fine art

New Zealand’s art industry has reported a boom in sales at auction houses across the country.

Auction houses have reported many milestones and records over the past 18 months, including a total annual sales figure reaching $28 million in 2016 for art sales across New Zealand.

One of the most impressive sales in the past 18 months was an auctioned collection by Art + Object, owned by Wellington couple Tim and Sherrah Francis. The couple’s collection received record breaking prices for 11 different artists, the entire collection grossing $7.2 million in September last year.

The auction of the collection also helped secure the highest price paid for a piece of work by a New Zealand artist, $1,586,250 which was paid for Colin McCanhon’s The Canoe Tainui, 1969.

In May this year, the Warwick & Kitty Brown collection, consisting of 190 different works, fetched a total of $2.982 million.

The selling of private collections at auction houses has contributed to the rise in sales of art across the country as the histories behind the collections and their collector makes them unique to prospective buyers. It also gives buyers the opportunity to view the collection as a whole and piece together the story of the collection.

Greater public awareness for fine art has increased in the past few years too with an expanding interest in all forms of contemporary art. The art market is now accessible through the internet so geography and location of art is no longer an issue.

The art market has also seen an emergence of a younger generation of collectors who prefer photography for its accessibility and cheaper prices.

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