The Best of the Best 2003: Art Galleries - David Tunick

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2003
  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

A few years ago, Peter Galassi, head of the photography department at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, decided to deaccession a number of photographs by French photographer Eugène Atget. The time seemed right to sell 1,000 duplicates that were in the museum’s collection and use the anticipated $20 million in revenue for new acquisitions. After some deliberation, Galassi asked David Tunick to handle the sale.

At first glance, it was a surprising choice, as Tunick’s 37-year-old eponymous Manhattan-based gallery deals in drawings and prints that were created from the 15th through the mid-20th centuries. Galassi told Antiques and the Arts Weekly that he was swayed by Tunick’s “solid reputation for straight dealing and fairness.” A symbol of this reputation was apparent in March at Tunick’s TEFAF Maastricht booth, where he provided a laminated, letter-size sheet of stationery that listed prices for every item on display, from Atget photos to Rembrandt etchings to Toulouse-Lautrec color prints. “I don’t think prices need to be hidden,” explains Tunick. “I never liked the bazaar aspect of the art market. I swore I would never be like that.”

 

Openness clearly has its rewards. By the second day of the fair, the laminated sheet was decorated with several red dots, each marking an item that had been sold.

David Tunick Inc., 212.570.0090, www.davidtunick.com

From Around the Web...
These writing instruments are still a must-have—even in a digital world…
From Basquiat to Duchamp, Bowie’s incredible art collection goes to auction…
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden landscape installation will be exhibited at the iconic Connecticut...
The nostalgic allure, rarity, and beauty of these pieces and sets are fueling collectors’ demand…
Photo by Donald Bowers
The enormous rough-cut diamond did not find a winning bidder today…
Two groundbreaking modern paintings sell for high above their original estimates…
Montblanc launches two special edition pens to honor the legendary artwork of Wassily Kandinsky…
The year’s best services for collectors include an L.A. gallery, a summer fair in Seattle, and more…
Modigliani’s Masterpiece Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) will cross the block in London…
The auction house is offering a variety of collectibles from the late comedian’s estate…