Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Pricing “Silver and Gold”
The most expensive plein air painting deacessioned by the Orange County Museum of Art seems to be Granville Redmond's Silver and Gold. How important is it, anyway?
Many will tell you that "California Impressionism" doesn't count for much in the scheme of art history. They've got a point. OCMA director Dennis Szakacs says he's bought a 1984 Jack Goldstein painting (for $95,000) with a fraction of the proceeds. Just about everyone in the art world (excepting Cali plein air wingnuts) would say that's an interesting and potentially defensible trade. Not that Goldstein's name will necessarily mean anything a hundred years hence: who can know such things?
And that's the point. The swap must be evaluated, at least in part, by whether OCMA got fair market value for the Redmond. In the L.A. Times, Laguna Art Museum director Bolton Colburn termed Silver and Gold “an A-plus, a perfect Redmond, one of the five best paintings he ever did.” He suggests that this single work is worth a million, approximately the reported $963,000 purchase price for all 18 paintings.
In today's flat-world economy, one admittedly crude index of an artwork's marketability is the presence of Internet knock-offs. Want a Redmond-ish Silver and Gold to hang in your great room? Check out these prices.
From China, a full-size (30 by 40-inch) "museum quality" copy of Silver and Gold runs $135. Settle for high quality, and it's only $69.
From Australia, the price is quoted by e-mail, depending on the desired size [sic throughout]: "We sale oil paint direct from our oil painting studio. we supply only the museum quality of oil paintings on 100% cotton canvas from Australia. All our paint are painted by our talent artist who graduated from art university and at least 10 years of experience on oil paintings." (Pictured, screen shot from the "Australian Oil Painting Studio Team.")
Doesn't it say something that the reputation of this one Redmond painting has made it to the oil-painting mills of the antipodes?