Antiques and the Recession... A Silver Lining?

November 15, 2010

Antiques and the Recession... A Silver Lining?

Painting of the Steam Ship Argonaut

All dealers are weathering the economic storm of this recession... what's that?... it ended a year ago... Oh, I mean market slowdown. I hear people saying that the antiques trade is also suffering from a lack of interest from new young collectors. Have there ever been a lot of young collectors? It takes time to train the eyes and gather the resources to collect. It's not really a young person's game.

The important thing is sparking an interest early so it can grow over time, like your IRA. Interest first starts through contact

Yes... that's me, years ago in one of our early adsYes... that's me, year's ago in one of our early ads  

I grew up in this family business surrounded by these beautiful things, but wasn't really aware of them until my late teens. One of my "eureka" moments  happened on my first trip to England. While touring the country houses we visited Ickworth House.

The Beautiful  RotundaThe Beautiful Rotunda

The dramatic rotunda, "Capability" Brown park, and gorgeous interiors, blew my mind. My interest in art and architecture was born.

Ickworth House Interior
Ickworth House Intrerior

Ickworth House Interior
Ickworth House Dining Room

When I returned I looked at our showrooms in a completely new way. Travel is a great way to awaken an interest in the arts. Museums are equally important for sparking an interest. For many people, museums are a place of first contact to the arts. I clearly remember my first time visiting museums like the MET, Smithsonian, Getty, LACMA, Heard, V&A, MFA... the list goes on and on.

Looking Forward To Viewing The MFA's  New Art Of The America's WingLooking Forward To Viewing The MFA's New Art Of The Americas Wing

A Silver Lining
During recessions people look for cheaper forms of entertainment. Dewey Blanton of the American Association of Museums says "the average admission price to a U.S. museum is $7", and 41% of museums are free. Recessions drive up museum attendance.

A USA Today article reads "The survey of 481 institutions shows more than 57% saw increased attendance in 2009. More than 40% saw significant increases, ranging from 5% to more than 20% compared with 2008". I would like to think that this increase in attendance will result in an increase in interest, and maybe a few sparks as well. 

Can you recall the place, object, or teacher that sparked your interest in art and antiques? Please share your story in the comments below.





R. Joregensen Antiques offers one of New Englands largest collections of antiques just north of Boston in Wells, Maine. We are proud to be a member of the Antiques Dealers' Association of America, Maine Antiques Dealers Association, and the New Hampshire Antiques Dealer Association.

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