It seems there are many more monumental issues that trade dealers must face than having this controversy rising to the top.
All dealer organisations around the world are facing the same challenges of changing taste, industry image, laws, and of course the internet.
Projecting the best possible face for this industry requires a much bigger conversation and call for action than just a subtle logo change.
Any change in this logo does little to engage a larger public audience to buy our products and perhaps will cause further confusion unless done within a larger purpose and scope.
Managing principal, Newel LLC, New York
ATG asked BADA for a response:
MADAM – Thank you for allowing a right of reply to Mr Baer, who is correct in his assessment that the trade and therefore trade associations face unprecedented pressures. Chief among those challenges is the need for BADA to remain relevant in a landscape exposed to changing fashion, new technology and shifting societal behaviours.
Where Mr Baer is incorrect is in assuming that BADA’s review of its public identity is being undertaken in isolation. Here are some of the initiatives under way to boost the trade:
1. Week in, week out, BADA is active in lobbying and campaigning on a range of issues affecting dealers such as the ivory ban, anti-money laundering, import of cultural goods, Making Tax Digital and most recently, President Trump’s attempts to add tariffs to Chinese art and antiques.
2. With a firm eye on the future, BADA is introducing a new category of membership for those just starting out in the trade to encourage the next generation of dealers.
3. As a result of ongoing investment of time and money, the new BADA website, BADA.org, has quickly become a fast-growing online platform promoting the finest art and antiques, as well as promoting the dealers themselves and their brands.
4. BADA is hosting a curated selling exhibition on Pimlico Road at the end of June, coinciding with Masterpiece and Olympia fairs – helping spread the word and engage with new audiences.
As I hope Mr Baer will see from this letter, our focus is on engaging with existing and potential buyers and collectors, adding value for existing members and offering opportunities for those starting out in the trade.
We are doing this by embracing new technology and investing in improving our existing channels, such as the annual BADA fair.
None of this is easy and without risk, and is likely to unsettle some. It is, however, essential to the long-term success of our trade.
Chief executive, BADA