THE ART DEALERS by John Russell & Brain Brooke Taylor


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Not quite as sharply cautionary as Robert Wraight's The Art Game (1966) two other informed Englishmen provide spectrographic analysis of the picture business for those who consider buying for profit or pleasure. The novice for whom this is primarily intended (anyone who has been shopping around for a time will know most of it) hasn't much of a chance at the former and the latter consists of those intangible subjective satisfactions. The beginning buyer will also not be able to afford that expensive squiggle in the corner which represents a signature to the dealer. They discuss two prototypical dealers (Duveen, old masters; Durand-Ruel, great contemporaries); the discoveries which are few; the provenance from galleries to flea markets to auctions; forgeries and thefts as well as show biz manipulation of the market (Warhol); and all the other influences (cachet, snobbism, tax deductions, etc.), while concluding that you ""pay your money, take your choice and hope for the best."" The provenance is primarily British but the authors know what goes on over here and the book serves as a pleasantly sensible preliminary.

Pub Date: June 5th, 1969
Publisher: Scribners