Like the broader art sector the prices of drawings rose through the bubble and fell during the financial crisis. According to Artprice, however, drawings resisted much of the insanity on the way up and was thus protected on the way down. By the art market peak, this medium picked up a price increase of only 27 percent, compared to 93 percent of contemporary art from 2002 through 2008. Since the broad market decline, drawings have fallen only 11 percent, while the global art index plummeted 36 percent (as of October 2009). Last year, the number of drawing sold actually increased by 10 percent, standing out in a dismal art market.
The Upper West Side of Manhattan was once again home to an exciting and unique art exhibition last week. 25CPW, a temporary art gallery occupying a vacant retail space on Central Park West hosted an art show for a unique group within the Metropolitan Museum of Art: the guards. It turns out that some of the people protecting the masterpieces on the other side of Central Park also like to create, and from what I saw on Thursday night, when I attended the opening, they are pretty damned good at it.
The next 25CPW event is on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 night at 6:00 PM, when the Afghan Art Auction will be held to benefit the George Dritsas Anthropos Fund. The fund was created to help refugees in transition, so do find a way to open your wallet. The money raised will also be used to help the Afghan Women Council, which seeks to assist women and children inside Afghanistan.
Along with millions of other children I loved Winnie the Pooh as a kid (my favorites were Piglet and Eyeore) and now a collection of the most loved iconic illustrations are going up for auction. Sotheby's will be exhibiting highlights of the auction in New York from December 3-6 and then in London from December 12th until the auction on the 17th. The drawing shown here, called 'Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders', goes with the first Winnie-the-Pooh chapter (when Pooh makes his first appearance) and is valued at £60,000-£80,000.
How do you pay for a $135 million painting? Perhaps by selling off a few of your other treasures. On February 4, Christie's London will offer eight works on paper by the Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele. The proceeds from the paintings, which have a low estimate of $14.9 million, will go to the Neue Galerie, New York, which was created by cosmetics billionaire Ronald Lauder and the late Serge Sabarsky to showcase early-20th-century German and Austrian art. The sales of the paintings will go toward Lauder's $135 million purchase of Gustav Klimt's ``Adele Bloch-Bauer I." The drawings are from the the Serge Sabarksy estate. A Bloomberg article quotes Richard Nagy, a London art dealer, who says that Lauder owns the world's largest private collection of German and Austrian modern art. The Neue Galerie also isn't hurting for Schieles; the deputy director of the Neue Galerie says that the gallery has more than 140 addition Schiele works on paper.
John Lennon's schoolbooks was sold for $226,150 in
a London auction of rock memorabilia. The auction house, Cooper Owen, had set
a reserve price of more than $175,000 for the book, which was a copybook titled "My Anthology" and contained
10 pages of full color drawings done by the 12-year old Lennon to illustrate the lyrics of poems that were part of his
literature curriculum, including The Walrus and the Carpenter and Agincourt.
If only I had known that used schoolbooks could go for so much, I wouldn't have spent so much time trying to unload
my old textbooks at the end of every semester at university. Needless to say, the illustration quality in a calculus
textbook would have to be fairly high to compete with Lennon's sketches, even as a child.
This month's Artnews focused on the increasing market for drawings. What was once
just an entry point for younger or less wealthy collectors has become something much larger. This point is
well-illustrated by the prices for drawings in the latest Old Master Drawings auction to be held on
Tuesday at Christie's New York. The drawing
shown here a male torso that is one of the Michelangelo drawings in private ownership may
bring in well over $3 million. Drawings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Watteau are also up for bid.