As the Art Market Stabilizes, Now is a Good Time to Update Your Insurance Appraisals
When the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March of 2020, the art market took a pause. Auction houses, galleries and art fairs quickly pivoted to working online and their resiliency has been impressive. With a year under our belt, studies have shown that while the overall number of sales were down, there was not a corresponding decrease in values. In fact, certain sectors of the Post-War and Contemporary market have seen an incredible uptick.

Cochran Arts recently appraised a work for a client by a female Post-War artist whose value has jumped threefold since her last appraisal. If you or your clients have been waiting to update your appraisals, whether for insurance purposes, financial planning or to consider gifting to institutions or family members, Cochran Arts is ready to help.

2020 Figures Are In
The art industry has begun issuing their market assessments of 2020 and their predictions for the future. The Art Market 2021 report compiled by Dr. Clare McAndrew and published by Art Basel and UBS include the following key findings:

  • Sales in the US art market fell by 24% in 2020 to $21.3 billion but remained 76% above their level in the last recession in 2009.
  • Despite the contraction of sales overall, aggregate online sales reached a record high of $12.4 billion, doubling in value from 2019.
  •  Public auction sales of fine and decorative art and antiques (excluding auction house private sales) were $17.6 billion in 2020, a decline of 30% from 2019.
  • In 2020, the largest sector in the fine art public auction market was Post-War and Contemporary art (55%), which along with Modern art accounted for just over 81% of the value of sales. Sales in the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist sector, the dominant category 30 years ago, showed the largest decline in value year-on- year, with sales down over 50%.
  • Millennial HNW collectors were the highest spenders in 2020, with 30% having spent over $1 million versus 17% of Boomers.
  • Just under half (48%) of the HNW collectors surveyed said they would be willing to go to an art fair in the first six months of 2021, although 64% would be ready to attend local events. The majority of collectors (68%) reported that they would be happy to attend any fair by the end of Q3 2021, and over 80% into Q4.

The Last Vermeer is based on the true story of the gallerist and painter Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce), who was charged with collaboration with the Nazis for selling a Vermeer masterpiece to Hermann Göring, but was able to prove his innocence by showing that the painting in question, in fact, his own forgery.

Woman in Gold is also based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), who attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis sixty years after fleeing Vienna with the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg (Ryan Reynolds). Among them is a famous portrait of Maria's beloved Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I."

The Thomas Crown Affair: Both the original starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and the remake with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo follow a thief and an insurance agent in a game of cat and mouse over the theft of a Monet from the Met.