A City livery company for art market professionals could be only 10 years away following the official registration of The Guild of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors by the City of London.
Achieving guild status is the first step in a three-stage progression to full livery.
The new Guild is the brainchild of former BADA chairman Jonathan Horne, who now serves as honorary clerk, and former BADA president Lord Brooke, the founding master of the Guild. Both have had a long association with the City and were aware that those with a professional interest in the art market and all its associated services had no natural home among the 107 established livery companies.
The Guild currently has around 80 members united by a common interest in the past but drawn from four distinct groups: the art market (antiques, antiquities and art dealers, auctioneers, consultants), academics (art historians, curators, archaeologists, commentators), arts services (fair organisers, insurers, loss adjusters, restorers, shippers) and collectors and connoisseurs.
Several professions have embarked on this process in recent years. The Arts Scholars now join Educators and Public Relations Practitioners at guild level. The next step up is a company without livery (these currently include Management Consultants and Security Professionals). The most recent admission to full livery was The Tax Advisers in May 2005. Each stage takes at least four years and progress is dependent on membership growth, financial stability, and the establishment of a substantial charitable fund.
In the meantime the Guild already has a flourishing calendar of events and Lord Brooke presided over its second annual dinner at the Tallow Chandlers’ Hall on October 12.
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