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The Growing Impact of Women in the Art Industry

By Bob Teague and Art Peritus Staff

The art industry has long been influenced by the contributions of women—you just have to list off names like Guggenheim, Whitney, Parsons and Gardner to see that. However, in recent decades, there has been a growing momentum of women at all levels getting involved in the industry, shaping the artistic landscape, and influencing market trends.

This recent surge in women in the art industry has played a vital role in breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, and promoting inclusivity within the art world.

“I think (women) have broadened the field away from areas where it may have been in some cases an Old Boys Club to be something more dynamic, broader, and inclusive,” says Jennifer Krieger, managing partner at Hawthorne Fine Art, a gallery that specializes in 19th and early 20th century American art with an emphasis on historic female artists. “I see many of my colleagues observing artwork in a more fresh and direct manner and redefining the canon of American Art.”

By expanding diversity and visibility for female artists, we are enriching the cultural dialogue and actively shaping the future of the art industry as a whole. Their distinct perspectives, approaches, and styles have not only contributed to the evolution of artistic movements but have also dismantled outdated gender stereotypes.

According to Jennifer Garland Ross, AAA, founder of the art appraisal and advisory firm Art Peritus, the inclusion of more female artists in galleries and exhibitions goes beyond just fairness. “It’s crucial for the enrichment and evolution of the art world. Showcasing more female artists broadens the range of perspectives and narratives in the art world,” Ross says. “Different life experiences and viewpoints contribute to a richer, more nuanced cultural dialogue.”

Although there is improvement, Ross also notes that “female artists still continue to face significant underrepresentation in museum collections and art galleries.” According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, America’s top 18 museums house an overwhelming 87% of work by male artists. Concurrently, art galleries in Europe and North America only feature about 14% of artwork created by female artists. Similar underrepresentation of female artists is also reflected in private collections. According to the 2023 Art Basel & UBS Global Art Market Report that surveyed over 2,800 high-net-worth collectors, their art collections are dominated by male artists, with a ratio of 61% to 39% female, however, it is an improvement from 33% female artists in 2018.

The impact of women on the art industry extends beyond the creation of art. “Woman-owned businesses open fresh pathways to potentially untapped earnings,” Leslie Gat, president of Art Conservation Group, says. “Arguably all new businesses do this, but the surge in woman-run businesses and women in important positions across the board—as dealers, insurers, conservators, collectors, collection managers, advisors, critics and others—can’t help but create new vibrant communities with participants who want to connect and make things happen.”

There is a synergy between new ideas and perspectives that accelerates the economic potential. More perspectives excite more possibilities and introduce more artists. More artists in turn, offer more opportunities. This compounding effect moves the needle forward through time as future generations of women and other diverse groups broaden what art is and what the art industry can be.

The Takeaway

The art industry is continuing to be enriched by the contributions of women. Their influence extends from shaping the artistic landscape to influencing market trends and collector preferences. By breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, promoting inclusivity, and adding new opportunities for artists and collectors, women are playing a vital role in the dynamic evolution of the art industry.

In short, the art world is more valuable when it presents opportunities and reflects the diverse perspectives of everyone.

 

SOURCES

Leslie Gat, founder of the Art Conservation Group, is a 35-year art industry veteran as a conservator for major museums and private collections worldwide. She is a fellow with the American Institute for Conservation and is an adjunct faculty at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center.

Jennifer C. Krieger, managing partner of Hawthorne Fine Art, has almost a quarter of a century in the art industry. She was co-curator of the “Remember the Ladies: Women of the Hudson River School,” the first exhibition dedicated to the work of female Hudson River School artists. She is also a member of the Appraisers Association of America and currently serves on the Landscape / Viewshed Advisory Committee of the Olana State Historic Site.

Jennifer Garland Ross, AAA, is the founder of Art Peritus, LLC, an art advisory and appraisal consortium. She is a certified member and former board member of the Appraisers Association of America with almost 30 years in the art industry in a variety of roles.

Bob Teague is a freelance online creator, marketer, and journalist with 30 years of digital, print, radio, and television experience. He can be reached at coldwaterflatinfo@gmail.com.


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Founded in 2007 by Jennifer Garland Ross, Art Peritus is an Art Appraisal, Advisory, and Collection Management firm serving clients worldwide, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Florida, Colorado, and London. Working with private collectors and industry professionals, the firm guides clients through the nuances of the appraisal process and ensures that the needs of any size collection, across all categories, are properly considered and in the client’s best interest. In early 2022 Art Peritus launched AP Selects, an online sales venture in which clients can consign art and furniture for sale through the business website, as well as on 3rd party independent online platforms including Incollect.com. We sat down with Jennifer Garland Ross to ask her about the AP Selects platform.

 

Tell us about your appraisal business.

We provide detailed, objective, carefully researched, and illustrated appraisals that conform to the most recent USPAP standards and The Getty Information Institute “Object ID” standards. We subcontract to over 50 specialists to do appraisals and reviews, so have valuable expertise in all areas of collecting from design and art to jewelry and wine.

We are also well known for the damage and loss appraisal work we perform for insurance claims. For example, when there is a fire in a building, everything needs to be checked for soot. Since soot is so corrosive, most things affected by it need conservation. From an immediate assessment of how best to secure and stabilize any type of artwork, to the engagement of professional conservators and handlers, to establishing the potential loss in value — we provide our clients with white-glove service overseeing every step of the process, start to finish.

 

What are some of the recent projects you have worked on?

Due to confidentiality, we typically can’t speak about our clients. However, I can share our recent work on an extensive collection belonging to the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation which sold at Christie’s last fall. We carried out the complex donation appraisal on behalf of the family foundation, producing the report required by the IRS.

 

You have just launched AP Selects, in early 2022. What was the thinking behind this move into online retailing of various collectibles, especially furniture?

We are art and furniture appraisers and consultants and have been brokering sales through auctions since the company’s inception. However, as the market has shifted over the last fifteen years, the gap between an auction vs retail value has grown much wider creating significant losses for previously coveted antiques. So, we decided to test the market for a select group of clients who were looking to downsize or change the interiors of their primary residence or second home. They typically have quite a bit of furniture and decorative art to sell. AP Selects gives them another option to consider for resale with returns falling between low auction and high retail.

 

So you don’t take possession of the items?

No, the objects stay in the home of the owners to keep their expenses low, and so they can use and enjoy them until a buyer or new home is found. However, there are times when clients decide they do not need or want to live with the piece any more and choose to keep the property in storage until it is sold. We first vet the pieces by checking for authenticity and condition, then we photograph and complete the valuation before listing them on our site and other third-party sites such as Incollect.com in return for a commission. It is another way of bringing desired collectibles to market and usually only for a limited time.

 

What mostly do you show and sell?

I was a European furniture specialist at Christie’s before founding Art Peritus. Although we tend to have quite a bit of European furniture listed due to my area of expertise and background, we have a wide variety of property on offer including quite a bit of fine art and will continue to branch out across all categories of collecting. I would say about 80% of what we sell now falls in the decorative arts category and is considered historical material. Rarely is the property new unless it is a unique or custom design.

 

How many pieces do you have listed?

Right now, around 250 objects across a few digital platforms, with an additional 400 new objects coming to market soon. There is no limit to what we can manage so long as the property is in good condition and can be listed at a price the client is comfortable selling.

 

What is your perception of the current market for design and furniture?

It is hard to generalize. I feel it is surely contracting in some areas but expanding rapidly in others. Overall people still have an eye out for unique, good-quality pieces across all categories.

My experience in the antique world tells me the blue-chip top end of this market is still doing fine. There are fewer top-end items for sale overall, however, the truly important pieces are still in demand commanding strong prices. Often In the past, interiors were decorated entirely in traditional style, pieces would stay in the residence permanently and then be passed down to the next generation. That is not typically the case today.

 

Why do you think this is happening?

The taste for decor has changed. We have 3 clients selling homes that were decorated in a traditional English or Continental (giltwood furniture) style. Each of them is shifting into a completely modern interior, purging their previous style entirely, all at once, and not always downsizing from their 25,000 sq ft home!

 

What are your best clients like?

Our best clients are those who want to cherry-pick specific pieces from different periods, places, and genres and integrate them together — it gives character and flavor to the interior rather than one consistent ‘packaged’ look. It’s wonderful when clients inject their opinions, personality, and taste. We collaborate with interior designers and their clients often to find those special pieces for their projects.

 

What is one of your most important and largest sales through AP Selects?

Recently we sold an early 20th-century painting considered an important work of American modernism. The piece sold for $2 million. We have quite a nice collection of mid-century Venetian glass as well as some interesting Art Deco furniture and bronzework coming to market that will be posted online shortly.

 

Discover More From Art Peritus Selects on Incollect

 

Read original interview on Incollect

 


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12/Oct/22
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Should the Warhol Foundation compensate the Photographer Lynn Goldsmith for referencing her photograph of Prince, or is it Fair Use? Two different courts had different opinions on the matter, so this case has moved all the way up to the Supreme Court. The decision will actually be televised on CSPAN today and will have a major impact on Art Law.

The Art World is all ears because the decision will have trickle down effects in terms of Fair Use and many organizations, including Museums, are concerned. There are fears that Artists will not have freedom of expression. But at the same time, when there is so much sharing of images with social media and reuse, should artists get some sort of licensing compensation or attribution? Especially when artist’s who derive from their work make upwards of millions of dollars?

Art Peritus will watch this case closely to determine if the decision has any impact on value for contemporary works of art.

To read more about the case read the article by Nina Totenberg in NPR: https://www.npr.org/2022/10/12/1127508725/prince-andy-warhol-supreme-court-copyright

Image Reference: A portrait of Prince taken by Lynn Goldsmith (left) in 1981 and 16 silk-screened images Andy Warhol later created using the photo as a reference. Courtesy Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States


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06/Oct/22
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Have you heard the news? A Blue-and-White Dragon vase just sold for $7.5 Million—more than 4,000 times its $1,900 estimate according to artnet. “It exceeds the price of Napoleon’s saber!” said the flabbergasted French auctioneer who sold it.

According to the article by Caroline Goldstein, “The tianqiuping-style vase, featuring intricate blue designs of dragons and whorls on a white ground, was consigned by a woman who had never even seen the 21-inch-tall object. She had simply arranged for it to be sold from her late mother’s estate at the France-based Osenat auction house in Fontainebleau, France, about 40 miles from Paris.”

We asked Paul J. Fisher, Director of Appraisals and Business Development for Art Peritus, for an opinion on the matter. He recalled a similar story with the Qianlong vase that fetched £53.1M at auction in 2010, but as many will remember this vase was subsequently never paid for.

In regards to the Dragon vase bidding war, Paul says this occurs more frequently than might be expected. He commented:

“This remarkable sale shows the ongoing demand for important works, and it repeats the age old pattern of sellers not always knowing what they have. Advising private clients on the value of their property, however esoteric, is Art Peritus’ specialty.”

Curious to know what you have? Contact us for a consult at info@artperitus.com.

For more details on the saga of the Qianlong vase click here: https://en.thevalue.com/articles/exclusive-leak-sothebys-hong-kong-2018-qianlong-yellow-ground-reticulated-yangcai-vase-2010-bainbridge

Read about the Dragon Vase here: https://news.artnet.com/market/chinese-dragon-vase-unexpected-sale-8-million-2185468