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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

How the Art world reacts to confinement

Galleries and fairs (like Art Basel Hong Kong ) are not the only ones to have invested in the Web to maintain a commercial activity. The auction houses, which benefit from well-honed tools, quickly adapted with notable successes. However, in the surge of digital content produced by museums, few of them curiously relate to current exhibitions.


If cultural institutions quickly put forward their usual digital content (works from their collection, slide show on past exhibitions, documentary films, etc.), few of them put their current exhibition online in one form or another. Closed to the public due to containment. Almost all of them have stayed with the "teasers" already published and are maintaining the buzz on social networks, often thanks to links to other sites. Indeed, initiatives are emerging, such as the series of podcasts launched by the Musée des beaux-arts de Caen on "Burning cities". The Réunion des Musées Nationaux also offers "Pompeii at home", A set of videos, the complete audio guide, and extracts from the catalog of the season's event scheduled at the Grand Palais. But, for the moment, only museums whose exhibition is made up of works belonging to them have set up a real offer of visit on the Internet. Thus, the Custodia Foundation (Paris) anticipated the scheduled online launch of its current exhibition, while the Vodou Museum in Strasbourg, including the exhibition "Religious magic and sorcerer's powers,» is scheduled until November 30, tries to save the day by innovating. For 3 euros, you can watch the one-hour virtual tour on video; for double this amount, add a ticket valid six months after reopening, and for 8 euros more, you can get the digital catalog.

Elisabeth Santacreu


The auction rooms being closed, several operators have turned to dematerialized sales, opting for "live in camera" - the auctioneer operating alone in the room in front of his screen - and the auctions organized exclusively online. It seems that buyers are at the rendezvous since the vacations that have taken place in recent weeks have recorded good results, with a record number of registrations and connections on Drouot Digital, Interencheres or Invaluable. Perfectly illustrating the successful transfer from life to online, the sale of design at Sotheby's, organized from March 24 to 31, raised 3.7 million euros - a record for a sale of this format in this discipline. The same success for the online auction of March 26 devoted, at Sotheby's always, to Banksy (€ 1.2 million) and that of comic book behind closed doors organized by Millon on March 29 (€ 502,000). The "confined live" sale entitled "Gold, ingots and coins", on April 2 at Ader, reached € 811,700, with a sale rate of 100%.

Marie Potard


The charity sale organized on the Internet by Piasa from April 3 to 5 for the benefit of the # Protègetonsoignant collective realized 2.4 million euros. The event, launched by Laurent Dumas, president of the auction house, benefited from the donation of some 300 works from artists. Fabrice Hyber, Pierre and Gilles, Christian Boltanski, and Annette Messager thus responded to this united call. On April 8, the Tajan house organized a sale of decorative arts for the benefit of the Red Cross. Drouot is partnering with Adidas to bring together shoes and jerseys worn by famous athletes, on sale from April 3 to 12; the proceeds will be donated to the Paris Hospitals Foundation. Throughout France, museums, libraries, and archives have also mobilized by spontaneously donating their FFP2 masks to hospitals in shortage. Abroad, the Swiss gallery of modern and contemporary art Hauser & Wirth donates 10% of its online sales to the World Health Organization. In California, the J. Paul Getty Trust supports museums and arts organizations in Los Angeles affected by the crisis by providing $ 10 million in aid. Read

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