UNDER THE HAMMER.
Byline: John Crane
'HAS it stood the test of time? Time will tell!' We hear these phrases used often in everyday conversation.
These phrases are very apt when applied to the recondite subject of deciding which are the good artists of the future.
How can you tell if artists are going to be successful when they are young; say at art school when they are 20 years old, or even younger? I once asked this question to a learned art gallery curator in Liverpool.
His reply was "if they are selling in 20 years' time then they are good"!
I consider that all high-quality design without much change will stand the test of time.
Consider the Porsche motor car. The basic design and concept has changed little over several decades.
The name of the artist Barbara Dorf may not be familiar to you but she was born in 1933 and educated at the North London Collegiate School where her art abilities were recognised at an early age by her art teacher, Miss Martin, who was full of encouragement.
Barbara Dorf went on to study at the Slade School of Art in London and has exhibited in prominent art galleries in London, Paris and Belgrade. Iris Murdoch greatly admired her work.
BARBARA DORF'S VASE OF FLOWERS Barbara Dorf has also written several books on the subject of water-colour painting and is a noted art historian.
Despite having a loyal following, when Dorf's works appear in auction, known as the secondary market in the world of art dealers of modern painters, they can be acquired for surprisingly modest amounts of money. That is how it is for works by most living artists!
The knowledge of how to buy modern pictures successfully by relatively unknown artists is known only to a few highlyexperienced people and is a well-guarded secret.
It is unwise for inexperienced collectors to 'dabble' in the arena of investment collecting.
If you trust your own judgement and have decades of experience, then go ahead and invest. Only time will tell if you were right and probably only your descendants will be around to find out if your judgement was a good as you thought it was.
Cato Crane has invested more than 40 years of effort and hard work with a secure, experienced team and we are pleased to appraise quality items that may be suitable for auction. Call 0151 709 5559, visit CatoCrane.co.uk or follow @CatoCrane.