Beneath the Paint: Uncovering the Master Drawings Market


Due to Covid restrictions, tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a waiting list.

10.30 am: Doors open, at Christie's

11.00 - 11.45am: Market talk

11.45 am: Private access to the view, before the public view opens at 12.00 pm, in groups of six.

All attendees will receive a free copy (worth £150) of ArtTactic's Special Edition: Old Masters Summer Report.

For the third annual Market Talk, a partnership between ArtTactic and London Art Week, we are proud to have Christie's as our hosts, celebrating the Master Drawings market and landmark sale of Leonardo da Vinci's Head of a Bear on July 8th.

Please join us with an esteemed panel of Old Master Drawings specialists including Laetitia Masson, Sarah Vowles and Stephen Ongpin for coffee and pastries, and a discussion followed by a first look and private tour of the Old Masters Sales.

Much of the art market analysis published today adheres to standard divisions of research categorised by periods or movements, which neglect subdivisions such as genre or medium. Drawing is one such overlooked medium, stereotypically perceived as inferior to painting in the hierarchy of media, a conception that has been perpetuated for centuries. This continued status has bred a lack of awareness of the Master Drawings market, causing it to remain unexplored by market publications. The Master Drawings market comprises a small corner of the art market that has remained independent and quite unreported. It is a world where connoisseurs embrace challenges of authorship and discovery and market participants lean on each other for information and opinions; where the lines of academia and commerce are blurred.

Laetitia Masson, Old Master Drawings Specialist, Christie's, recently joined Christie's as the London-based specialist in the Old Master Drawings department, after running the Old Master Paintings & Drawings Sale at Chiswick Auctions for two years. She studied at the Ecole du Louvre and worked for various public institutions in Paris, Rome and London, including the Louvre Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Sarah Vowles is the Smirnov Family Curator of Italian & French Prints & Drawings at the British Museum. Sarah formerly worked as a Specialist in the Old Master Drawings department at Christie's for several years, and studied at Oxford University and The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Stephen Ongpin, Owner and Director, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art has over thirty years of experience as a dealer in Old Master, 19th century and Modern drawings. He began his career at the famous art dealership of P. & D. Colnaghi in 1986. In 2001 he helped to establish Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd. in London, assuming responsibility for the new firm's drawing department. Since 2006, Stephen has worked independently as a private dealer in the field of Old Master, 19th Century and Modern drawings. He mounts annual exhibitions of Master Drawings in both London and New York, and issues regular catalogues. In addition, the gallery participates in art fairs in London, Maastricht, Paris and New York. Among its clients, Stephen Ongpin Fine Art counts private collectors in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Americas, as well as over fifty international museums.

Megan Corcoran Locke, Old Masters Market Research, ArtTactic. Since 2016 Megan has worked at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, a gallery based in St. James's specialising in Master Drawings from the 15th to 20th centuries, now as Associate Director. Outside of the gallery, Megan conducts market research on Old Master Paintings for auction data analytics company ArtTactic, working with both dealers and auction houses to expand their Old Masters database and expertise. Prior to professionally entering the art world, Megan worked in financial services at Barclays Capital, having previously received her bachelor's degree in art history from Harvard University and her master's degree in art business from Sotheby's Institute of Art in London.

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