As the leading Latin American art gallery in the world, Mary-Anne Martin|Fine Art is well known for the museum quality works it makes available to collectors. Our reputation for quality, integrity and expertise ensures that collectors and institutions wanting to sell works in this field come to us. While our primary business is selling art, what distinguishes us from auction houses and most other galleries is the wide range of services we are able to provide to clients.
Not all art for sale in galleries is necessarily owned inventory. A work may be consigned by its owner to a gallery which earns a commission when it sells the piece. By consigning a work to MAMFA, a collector can take advantage of our sales experience and expertise and still be assured of receiving the highest possible return. A particular advantage of consigning property to an art gallery, as opposed to an auction house, is that the work is handled discreetly and offered only to the collectors most likely to buy. For this reason the work is not burned on the open market if it is not sold. Works which fail to sell at public auction are usually much more difficult to sell afterward and frequently need a cooling down period of a year or more.
Locating works for collectors
Because of our pivotal position in creating the market for Latin American pictures in this country twenty years ago, we have access to private collections around the world. Many important works were placed in these collections by MAMFA over the years and we can frequently locate works that are not currently on the market. If there is a specific work in which you are interested or a type of work you are seeking, please let us know.
A good art gallery must do more than just sell art. Its principals must provide honest advice to its clients, in order to build long term relationships, based on trust. It must provide complementary services to the sale of works, both for consignors and purchasers.
An art collection makes a statement about the collector, his eye, his interests and his taste. Private individuals are more and more building art collections with an eye towards posterity, either to benefit favored institutions or simply to pass on wealth to their children. It is very important for collectors to develop strong relationships with art dealers who understand their taste and motivation. The art dealer in turn can recommend new artists or works consistent with a collection’s purpose and aesthetics.
It is essential for collectors to have an accurate, professional appraisal of the works they own. For insurance and estate planning it is more than important, it is a must. MAMFA’s knowledge of the retail and auction market for Latin American works is unequaled and we are available to do accurate appraisals of Latin American Art collections for insurance or fair market value purposes. Please note, however, that as a member of the Art Dealers Association of America, MAMFA does not do appraisals for tax purposes. The ADAA specializes in such valuations, which must be prepared in a special format by a panel of specialists in each field. For this reason ADAA appraisals have had a high degree of acceptance by governmental tax authorities. Please visit the ADAA website for more information.
Auction advisory services
Once a forum for wholesale purchases by dealers acquiring stock, auctions have now become a retail, do-it-yourself occupation, open to everyone. But everyone does not have the specialized professional knowledge needed for buying expensive art at auction and doing it yourself can have some pitfalls. Some of the biggest traps an unwary auction goer can fall into are set forth in one of our newsletter articles Thirteen Questions. This has become our most frequently requested text and excerpts from this article have been reprinted in a number of trade magazines and business journals.
A smart collector will seek advice from professionals when considering an auction purchase. Dealers are practiced auction buyers and can usually spot problems if they exist. MAMFA’s staff will personally examine works for you and arrange to bid in your behalf if you cannot attend the sale. We can check the physical condition of a work and, if necessary, arrange for a restorer’s examination before you buy, as well as advise you on the authenticity, quality and suggested estimate of a work. We can also let you know if similar works are available on the retail market.
Sometimes bad things happen to good art. MAMFA can arrange for the restoration of damaged works. Over the years dirt or smoke can accumulate on pictures, making them lose visible detail. A simple cleaning can restore the lost detail, brighten colors and increase the attractiveness of a work, but the wrong restorer can cause irreparable harm. Over the years MAMFA has formed relationships with highly skilled conservators of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints and we will be happy to direct you to them, so that your valued art is preserved for future generations.