Its London office has closed at the end of the day on March 19, following its final auction for the coming weeks, meaning all its offices except in Asia have closed for the foreseeable future. Instead staff are working remotely.
For a revised schedule see the bottom of this article.
Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkannen said: “Demand is very strong but supply will be difficult in the coming weeks… We will develop our capacity in private sales and we will adapt.”
He said consignors are waiting and holding back but there is demand from buyers.
Christie’s said it is launching a digital viewing room (accessible by website and mobile) to shift interest online.
It noted a large number of buyers at its sales this week were online bidders.
Speaking about the wider art market and economy, Christie’s chief executive officer Guillaume Cerutti said: “I am quite sure there will be a change and the art market will work differently after this situation. The online activity I am quite sure - the online bidding and demand for more digital content will be bigger after this disease. There could be other changes but it is too early to know.
This goes beyond the art market. This situation is going to change our lives. For instance, working from home will change after this.”
He also announced it will make educational art videos (from some of its courses at Christie’s Education) available online for free during this time.
Christie’s has postponed most sales in the UK, Europe and US. Among those rescheduled are:
- Its 20th century auctions in New York and London, planned for May and June, will be merged into one week in one location in New York between June 23-28
- In London, Classic Week, including Old Master Paintings and the Exceptional Sale, will remain scheduled July 6-10
- In New York, Classic Week will be re-scheduled to June 3-10
- In Geneva, the Luxury Week is scheduled to take place June 29-July 1
- In Hong Kong, the Spring Asian Art and Luxury sales currently remain scheduled to take place May 30-June 3
* To read more about postponed, cancelled or amended fairs and auctions visit Antiques Trade Gazette's latest coronavirus changes article.