art pricing and a book review

Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals that Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rogue’s Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals that Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Michael Gross

Gross discloses in the introduction that he received very little support from the Met while writing this book. And, perhaps, that adds to the sense of scandal running throughout the pages. The actual revelations, however, are tame, leaving me to wonder what a Met-endorsed book could have to offer. The most shocking information Gross reveals is the price of many of the Met’s paintings, which left me thinking about art pricing in general. (The art of pricing art?)

NPR recently aired the story “Nice Art! How Much?” by correspondant David Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum interviewed art gallery owner Ed Winkleman to find out how art is priced.

Winkleman gives 3 criteria for pricing art from new artists:

  1. scale (bigger art costs more than smaller art)
  2. intensity
  3. medium (the material used for the piece of art)

Winkleman pointed out, though, that the rules of supply and demand can override these criteria. When more than one person wants a work of art, the price goes up.

It’s all fascinating to think about, but for now, I’ll stick to etsy.com or local artists (specifically, Emily Pellegrin) for my art needs. For more insight into the world of art, and more particularly, art museums, Rogue’s Gallery makes a good read.

image courtesy amazon.com

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