The Importance of Museum-quality Art


All Hail the Rising Sun with Glee

Following in the Footsteps of Greatness: Enjoy a Museum-quality Reputation, Unrivalled Prestige and the Potential to Grow your Wealth

In ‘One Quadrillion’, we underlined the power of museum-quality art. Why do corporations, HNWIs and fund managers turn to validated museum-quality art of deep intrinsic artistic value and abiding substance? In this article, the first in our series ‘How to Build a Collection of High Art Value’, we shall explore why.

“Everyone wants to buy art of lasting importance. Museum-quality is the watchword” – Hans Neuendorf, Founder of Art Cologne

Museums are the ultimate art world validation, recognition and reward: the best experts, who operate within the greater cultural network, determine what is exhibited and, most importantly, acquired for their collections, thus, shaping the cultural landscape. The masses or popular vote do not decide.The specialists have pronounced that within the global discourse of art and its history, the artist and their work need to be included, not least for the generations to come: a resounding seal of approval.

With every single purpose-driven decision the museum’s reputation must be maintained and enhanced working with its history and everything it stands for as, after all, it is their strong reputation at home and internationally that gives museums: “The licence to operate”.

The study ‘What businesses can learn from the high reputations of museums’ concludes that museums have higher reputations than companies: “The most important drivers behind the high reputation of museums are primarily the quality and distinction of the collection”.

An art collection speaks on behalf of a museum as well as a corporation and individual. It reflects personality and in diplomatese thickens relationships. Respected collectors who follow the experts focusing on high artistic value can enjoy a high reputation and unrivalled social prestige (achieving Aristotelian Eudaimonia: dancing in the light).This is in stark contrast to the regret, humiliation and loss of wealth suffered by the uninitiated who follow popular opinion, superficial beauty and monetary value alone (like the stranded prisoners in Plato’s Cave: darkness and a false vision of truth).

“One friend, who works at a large PR agency with a collection of sub-Banksy street art, says: ‘I spend as much time apologising to visiting clients for its glaring mediocrity as I do trying to understand why we’ve invested in such dross’. This, clearly, is as bad as it gets” – Josh Spero, The Financial Times






Why not get it absolutely right? Following the expert judgements of the museums can give the collector an edge. What is a strong reputation worth? It is invaluable.

The museum is such a bastion of excellence with immense prestige that collectors loan, donate, and bequeath artworks, or even their entire collections ex gratia, leaving an eternal powerful legacy. Museums stringently and rigorously validate and verify every single artwork.

Artistic greatness is rare, as the renowned English writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley, writes: “Most art has always been either bad or indifferent. This is inevitable. Artistic talent is an extremely rare phenomenon”, and so as museums collect supply becomes more acute. Fortunately, for the collector, because art is highly selective, artistic achievement is also extremely predictable: there is a clear and consistent progression towards artistic success (See our upcoming article ‘The Validation Procedure: Stages to Recognition’). Equally, there is a path to failure.

“It is only the museum artists whose work begins to rise to exceptional prices, and of course it is the very rarity of such artists in a supply-and-demand market that accounts for the phenomenal prices achieved today in the auction houses” – Sir Alan Bowness CBE, Former Director of Tate

As discussed in ‘One Quadrillion’, museum-quality art is also attractive because it operates outside of the financial markets as research by J.P. Morgan, Glenmede Trust and The Economist concludes. This non-correlation contributes to the potential for superior returns over time; an insurance policy and hedge in times of stress to diversify exposure.

Elizabeth Xi Bauer is a globally recognised art platform. We help clients build, in a deterministic way, collections of deep abiding substance and high artistic value, validated museum-quality artworks only, by artists with a proven track record and serious exciting potential. Among them, our artists are collected by top international museums: Tate, MoMA, Pompidou Centre, British Museum, Victoria and Albert and Yale Center for British Art, for example.

We are delighted to offer our complimentary courses, simply choose and request, designed by our network of art world specialists, allowing one to learn about art history and train their artistic eye.

This article was published by Family Office Magazine (‘Art & Museum’ Summer Issue 2019)