and Hammer Prices, Redux

It turns out I’m not the only person who cares about the weird way in which auction house estimates are compared to hammer prices (ex commission) during an auction, but are compared to the total price paid (including commission) after … Continue reading

Posted in art, auctions | 1 Comment

Art: The Prints Market Crumbles

It’s hard to judge the state of the art market by looking at auction results of unique paintings, precisely because they’re unique and you can always make an argument about why this or that particular painting did or didn’t sell … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

The Bleak Christie’s Sale

Christie’s had a big impressionist-and-modern sale last night, and the results, in Carol Vogel’s headline, were bleak. All the biggest-ticket pieces failed to sell, with a Rothko estimated at $20 million to $30 million being passed after not even getting … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art: Kravis Sells to Japan

There’s a lot of interesting stuff packed into this one paragraph from Carol Vogel’s auction report today: A Degas gouache, “Dancer in Repose,” that was being sold by the financier Henry Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josée Kravis, was sought by … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art: The Last-Chance Argument

I have little time, in general, for optimistic arguments saying that art will continue to do well as an asset class. But Marion Maneker has an interesting idea about why the upcoming fall sales might not be quite the disaster … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art: Signs of Desperation

The front page of the NYT’s arts section today is dominated by a 2,000-word auction preview by Carol Vogel. The headline is "Tapped Out?" and the article continues on all of page 16, under the hed "Auction Houses Brace for … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Car Crash vs Train Wreck

Jose Mugrabi: "I feel safer with Warhol than with U.S. Treasury bonds."

Posted in art | Comments Off

Art Is Not An Investment

Annie Deakin is acting editor of the website mydeco. The header of the homepage says this: Home furniture and interior design: beds, sofas, curtains, paint, wallpaper, tables and chairs Not on the list? Art. You can get that at mydeco … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off

Hirst: Only the Russians Didn’t Get the Memo

Liz Gunnison reports that 80% of the buyers at this week’s Hirst auction were Russian. If that’s true, then I’m more convinced than ever that the sale marks a top for the Hirst market. Maybe the point of exhibiting selected … Continue reading

Posted in art | Comments Off