How (and Why) to Buy In to High-End Art
BOSTON (MainStreet) -- The high-end art market deserves a real shout-out these days -- and not just because Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream sold at auction last month for a record $120 million.
Three of the four pieces that have fetched $100 million or more in auction history have gone under the gavel in the past two years. In fact, 11 of the 20 highest-priced auction sales on record have taken place since the Great Recession began in earnest in 2008.
"At the high end, prices are very strong," says Scot Levitt, director of fine arts for auction house Bonhams. "Rarity is driving this primarily,
That certainly proved true when Sotheby's auctioned off the only one of four versions of "The Scream still owned by a private collector rather than a museum. An unidentified buyer paid $119.9 million for the 1895 painting, crushing the previous auction record of $106.5 million paid in 2010 for Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust.
The expert admits the Great Recession "softened the
He says buying a famous painting offers wealthy consumers an experience vastly different from simply looking at a well-known piece in a gallery.
"Owning a work of art
The expert believes most people who buy high-end art do so for a combination of personal enjoyment and profit potential.
"Some folks buy pieces that they like, while others purchase things for investment reasons," Levitt says. "Most tend to buy with a combination of both of these issues in mind. They buy because they like