Auctions

5 industry insiders on how the pandemic has affected the art world – Business Insider – Business Insider

  • The art world is known for its ritzy galas and glamorous dinner parties, which are a large part of its appeal to affluent art aficionados. But all of that changed when the pandemic hit.
  • As galleries, auctions, and art fairs move online, the industry is adapting to the digital market.
  • But many are still preparing for blowback caused by the global market turbulence.
  • Business Insider spoke to five people in the art world to see how they’re holding up in the pandemic and what their hopes are for the industry’s future.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The week of March 9, the famed auction house Christie’s sent out invitations to an evening art lecture scheduled for that Sunday, March 15. But just two days before the event, the invites were retracted, and Christie’s announced it was closing its offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and in the Middle East.

This was a signal that the art world, which had still been in full swing in early March, was about to come to terms with a once-in-a-century crisis: the coronavirus pandemic.

“This has been an unprecedented period of disruption in the near 255-year history of Christie’s, and the auction industry will certainly experience a financial impact, just as nearly all industries will,” Jennifer Zatorski, president of Christie’s America, told Business Insider. 

That disruption is perhaps illustrated best (and most jarringly) by the change at Pier 90 in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The weekend of March 5, it
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