THE Australian art and antiques industry has formed its own version of the British Art Market Federation following what it calls “several years of uncertainty in the Australian art market”.
The move brings together all the various interests of the commercial sector who intend to act as one in responding to the press, arts bodies and government.
The formation of the new art alliance, called the Australian Antiques and Art Market Federation (AAAMF), follows consultation through the international art and antique dealer network CINOA and with the British Art Market Federation (BAMF).
The AAAMF's inaugural chairman, dealer Jolyon Warwick James, said members would share information and combine forces and resources to research, monitor and publicise issues of common concern.
"The antique and art trade has previously been unable to make a cohesive response to challenges due to fragmentation," he explained. "The need for a combined voice has now been met. The AAAMF brings together the most powerful trade organisations to speak together on points of common interest."
Topping the list of current concerns are Artists' Resale Royalties and The Cooper Review, the Government-backed initiative recommending an end to the practice of works of art being used as pension nest eggs in self-managed funds.
So far the AAAMF has signed up the Australian Antique and Art Dealers' Association (AAADA), the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA), the Australian Commercial Galleries Association (ACGA), the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), the Australian Indigenous Art Trade Association (AIATA), and the auction houses Bonhams, Christie's and Menzies Art Brands.
Mr Warwick James made it clear that the AAAMF is a communication network and a tactical response group, not another "superimposed regulatory structure".