The ad, at the back of this Summer 2010 Art News, was placed with two others under the heading ART FOR SALE.
But it stood out. It was not for Limited Edition serial artwork, nor was it placed by an artist selling their own landscapes.
It was an ad for several paintings, some of them by brand name artists: and all listed with very specific, oddly low, prices, like something you’d see on Craig’s List or EBay, only this Ed Sanders guy was selling Chagall and Miro. He was asking directly for “best offer over $50,000,” and flat out naming prices like $4,500 for Norman Rockwell’s “Football Hero”.
So I called him.
A very successful name in the hospitality business, and an entrepreneur with a hand in various endeavors, Mr. Sanders was away on a cruise, but promised to speak with me when he returned. He closed his return message with a very pleasant, “Toodles!”
I caught him at an opportune moment today and he allowed a brief interview.
The Art Machine: So, I was curious about your ad, mainly because you seem to have an extensive collection with name artists, but you are deliberately by-passing the auction houses. Why?
Ed Sanders: Well I own two galleries, I’ve been in the art business all my life, but this is my personal stash and it needs to be reduced.
TAM: But why are you selling them yourself? Wouldn’t you make more through auction?
ES: There comes a time when you want to give back. I thought I’d give some civilians a chance to buy under market.
TAM: So this is a good deed.
ES: Well —
TAM: How did you decide which pieces to offer through this ad?
ES: What’s not hanging on the walls, whatever was in front of my closet…
TAM: Any responses so far?
ES: Just some dealers trying to steal some stuff. But I’d rather sell to a civilian if I can. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll approach the auction houses.