Art Market Analysis – The Value of Themed Collections
A trend has begun to emerge in the art market where auction houses and art dealers are holding very specific themed sales of art such as the ‘Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds’ auction being held by Christies on the 23rd of October. An art auction works on the same principles as an art exhibition with one of the primary objectives of both being to make the selection of works as interesting as possible to as wide an audience as possible so as to get as many people through the doors.
Galleries tend to have very specific themes for their exhibitions because a collection or body of work that tells a story is far more accessible and interesting than an exhibition of random, unrelated artworks. When you go to see a themed exhibition you know that lots of work has been put into carefully choosing the works of art that best represent the story or theme of the exhibition which The works of art in a themed exhibition also benefit and feed off each other by providing different interpretations and views of a particular subject, by presenting chronological progression of ideas and techniques and presenting a more complete picture of a particular place, idea, period or person thus enhancing the whole viewing experience by allowing the viewer to totally immerse themselves in the whole experience.
Themed sales or auctions tend to get more media attention and also attract people with a common interest that usually tends to result in a social atmosphere that helps create buzz which is very beneficial for the sale, so it’s no wonder that auction houses and art dealers have begun to use these tactics. These same principles can be applied to an art collection with works of art that are part of a themed collection often being of greater value as part of the collection than if they weren’t part of a themed collection for the reasons that I have outlined above. A sale of a themed collection of art will often achieve better results than if the works had been sold at separate auctions so if you have a particular interest in an area of art that could be classed as a theme then you might like to build your collection around that theme. Having a themed collection also allows you to become a sort of expert in the particular area which can not only provide opportunities for you as a collector but can also add to the historical and curatorial value of your collection.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.