The Value of Art (Hardcover)

Money, Power, Beauty

By Michael Findlay

Prestel, 9783791346380, 208pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (4/25/2014)

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


What is art worth? How can a work by Pablo Picasso be sold for more than $100,000,000? This fascinating book explains the market for art—and art’s value for all of us. In straightforward prose that doesn’t mystify art or deny its special allure, prominent art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a close up and personal view of almost a half century in the business of art. He engagingly explains art’s three kinds of value: commercial; social; and what he terms its essential value—the range of responses to art that we as individuals have depending on our culture, education, and life experience. Few avid collectors are immune to the thrill of rising market value, but Findlay argues that buying for investment alone is seldom smart. A genuine love of art and the ways it may enrich one’s social life also play important roles. Down-to-earth and with a touch of dry wit, he explains exactly how artworks are valued and reveals the workings of the art market. Enhancing his narrative are wise advice, insider anecdotes, and tales of scoundrels and scams, celebrity collectors, and remarkable discoveries. Generously illustrated, Findlay’s distillation of a lifetime’s experience makes this insider’s guide indispensable for all who love art, not only collectors but true "amateurs" as well.

Praise For The Value of Art: Money, Power, Beauty

"No one knows more about the market in Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art than Findlay. His new book, The Value of Art, is one of the best ever published on the art world, and covers just about everything you would want to know, including how to buy, sell, look at, and enjoy art."

"Findlay passes along his own, entertaining view of the art world’s evolution over the past few decades….{He} champions the essential, intrinsic value of art – a subject he addresses with passion."

-The Wall Street Journal
"This perceptive and incisive book by a legendary dealer is the best guide to the present day art world ever written. It is also a deeply felt plea that people look at and enjoy art rather than concentrate solely on its commercial value."

-Andrew Butterfield, President of Andrew Butterfield Fine Arts
"Essential reading. Comprehensive, insightful, and rooted in the author’s decades of experience as an art dealer, auction house expert, and connoisseur of both artists and collectors, the text is enlivened by a wealth of instructive and entertaining anecdotes."

-Christopher Finch, author of Chuck Close: Life
"Findlay’s The Value of Art…offers a wealth of knowledge (and gossip) about a life spent in the business of beautiful things."

-Out Magazine