There’s no university for learning the art auctioneering business, says Peter Loughrey, executive director of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA).
Sure, Sotheby’s and Christie’s offer a few masters-level courses, but if you’re serious about it, you’re pretty much on your own.
“You have to learn how to research a piece, negotiate consignment contracts and make sure something’s covered by insurance, door to door,” he says.
Loughrey spent some time at Sotheby’s, then opened up his own gallery, running it for four years before he founded his auction house in 1992. It’s earned distinction as the first auction house to specialize in 20th-century modern art and design.
An upcoming October auction will feature 533 works, to be bid on over the course of seven hours. That’s one piece every 25 to 35 seconds.
But it’ll be conducted in a genteel manner.
“If you’re expecting someone speaking quickly or people touching their noses to bid, that’s in the movies or a cattle auction,” he says. “Because I worked and trained at Sotheby’s for a time, I learned to be slow and deliberate and gentlemanly.”
Among the items up for bid on October 12:
Add to that paintings and furniture by Mies, Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Lloyd Wright and what you’re actually talking about is a huge opportunity, and not just a sale.
All of it can be previewed daily, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.; the auction opens at noon on Oct.12.
For more, go to https://lamodern.com/