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Art auction houses seeing large turnouts

on Friday,November 05,2010 19:11

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Many businesses are still feeling the backlash of the 2008 recession, but the art industry is not one of them. Since the economic downturn, big name paintings have been fetching millions of dollars for auction houses, according to the New York Times.

Rarity has played a role in the success dealers and firms are seeing as of late. The Sotheby and Christie auction houses recently sold off nearly half a billion dollars worth of paintings, sculptures and drawings as more collectors showed a willingness to pay large amounts of money for historical pieces of art. Three world records were set for the prices that two paintings and one sculpture sold for.

Bidders have seemingly willing to splurge to obtain these rare pieces as well. In a 1996 sale held by Sotheby, the auction house had a difficult time making back the money on a Modigliani painting titled, "Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau." When it recently re-entered auction, was sold for a surprising $19 million.

Artist jobs are projected to increase by 12 percent over the next eight years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the industry continues to see success, more people may be encourage to gain an education in art and enter the field.

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