The art and antiques trade in North East America and Canada is returning to business as usual following the interruption caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Many dealerships, galleries and salerooms
closed at some stage last week and a number of events were
postponed, but the widespread precautions taken to limit the damage
meant that most people and their stock survived largely
However, the strong winds and flooding did
affect trade in some places, causing outages of both power and
phonelines, as well as websites (including some overseas).
New York's Chelsea district was one of the
hardest hit areas. Flooding reached 33rd St, entering the premises
of many contemporary art galleries in the area. Some dealers were
left having to pump up to five feet of water out of their basements
and there were reports of the loss of some six-figure-priced
Those affected included some of the biggest
dealers. The Pace Gallery were forced to close three of their
premises in Chelsea, although they were fortunate to escape major
damage. Their gallery in the Midtown district remained open.
Both Gagosian galleries on 21st and 24th
Street suffered from flooding. A statement on their website stated
that they had "sustained serious water damage from the Hudson River
surge" but had taken measures to protect artworks prior to the
storm. They planned to reopen as soon as possible.
Meanwhile their Madison Avenue gallery
remained fully operational and their Cy Twombly exhibition opened
as scheduled on November 1.
The Midtown East and Upper East Side
districts, where the Manhattan antiques trade is clustered, were
less severely affected and events such as the The International
Fine Print Dealers Association Fair went ahead at the
Park Avenue Armory, although the opening preview night was delayed
by 24 hours.
In Brooklyn, a large number of artists'
studios were reported as sustaining heavy damage but, miraculously,
all three Brooklyn fleamarket sites survived intact and were due to
open as usual at the weekend.
Disruption to the auction calendar was
generally minimal, although a number of auctions scheduled for
October 29-31 were postponed for a few days. These included the
Editions evening and day sale at Phillips de Pury and the
19th-Century paintings sale at Christie's.
Sotheby's announced that their November 5 Impressionist and
Modern evening sale would take place on November 8 instead because
of the "the significant travel delays into New York" and to "give
our clients and international staff greater flexibility to view the
exhibition and participate in the auction."