Auction Houses: The Best Kept Secret

Van Gogh            Bellini

Ever wished you could run your fingers over a Van Gogh and feel the lumps of paint raised off the canvas? Or maybe you wished with all your heart to pat the head of an ancient marble statue on your last visit to the Metropolitan Museum?

Deep down inside all of us is a 5-year old who just wants to touch the Van Gogh, pat the marble Bellini, pick up the Asian vase, and try on the extravagant Sapphire ring. But every one of us knows that at museums, galleries, and even people’s personal collections, the art is to be experienced by sight alone. No touching allowed.

I have good news for that inner 5-year old. There are places where you can touch, pick up, move, and handle art work of all kinds. Don’t believe me? Well keep reading.

One of the best kept secrets of the art world is the auction house. Yes, art auctions cater to high-brow, wealthy clients with time and money to invest in art and it seems to restrict access to those of us who are loves of art but are not yet patrons. However, auction houses are interactive, alive, and full of freedom.

In the auction house galleries are the works of art, jewelry, manuscripts, wine, and sometimes cars that will be auctioned off in the near future. The galleries allow patrons to come and view the works, discuss the details with specialists and get a sense of what they will bid on when the time for the live auction comes. As a result, these galleries are open to the public for free! And not only that, but because the works are on the market to be sold into mostly personal collections, the auction house allows potential patrons (and those of us who wander in) to look at AND handle the art! Amazing. I know.

The beauty of the auction house galleries is that they rotate often so you’re able see a variety of different collections, different styles, and different artists all the time! [And, in case you’re wondering, some auctions let you drop in for free even if you’re not registered to bid.]

If your inner 5-year old demands an interactive art experience, then head to one of these three auction houses and be astounded by the volume of art, the variety of art, and the very large sums at which these works of art are valued.

Sotheby's Art Auction House NYC

Sotheby’s has more than just artwork. Last year, Sotheby’s had a McLaren F1 supercar on view at their auction house. It was estimated to fetch $12m but sold for $13.7m. (It’s ok. Jaw dropping is completely appropriate here). If you’re a car or jewelry enthusiast, Sotheby’s is for you. Check for my next post for the ins and outs of your visit to Sotheby’s!

Christie's Auction House NYC

Christie’s is known for its very popular and timeless Old Masters Auctions.

Phillips Art Auction House NYC

Phillips is your place if you’re a contemporary art lover.

Stay tuned for in-depth posts about each of these auction houses!!

Artfully yours,

{Kelsey Leigh}


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