The Easel

Bubbles, sheiks and the freeport frenzy: Georgina Adam reflects on 30 years of art market reporting

A cataloguing of the things that have changed. Extreme levels of wealth (and low interest rates) explain much, especially the prices paid for ‘trophy’ art. Tastes have shifted dramatically, as evidenced by declining enthusiasm for antiques. Contemporary art, a “minor specialist area” in 1990, has now “carried all before it”. Auction houses are now “totally corporate” and art is a commodity, judged on its asset characteristics.