Friday, February 27, 2009

Collecting in Today's Market

The Sense of Sight, John the Elder

"The purchase of art in periods of economic uncertainty represents a logical fulfillment of mankind’s deep need to preserve a sense of stability. In the absence of consistent monetary value, what could be more reassuring than to play for very different stakes—so that money becomes linked, not to some arbitrary standard like gold or the dollar, but to another human activity which implies a level of sensibility and high intelligence, both functional and concrete?" (Pierre Restany, Art Aktuell)

It comes as no surprise that the present economic environment encourages careful analysis of the art market in order to understand the unique buying opportunities that occur when the markets are down. As part of our efforts to better serve our cliental, members of the Arader team attended Collecting in Today’s Market at the SFMOMA. Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture at the SFMOMA, lead a panel which included respected gallery owners, chairmen of established auction houses, art advisors and prominent Bay Area collectors. The panel addressed the way economic shifts affect the art market and the speakers’ respective strategies for collecting in today’s market.

Most notably, respected gallery owners revealed insightful feedback regarding collectors’ attitudes about the market. The feeling is that collectors are less interested in the buzz and more focused on art that has historical, personal, or simply even aesthetic value. Indeed, the fastest way to destroy art is to make it part of the profit-making setup, so corrective periods such as these are needed to remind collectors and artists: ars gratia artis! Nonetheless, a serge of optimism revived dealers on Monday, as the auction of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre BergĂ©’s Collection pulled in over $266 million. The result shattered the record for a single-owner, single-session sale and almost all pieces sold for well above their estimates, indicating that collectors have returned. Indeed, the results will be a huge boost for the nervous art market and collectors alike.

All in all the discussion left us informed but, most importantly, inspired about the opportunistic climate. True collectors will continue to love art and will continue to make smart investments in quality art pieces. Fortunately, current market conditions allow collectors more art to choose from, allowing them to acquire pieces previously unattainable. Collectors should in fact be rejoicing! Indeed, as the art market experiences a time of correction, now is the time for scrutiny but also for enthusiasm and appetite. We invite you to visit us on Jackson Street and to view our collection online at

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Arader Galleries in Los Angeles Area

We invite you to stop by to see our extraordinary collection of antique prints and original paintings at the upcoming art and antique shows in the Los Angeles area:

Art International Pasadena/Los Angeles
Friday, March 13 – Sunday, March 15, 2009
Gala Preview Thursday, March 12, 2009

Los Angeles Antique Show
Thursday, April 23 – Sunday, April 26, 2009
Opening Preview Party Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We hope to see you at one of these shows!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Designing with Antique Prints

De Gillaboz’s Botanical Studies

Duperrey’s Views of the South Pacific

Lewin’s Birds of Great Britain

Arader Galleries attended Design San Francisco (formally known as Winter Market) last week with great enthusiasm. The event reinvigorated those close to the trade as well as anyone with a passion for design. Arader Galleries happily announces an exciting collaboration with Design SF participant, Summer Hill, an upscale furnishings company. Should an occasion bring you down to the Design Center, we encourage you to see selections from our inventory in the Summer Hill showroom. Indeed, the showroom nicely stages Duperrey’s Views of the South Pacific, Lewin’s Birds of Great Britain, and De Gillaboz’s Botanical Studies. Summer Hill’s timeless design complements our prints perfectly and we hope their showroom inspires new ideas for decorating with antique prints.

Please contact the gallery for more information at 415.788.5115 or visit

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Calling All Audubon Aficionados

Hooping Crane by John James Audubon

For those of you already familiar with Arader Galleries, John James Audubon needs no introduction. But for those not entirely acquainted with the greatest bird illustrator of all time, the current issue of Art and Antiques Magazine features on article on the notorious artist titled: Call of the Wild: Documenting America’s Birds was the Lifetime Obsession of John James Audubon.

The article begins by tracing Audubon’s extraordinary trials and tribulations. Beginning with his financial struggles and his inability to secure a publisher for The Birds of America, the article underscores Audubon’s commitment of staying true to his goal. Indeed, Audubon persevered, finding a different reception abroad. Eventually, the English engravers Robert Havell Sr. and Robert Havell Jr. agreed to publish the drawings, and The Birds of America was released to subscribers from 1827 to 1838. Ultimately, The Birds of America comprised of 435 color plates, published in the massive double elephant folio format. Yet the article mainly aims to present Audubon aficionados to an exhibit and book that reveal new research regarding what motivated this extraordinary individual.

The article highlights New York Historical Society’s exhibit, Some Things Old, Some Things Borrowed, But Most Things New, which traces Audubon’s ingenuity with respect to his predecessors and contemporaries. The book, Audubon: Early Drawings (published in September of 2008 by Harvard University Press) features Audubon’s work until 1821, illustrating how Audubon’s skill developed overtime. Lastly, but certainly not least, the article quotes W. Graham Arader III himself on what makes Audubon’s birds so iconic.

The article nicely traces the production history of The Birds of America and introduces new developments about what inspired this infamous artist. For anyone who appreciates the majesty of Audubon’s Birds of America we invite you to stop by Arader Galleries to view our exceptional collection of Audubon’s hand-colored aquatint engravings from Birds of America. Also, should you find yourself in New York City from February 13 to April 5 we strongly encourage you to catch the Audubon exhibit at the New York Historical Society.

We also have an excellent selection of Audubon's hand-colored engravings available for purchase at Arader Galleries. Please visit or call 415-788-5115 for more information.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Views and Garden Plans of Roman Villas

Villa Medici, Rome

Villa Ludosi, Rome

The Italian Renaissance inspired a revolution in gardening and the resurgence of the villa-estate. During the antiquity, and again in the Renaissance, the idea of a house built away from the city in a natural setting captured the imagination of wealthy patrons and architects. Renaissance gardens were full of scenes from ancient mythology and other learned allusions. Water during this time was especially symbolic, as it was associated with fertility and the abundance of nature, and many gardens developed to include water features such as fountains and grottos.

By the late sixteenth-century Italian gardens, with their monumental terraces, sculptures, and waterworks such as those at Villa d'Este (Como) and Villa Lante (Viterbo), were much admired throughout Northern Europe, and imitated by the French. In the course of the 17th century, the interest for the art of gardens was witnessed by the intense activity of architects, such as Annibale Lippi at Villa Medici (Rome), where they interpreted a refined culture with strong theatrical suggestions. The Baroque or formal garden has a controlled geometric layout, created using mathematical rules and symmetry, and is designed with plants and trees trimmed in an exact fashion.

Displaying artistic talent at a young age, Giovanni Battista Falda studied under the noted Italian painter, Francisco Ferrari. At 14, he was employed by a Rome publishing house under Giacomo de Rossi for his skilled abilities in architectural illustration. Seventeenth-century printmakers responded to the interest in classical art and architecture, as well as contemporary topography, by creating elaborate series on all the splendors of Rome. Such works, eagerly collected by gentlemen-virtuosi throughout Europe, stimulated what became known as the “Grand Tour,” the European pilgrimage to Italy to study the art and architecture of the antiquities.

During his years with Rossi, Falda completed several monumental architectural publications, including The Nuovo Teatro (1665-1669), The Gardens of Rome (1670), and The Fountains of Rome (1675). In Gardens of Rome, Falda recorded in detail the expansive Italian estates near Rome, which continue to be admired as an aesthetic ideal. Falda exhibits both a strong architectural foundation and the delicate beauty of a landscape painting, paying close attention to even the smallest details. Through incorporating every-day scenes and characters, Falda guides his viewers through the lifetime of each structure, from its architectural conception, to its role in the urban world. His work expertly juxtaposes geometry and aestheticism, paving the way for the 18th century Italian movement of architectural engraving, including the work of Vasi, Rossini and Piranesi.

Please visit or call Arader Galleries for more information. We currently have a nice selection of Falda views available for purchase.