Summer is slow for the art auction houses – and anyone else who has to step outside into the oppressive heat. But, in air conditioned offices around the world, Sotheby's and Christie's are getting ready for the September auctions in New York. The first will be the Christie's Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean auction on September 16 and 17, followed by Contemporary Art on September 23 and 24 at Sotheby's.
The catalogues haven't been published yet, but a little bit of information is starting to slop out. On November 4, for example, Sotheby's will be bringing several Impressionist paintings from the Paul Durand-Ruel collection under the gavel. These works were purchased directly from the artists and have not left the collection since being bought. Durand-Ruel (who died in 1922) supported several of the Impressionist artists. The collection consists of nearly 12,000 pieces – with 1,000 by Claude Monet, 1,500 by Auguste Renoir, 400 by Edgar Degas, 800 by Camille Pissarro and 200 by Edouard Manet.
The economy seems to be turning, albeit slowly. And, stronger pieces are coming to auction. This combination could be the first sign that the art market is on its way back, though it's going to take a while to reach 2007 levels again. For now, let's be patient and just hope for an exciting, full and active autumn auction season.