COLLECTOR/PHOTOGRAPHER BERRI DIES
Claude Berri, who was a noted director, photographer, producer, screenwriter and actor, died last month in Paris. He was 74. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Berri "the great ambassador of French cinema" to the world. The cause was a stroke. His company, Renn Productions, made dozens of films. In the late 1980s Berri sold half the company--then worth about $50 million--to support a new hobby, collecting contemporary art, including photography. His collection eventually became one of the most important in France, although he sold much of his photography collection four years ago at auction in Paris.
EATON LOTHROP MEMORIAL
The Memorial service for Eaton S. Lothrop, Jr. is this Saturday, February 7th, from 10:30 to 11:30 am at Collegiate Church, 79th Street and Broadway, New York City. The reception following the service is in Platt Hall. Lothrop was one of the world's top collectible camera experts, who wrote the book, "A Century of Cameras: From the Collection of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House". He also collaborated with some of the world's top collectors on many of the most important books on classic cameras.
DEBI KAO NAMED HEAD CURATOR
AT HARVARD ART MUSEUM
Debi Kao has been named as the new head curator at the Harvard Art Museum. This new title reflects a revised conception of the position as well as some additional responsibilities. Kao will participate in the development of a balanced schedule of exhibitions, public programs, collections development, research and publications that align with the museum's institutional goals. She will also continue in her role as curator of photographs.
CONTINUING CHANGES IN AUCTION
HOUSES' PHOTO DEPARTMENTS:
CHRISTIE'S NAMES NEW NYC DIRECTOR
Jamie Krass has been named senior vice president, and director, 20th Century Art and Photographs, of Christie's New York. Krass will now be responsible for client development, business-getting and market expansion for both areas. Krass, who holds a B.A in Art History from Hobart College, joined Christie's in 1995. He is also an auctioneer, having directed many of Christie's highest profile sales.
CHANGES AT PHILLIPS DE PURY
Kelly Padden has taken over the London photography department from Genevieve Janvrin, who has reportedly left to return home to Australia. Joseph Kraeutler, former New York head of photographs, has also left the company, along with CFO Arlene Kick. (For more on the changes at Phillips de Pury, read the accompanying article.)
BLOOMSBURY PARTNER PASSES AWAY
David Stagg died on January 17th, succumbing to cancer. Stagg was one of the three founding members of the Bloomsbury auction house in 1983. He was a major driving force behind the start-up, growth and more recent flourishing of Bloomsbury. As the Bloombury email release read: "He was full of energy, he got things done, was a brilliant auctioneer, and, of course, was the most charming business-getter with a great sense of humor and the best laugh you could hope to hear."
SOTHEBY'S ELIMINATES CREDIT CARDS
IN NYC AS COMPETITOR ADDS THEM
Sotheby's explained the change, saying that putting auction items on cards "was not widely utilized"! Not widely utilized? How about a single charge for nearly $2.4 million by Eli Broad for a painting by Roy Lichtenstein in 1995? The Sotheby's-branded MasterCard has also been discontinued. Christie's, on the other hand, began accepting credit cards last fall for sales up to $100,000, although it has cut its commercial facilities in October, a move that alienated dealers and major clients. You have to wonder about how in touch the top managements of these auction houses are with their customer base.