For­ward Mo­men­tum

With a stellar year of sales now be­hind the West­ern art market, auc­tion houses look to con­tinue build­ing mo­men­tum into 2019.

Western Art Collector - - WESTERN ART TRAIL CALENDAR -

“[W]e have no­ticed an up­trend in smaller but so­phis­ti­cated ‘jewels’ from the early 20th­cen­tury masters of the South­west. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are see­ing ro­bust in­ter­est in over­looked women artists who were liv­ing, work­ing, vis­it­ing and ob­serv­ing the early West along­side their bet­ter-known male coun­ter­parts. Our first-ever cu­rated sale of pri­mar­ily Na­tive Amer­i­can arts, hosted in August 2018, was en­thu­si­as­ti­cally re­ceived among both our long­time col­lec­tor base as well as clients new to the auc­tion. These ar­eas will con­tinue to be a fo­cus of our ex­pand­ing 2019 cal­en­dar.” —Jenna Kloep­pel, Santa Fe Art Auc­tion

“2018 was Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion’s best year in its 15-year his­tory, with sales to­tal­ing more than $18 mil­lion and our sell-through rate at 96 per­cent. We sold more West­ern art in 2018 than any other auc­tion house. We’re hop­ing for an­other ban­ner year in 2019. We are cur­rently in the process of tak­ing con­sign­ments for our April 6 auc­tion. We will con­tinue to take im­por­tant works up to mid-jan­uary. We don’t see any fac­tors in the econ­omy or in the art market that are con­cern­ing look­ing for­ward into 2019— we are op­ti­mistic!” —Brad Richard­son, Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion

“As new col­lec­tors be­come in­tro­duced to gal­leries and mu­seum shows, ma­ture col­lec­tors have learned how to use the sec­ondary market of auctions to both re­fine their col­lec­tions with care­ful prun­ing and ex­pand their col­lec­tions with key pieces that are miss­ing in an en­ergy of ex­change. The auc­tion market has be­come a trad­ing floor where sea­soned col­lec­tors gather to test the strength of their col­lec­tions and new col­lec­tors gather to test the wa­ters. With con­sumer confidence ex­pected to remain strong for 2019, both groups should look for­ward to an ac­tive sea­son.” —Jack Mor­ris, Scotts­dale Art Auc­tion

“From traditiona­l to con­tem­po­rary West­ern art, col­lec­tors are broad­en­ing their col­lec­tions. For ex­am­ple, modern West­ern art con­tin­ues to at­tract new col­lec­tors and sea­soned col­lec­tors alike. This is a healthy sign for the West­ern art market. I per­son­ally be­lieve we should ap­pre­ci­ate and rec­og­nize the past but also sup­port and embrace the fu­ture of West­ern art.” —Richard Al­ter­mann, Al­ter­mann Gal­leries & Auc­tion­eers

“While much of the market seems steady, we are see­ing bold bid­ding for top-tiered artists. There has also been an in­creased de­mand for West­ern bronzes, which I sus­pect will con­tinue as we move into the New Year... The cur­rent market gen­er­ally con­sists of es­tab­lished and so­phis­ti­cated col­lec­tors, so the trend of qual­ity over quan­tity will cer­tainly con­tinue through 2019.” —Alissa Ford, Her­itage Auctions

“What we’re ex­cited about is we’ve seen, based on our last two sales, is an in­flux of younger peo­ple. That ex­cites us! To see that resur­gence in younger peo­ple be­gin to take an in­ter­est in his­tor­i­cal items is re­ally great. We thought we’d never see that again and it would just die out, but it’s coming back strong. It’s also fun to watch young peo­ple show up and show an in­ter­est in these works of art and ar­ti­facts.” —Brian Lebel, Old West Events

“For more than 30 years our sale has been a high­light of West­ern Art Week in Great Falls, Mon­tana. We think the col­lec­tors will love the work we’ve put to­gether over the last year and we’re ex­cited to show them what we have. Our gallery sales have been brisk so there’s no rea­son to see that trend chang­ing mov­ing into 2019.” —Ron Nick­las, March in Mon­tana

“Auc­tion buy­ers are dis­cern­ing and al­ways look­ing for that rare work to add to their col­lec­tions at the right price. We con­tinue to see an up­ward tick in sales of im­por­tant il­lus­tra­tors as ev­i­denced by our 2018 sale of Norman Rock­well’s John Wayne, which ex­pe­ri­enced ro­bust bid­ding by a num­ber of col­lec­tors and in the end realized nearly $1.5 mil­lion. Re­gard­ing the 2019 auc­tion out­look, a sig­na­ture of Jack­son Hole Art Auc­tion is the sale of im­por­tant wildlife artists, both con­tem­po­rary and past masters. We strive to of­fer our col­lec­tors the best of the best and judg­ing by what we already have expect that our of­fer­ing for next year will be no ex­cep­tion.” —Rox­anne Hof­mann Mow­ery, Jack­son Hole Art Auc­tion

“[W]e’ve seen an in­flux of newer col­lec­tors en­ter­ing the market. This is al­ways en­cour­ag­ing and we’ve en­joyed a large percentage of new buy­ers both in-house and on­line. While on­line sales have in­creased steadily over the last five years, be­ing in the sale­room live is still the place to be. Over 500 col­lec­tors at­tended our 2018 auc­tion and we feel it’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to be able to view the works in per­son... We’re see­ing lots of qual­ity ma­te­rial coming out for the 2019 sale due to the sta­bil­ity of the market. Market trends show the con­tin­ued de­mand for blue-chip his­tor­i­cal artists and a sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in con­tem­po­rary art, es­pe­cially some of the newer names.” —Mike Overby, Coeur d’alene Art Auc­tion

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