• How to catch people’s attention and win consignments

    by Freya Simms How to catch people’s attention and win consignments

    Question: How can I alert people locally that the auction house I run is seeking consignments (and quality ones at that)?


    One of the most effective ways to target the ‘right’ audience and increase the value of consignments is through complimentary local partnerships. Partnership marketing (as it is called) can pay real dividends, whether fostered through creating joint events or by securing the use of a third party opted-in database to access a new audience through effective direct marketing. 

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  • Top Trumps

    by Annie McGrath Top Trumps

    It is difficult to know how to caricature a man who is already doing a very good job of that by himself, a man who seems beyond parody. Yet, in the lead up to the 2016 US presidential election, the art world has seen some excellent depictions of Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. Here are my Top Trumps…

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  • Technology vs Art

    by Lucy Barry Technology vs Art

    In the last two weeks it seems one can hardly read an arts article in the newspaper without the relationship between art and technology coming up. It manifests itself in two primary ways – one is examining how technology and science are pushing the boundaries of artistic practice, either challenging the artist to produce bigger, bolder, ‘better’ art, enabling the recreation of lost or stolen master works, or by removing the need for the artist altogether. The second, which I won’t explore in depth here, is how technology, particularly social media, is opening up the art market to more artists than ever before.

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  • Here’s Looking at You - Vogue 100: A Century of Style

    by Rosie Field © Henry Bourne’s portrait of Boris Johnson

    The National Portrait Gallery’s current exhibition celebrating 100 years of Vogue is a must see on the never ending to-do list of the capital’s cultural offerings. The exhibition presents viewers with an historic selection of over 280 prints which have, at one time or another, made up the beautiful, glossy pages of British Vogue since its conception in 1916.

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  • I spy, documentary photography in the limelight

    by Imogen Prus Wall Street, New York, 1915 Paul Strand

    Over the past two decades photography has transformed into an unrecognizable beast. This is due to the mediums close relationship to technology, which as we know, updates and moves at a relentless rate. As our tech continues to develop we can explore new ways to take and share images. The boundaries between public and private are constantly being negotiated and re-negotiated and during this flux we must all work hard to ensure that our images, and image, remain safe and intact. 




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  • Modern Mapping: Digital History Projects

    by Charly Hancock Modern Mapping: Digital History Projects

    Cartography, the study and practice of making maps, enable one to present and model a reality in order to communication, explain or navigate their way through the world. From cave paintings to 18th century globes, ancient maps of Greece to maps from the Age of Exploration, right up to the digital maps of the 21st century, people have used maps to present and communicate spatial information. Although printed and physical maps produce a tangible way of interacting with our world both past and present, the use of digital tools have helped change the way we see – and record – the physical world.

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  • Is Sotheby’s taking over the art market?

    by Freya Simms Sotheby's

    What is it about a stint at Sotheby’s auction house that turns out such polished and dynamic business leaders? With over 1,500 people employed globally, the long-established company seems to incubate a crowd of impressive entrepreneurs and market disrupters. There is even an exclusive club of Sotheby’s alumni called ex1744 that is full to bursting with successful people chewing the fat about challenges to the art market and the opportunities there for the taking.

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  • Cultural Bucket List, 2016

    by Charly Hancock Tate Modern

    On the close of the first week back after the festive break, plan your year ahead with our top things to do in 2016...

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  • It's the most wonderful time of the year...


    The season of goodwill kicked off in a remarkable way at Sotheby’s this month where a painting by Joseph Wright sold for £665,000, with proceeds going towards helping Syrian refugees in Greece. This was over four times the price the painting was expected to go for.

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  • ‘Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection’

    A rare insight into a private collection
    by Lucy Barry Ornament, Aigrette, Paul Iribe, Turban ornament with carved emerald of platinum, with a large hexagonal carved Indian emerald from 1850–1900, with millegrain-set diamonds and channel-set calibrécut sapphires.

    For historical insight into the Mughal empire, a comprehensive examination of the creative influence of this period in antique, modern and contemporary jewellery design, and an afternoon with some sensational jewels look no further than the recently opened ‘Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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  • Willem Baron van Dedem 1929 - 2015

    This interview was first published in TEFAF's Silver Jubilee publication, 2012
    by Diana Cawdell Willem Baron van Dedem 1929 - 2015

    The Passionate Collector who became TEFAF’s President


    “There are two things that make me want to buy a painting”, says Willem Baron van Dedem, who is both a renowned collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings and, for the past 15 years, President of TEFAF. “Firstly it must warm my heart and secondly it must be in a good state of preservation”.

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  • A Museum a day keeps the Doctor away…

    by Hermione Wace A Museum a day keeps the Doctor away…

    We are a nation with a healthy appetite for heritage. Last year 71 million people visited museums in the UK, and 95% of adults in the UK agree that it is important to look after our heritage. UK citizens have the 4th highest participation rate for visiting cultural heritage, 25% higher than the European average. And visits to historic properties (58.6m) outnumber visits to all premier and league football matches by some 15 million.


    Perhaps this is unsurprising given that England is renowned the world over for its museums and heritage sites, from Gothic cathedrals to historic ships, and Regency mansions to Norman castles. These iconic locations are not only symbols of our national and identity, but continue to make the UK an appealing destination for tourists from around the world. 

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  • Living Histories

    by Charly Hancock Image © The Mary Rose Museum

    The traditional museum display is constructed around objects, thus making material culture a key constituent of most museum interpretation narratives. The origin of this model can be traced in some part to private collections maintained by prominent individuals during the Renaissance. Many of the significant museums in the world opened during the 18th century, an era when the trend of collecting reached a climax. Private collections of art, objects, rare books and curiosities functioned as symbols of social prestige, and it was through the collection and consumption of objects that one acquired knowledge and superiority. With a concern for the continuity of collections, as well as a development in thinking which prioritised public education, many of these private collections were left to the state. 

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  • Curated stands at art fairs – a new way of selling?

    by Anna Kirrage Curated stands at art fairs – a new way of selling?

    Walking round Frieze Masters last week the trend for the ‘curated’ stand was overwhelmingly evident.


    This came in the form of curated exhibitions of works - in some cases with loan pieces to inform the selection, stands dedicated to a solo artist or stands devoted to single private collections. At the extreme end of this, and the most show-stopping, was the all-encompassing ‘immersion’ on the stand of Helly Nahmad at Frieze Masters, which started last year with the recreation of a Parisian collector’s apartment, and continued in 2015 with a depiction of the mental asylum that housed many of the Art Brut disciples of Dubuffet alongside several of Dubuffet’s paintings.

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  • Leading the Weiwei

    Ai Weiwei at The Royal Academy of Arts
    by Georgina Inglis Leading the Weiwei

    The world has been waiting agog for the latest show at the Royal Academy of Arts: an impressive summation of works by contemporary artist and political activist Ai Weiwei. Featuring significant works from 1993 onwards, the year that Ai returned to China after more than a decade in New York, the exhibition is profound, powerful and deeply political.

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  • For the love of spinels...

    “There is also… an other kydne of rubies which wee caule spinelle” Richard Eden, 16th century alchemist, 1555
    by Freya Simms For the love of spinels...

    What better way to start the week than to be dazzled by jewels and to be treated to a sneak preview of Bonhams upcoming auction of fine jewels to be held this Thursday, 24th September at Bonhams, Bond Street? One of the benefits of having been in the art market for a number of years working across auction houses, fairs and galleries is the rich and varied network you acquire along the way and the access it can bring.

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  • Restoration vs Conservation

    by Hermione Wace Restored fresco of three women from Knossos

    In 1900 the eccentric but celebrated English antiquarian Arthur Evans began a career-defining archaeological dig near Heraklion in Crete. There he would uncover the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, the largest and most splendid Minoan settlement on the island. 

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  • Preserve the Critic

    by Tony Thorncroft, Guest blog Covent Garden Theatre as drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, engraving 1808

    The Chichester Festival Theatre launches its summer season with a small drinks party for the critics, especially the critics of the national newspapers who are happy to come down from London for the first night. Around ten years ago the reviewers looked slightly mystified. 

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  • The Therapeutic Qualities of Art

    We should all be making as well as looking
    by Abi Gold The Therapeutic Qualities of Art

    It’s amazing that working in the art world, there is so little time for being creative oneself. Of course, our work at Golden2 Consulting has lots of creative merit; writing, brainstorming ideas, thinking strategically about clients needs and goals, and discussing the attributes of the visual arts we are lucky enough to work amongst daily.

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  • Museums: Is Free Entry Sustainable?

    by Charly Hancock The National Gallery, London

    The re-opening of York City Art Gallery after a two and a half year redevelopment should have been a celebration for the city, however the introduction of a £7.50 entry fee has sparked national discussion about whether free access to art is a right, or whether we should indeed be paying for our museums and galleries.

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  • ‘Staycationing’ in London? What to see and do this August…

    by Lucy Barry ‘Reclining Form’, by Barbara Hepworth, 1959. Offered by Offer Waterman & Co at Masterpiece London 2015.

    Come the autumn, London will be awash with stellar exhibitions, the monumental ‘Frieze Week’, and a host of high profile auctions.  While many galleries take August as their holiday month there are still fantastic exhibitions and shows to see if you aren’t flying off to sunny weather elsewhere. Here are our top 4 things to see this August:

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  • Edinburgh Art Festival

    by Olivia Palazzo Callum Innes, The Regent Bridge, 2012. Photograph by Stuart Armitt. Courtesy of Edinburgh Art Festival

    The month of August sees thousands of tourists descend upon Scotland’s capital city for the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With the city’s population almost doubling at this time, surveys show that the majority of the half a million visitors flock to Edinburgh for the notorious comedy scene. However, running parallel to the 3,000-odd shows that fall under the Edinburgh Fringe is Edinburgh Art Festival, the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art. The festival brings together the capital’s museums, galleries and artist-run spaces to create an extensive events programme which celebrates UK and international artists across all ages. 

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  • It’s written in the Stars…

    by Freya Simms Daniel Crouch Rare Books, Apianus, Petrus Astronomicum Caesareum. Ingolstadt, Peter Apian, 1540.

    Some of the earliest evidence of man on earth demonstrates our perpetual quest to understand exactly where we are at a given time and place. Mapmaking has been an integral part of the human history for thousands of years from cave paintings to ancient maps of Babylon, Greece, and Asia, through the Age of Exploration, and on into the 21st century. People have created and used maps as essential tools to help them define, explain, and navigate their way through the world.  The earliest known maps are of the heavens, not the earth. Dots dating to 16,500 BC found on the walls of the Lascaux caves map out part of the night sky, including the three bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair as well as the Pleiades star cluster.

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  • Whither the Old Master Market

    by Diana Cawdell Galerie Eric Coatelem at TEFAF 2015. Photo: Harry Heuts

    The recent round of Old Master sales in London has been covered widely and inevitably the rather lacklustre results raise questions about the health and future of the Old Master market. It’s a market in decline.  It’s a market that’s dying.  It’s a market that’s dead.  So claim the naysayers.

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  • London Art Week 2015

    by Georgina Inglis The Weiss Gallery, Cornelius Johnson, An Unknown Lady, Painted 1624, Oil on panel, 77.5 x 61 cm

    We are coming to the end of London Art Week (3-10 July 2015), and Mayfair and St James’s has been awash with collectors, curators and art enthusiasts gallery-hopping from one dealer to another in an area historically famed for its arts community.

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    by Annie McGrath Crowd Talks

    In my foundation year at Camberwell College, I remember asking my tutor if I could go to the library and, without a hint of irony, he said: “you can, but don’t get suffocated by all the knowledge”. I laughed, before realising that he definitely wasn’t joking. 

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  • Art Fairs: The Auction House alternative for dealers

    Originally published in the May 2015 issue of Arts Industry
    by Tony Thorncroft, Guest blog  Ben Janssens, Bronze ritual food vessel Gui

    One of the familiar London experiences of a generation or so ago was to stroll down Bond Street or Cork Street, glancing in at the ubiquitous art galleries crowding there, to observe a bored young Sloane painting her nails and waiting desperately for a potential customer. It is an image of the past. Now many of those galleries will have transmogrified into global fashion shops and, in those that linger on, the listless girl will have been replaced by a harassed man anxiously searching a computer for an internet sale. Today the passing trade has all but disappeared for art and antique dealers: business is done mainly online – or at art fairs. 

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  • Dorotheum’s Contemporary Art sale

    by Anna Kirrage Dorotheum, Enrico Castellani (born Castelmassa, Rovigo in 1930) ‘Superficie’, 1960, titled, signed and dated Castellani 1960 on the stretcher, canvas in relief, 100 x 120 cm Schätzwert/Estimate

    Dorotheum’s Contemporary Art sale, held in Vienna on the evening of 10th June, offered for sale the auction house’s most international roster of artists yet. Alongside works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Victor Vasarely and Marc Quinn, was a group of masterpieces by the famed Italian avant-garde school which included artists like Fontana, Manzoni, Bonalumi, Castellani, Scheggi and Melotti.

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  • All the Fun of the Fairs

    by Hermione Wace Photo: Masterpiece London 2015

    June has arrived, and with it London will see an influx of international collectors, art professionals and aficionados flocking to this month’s veritable feast of art fairs, auctions and exhibitions. The first of the art fairs is Art Antiques London (12-18 June) returning for its fifth edition in Kensington Gardens. It is followed by Olympia International Art & Antiques that will move its dates to 19-28 June, in order to coincide with major Impressionist and Modern art auctions as well as Masterpiece London. The latter will open its door on 25 June, and after only four years is firmly established on the global art calendar. For those on the preview circuit, the excitement continues throughout London Art Week (3-10 July) in which 44 galleries and 3 auction houses will participate.

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  • A-Mazed: Photo London 2015

    by Abi Gold Teddy BamBam ©Jocelyn Bain Hogg courtesy ATLAS Gallery

    Last weekend, the largest photography fair ever staged in London took place at Somerset House.The weekend event welcomed over 20,000 visitors to 70 international galleries exhibiting vintage and rare prints, and contemporary and new work by both established and emerging talent. Also included were 3 special exhibitions, installations in the courtyard, and a varied talks programme.

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  • Sculpture shines at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

    by Charly Hancock Sculpture by the Lakes's stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

    Amongst the roses and dahlias, at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, there was an overwhelming presence of outdoor sculpture. One key trend was the use of recycled materials from Laura Antebi's galvanised steel wire sculptures and James Doran Webb's driftwood horses, to the weird and wonderful shell-encrusted animals by Polly Fields, which included a frightfully elaborate Tyrannosaurus Rex head.

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  • Golden² Consulting

    by Hermione Wace Photo: Rory Lindsay

    Golden Square is fast-becoming a hot spot for the London art scene. Since 2007 it has housed the Frith Street Gallery, with its exhibition programme of leading contemporary artists and emerging talent. But is was the opening of the palatial Marian Goodman Gallery in October 2014, with an inaugural exhibition of Gerhard Richter that really put this corner of Soho on the map. This is not to mention Sadie Coles’ nearby premises on Kingly Street, Pace Gallery on Lexington Street and pop-up gallery Herald St on the Square itself. The newest addition to this impressive line-up is not a gallery, but multi-faceted arts business Golden² Consulting. 

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