Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Art Market: Chinese Up, Contemporary Up, Everything Else, Down

Mr. Moses said his data indicated that traditional Chinese art had gained a compounded annualized rate of return for the 10 years ending in 2012 of 15.5 percent. Postwar and contemporary art gained 11.6 percent. By contrast, old master paintings gained only 3.3 percent and American paintings just 1 percent. And the overall index gained 7.4 percent.

Some find the whole notion of an art market to be distasteful. Michael Findlay, author of “The Value of Art,” and a director at the Acquavella Galleries in New York, said: “What I believe in is the social and aesthetic value of art. We live in a society where everything is so monetized, the only way people can talk about art is in terms of money.”
And those high prices? Billionaires blowing smoke up one another's posterior vortices:
Contrary to the almost universal claim by art dealers and auctioneers that it’s impossible to overpay for quality art, “our research shows dramatically that high-purchase-price paintings underperform low-purchase-price paintings over time,” Mr. Moses said. “Art is very democratic. There’s a painting for every purse.”

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