Friday, May 4, 2012

Art Ka-Ching

Recently I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to view a special Van Gogh exhibit.  I queued up at 1:45 p.m. for the 2 p.m. show.  There had to be at least 100 people before me.  I suddenly realized I was witnessing Art Ka-Ching.

Read On:
Some basic facts:
  • The Van Gogh Up Close Exhibit started February 1st and ends Sunday, May 6th.
  • Members see the exhibit free.  Fortunately I am a member.
  • Non-member public admission prices: Adults $28.50, Seniors $26.50, Students $23.50, Youth (ages 13-18) $23.50, Child (ages 5-12) $15.50.
  •   The museum is closed Mondays, open from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday thru Thursday and weekends, open late Fridays until 8:45 p.m.
When I finally got into the exhibit at 2:10 p.m., I asked the guard how many tickets they were selling per show – 250.  So at 500 viewers per hour (conservatively figure they only sell out 75 per cent of their tickets), seven hours a day (nine and a half hours on Fridays); think about the Art Ka-Ching the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been ringing up.  Oh yes, now add in souvenir sales! 

More Art Ka-Ching.   Wednesday night Edvard Munch’s classic “The Scream” broke a world record at the Sotheby’s auction.  It was sold to an anonymous buyer for $119, 922, 500 breaking the previous record established in 2010, Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” for $106.5 million.  For the record the highest price paid for a piece of art sold privately to Qatar (the country) was Cezanne’s The Card Players” last year for $250 million 

Is art morphing into big business sales?  Ka-Ching!  Ka-Ching!  Ka-Ching!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim,

    I think art has always been a profitable endeavour, at least for those institutions that have the social status to gain patrons who can help them finance purchases/arrange travelling exhibits.

    After all, art does have a long history of being affiliated with the upper echelons of society, dating back all the way to the Ancient Egyptians, where only the pharoahs, priests and nobles could afford to pay artists to decorate their tombs and sarcophagus.

    Now, artists, on the other hand, well unfortunately most of them aren't so lucky in profiting from their talents.

    Sounds like it was a fascinating exhibit, Jim. I do enjoy visiting these travelling exhibits because they often do a great job of not only showcasing great works, but providing a context and timeframe which helps give the viewer a better appreciation for the work.