At Museums, the Customer Matters Least

 

At Museums, the Customer Matters Least

On two successive evenings last week—at the New York auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s—a half-billion dollars worth of art changed hands. I am fascinated by the art world—the work itself, the lives of the artists, collectors great and small, and the value and prices that art commands. Plus, of course, the business of auctions and museums is intriguing. Relatively few people have money to buy great works of art for their homes and yachts. Fortunately for the rest of us, many of the great collectors either founded public museums of their own or left their art to established institutions. Since no advertisements were booked