Photography Biz Rallies after Sept. 11 Meltdown; the Terrorist Attacks and Bear Economy of the Last Year Heavily Affected the Fine Art Photography Market. but as We Head into Fall, Dealers Are Optimistically Moving Forward with Shows and Auctions

By Prisant, Barden | Art Business News, October 2002 | Go to article overview

Photography Biz Rallies after Sept. 11 Meltdown; the Terrorist Attacks and Bear Economy of the Last Year Heavily Affected the Fine Art Photography Market. but as We Head into Fall, Dealers Are Optimistically Moving Forward with Shows and Auctions


Prisant, Barden, Art Business News


The last year has been fraught with uncertainty for photography dealers, as it has been for every member of the art market. Between Sept. 11 and the stock market meltdown, it has been difficult for them to set a steady course and maintain an even keel. Shows and auctions have been particularly vulnerable because they require dealers and consignors to make commitments months in advance of the scheduled event.

The market for photography, however, remains strong. Indeed, due to its integral place in the contemporary art world, the proliferation of new styles and artists on the market and its lower price points, photography has continued to sell. But, as in the rest of the fine art market, quality quickly rises to the top in times of strife.

Stephen Cohen, director of photo 1.a. and Photo San Francisco and owner of the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles, offered the adage that "good material will always bring strong prices." However, he said "good" need not necessarily be synonymous with "expensive." For example, dealers in "vernacular photographs" (quirky, unattributable or kitschy images) seem to have developed quite a following, and the pieces they offer are generally only in the low hundreds.

In tough times like these, Cohen said the photography market has an advantage over the paintings market because there are many entry-level photographs on often (By comparison, to start collecting original oils, the ante would likely fall in the four-figure range.) In general, he remains comfortable advising clients that the photo market is "still a good place for people to put money."

"Certainly, photography in the last five years has become much more collectible and acceptable than it was prior," added Barry Podgorsky, co-owner of Soho Triad Fine Art in New York, about the state of the market. "Most major museums have active photography departments. More and more, it has expanded its collector base."

Effects of Sept. 11 and the Economy

In spite of its continued prominence in the art community, the photography market was severely impacted by the terrorist attacks of last year and the faltering economy. "Sept. 11 made things difficult getting pieces from Europe to here," observed Cohen. Not only was there the matter of security-related airport delays, but the post-Sept. 11 art insurance situation may have also deterred some galleries from participating in last year's photo l.a. "It was really going great until Sept. 11," he wistfully said. Furthermore, he bemoaned the fact that the stale economy has caused "a kind of flatness in the business." He did, however, point out that the photography market is holding its own in this time of trouble.

According to Julie Saul, a member of the Advisory Committee for the newly formed The Armory Photography Show, the economy had already started to take its toll months before the terrorist attacks. "April 2001 was the moment things slowed down," she said, and there is ample support for her claim. A recent government report states that, contrary to earlier calculations, the U.S. recession had started way back in April 2001, not later in the year, as had been previously announced.

This assessment of the photo market is further confirmed by Leila Buckjune, vice president and head of the photographs department at Christie's, New York. By April 2001, "the market was already becoming more selective," she observed. Yet, she did offer a glimmer of hope, adding, "The market is always strong for good material; I hope that we will see that again this fall."

Photography Shows & Auctions

In spite of the economic problems, the existence of several photography shows and the establishment of a new show in a difficult market is perhaps a testament to the strength of photography. When it comes to these shows and the upcoming photography auctions at the seminal New York auction houses, just what does the market look like this fall; is there reason to be hopeful? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Photography Biz Rallies after Sept. 11 Meltdown; the Terrorist Attacks and Bear Economy of the Last Year Heavily Affected the Fine Art Photography Market. but as We Head into Fall, Dealers Are Optimistically Moving Forward with Shows and Auctions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.