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Booker•Lowe Gallery - Contemporary aboriginal fine art of Australia - Offers works by more than 100 Australian Aboriginal artists - Selected Past News and Views

Appreciate Your Aboriginal Art!

The investment potential of Aboriginal art continues to grow, with auction prices rising every year since Sotheby’s launched its annual Aboriginal art auction in the late 1990s and other houses, such as Lawson Menzies began holding similar sales.

In 2003, a Louisiana woman discovered a Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula painting in her garage and submitted it to Sotheby’s for sale at its July auction in Sydney. A painting she paid about $50 for in the late 1970s sold for $100,000 AUD, or about $78,000 US. At that same auction, the prices paid for Aboriginal paintings ranged from a few thousand dollars to $400,000 AUD for an Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting. Hammer prices continued to climb in the 2004 auctions.

A recent issue of the New York Times Magazine quoted a leading London art dealer as listing Aboriginal art among his top picks for collectors seeking long-term values, and Australian super-annuation or retirement funds agree. Many are investing in Aboriginal art as part of their portfolios.

In November, 2004, a CNN market report also touted art investments, stating that investing in art can be as reliable as other types of investments, as long as collectors do some research and buy work by serious artists who have been recognized by reliable galleries or critics. CNN’s source indicated that art works priced as low as $1000-$5000 US can have great potential for appreciation over time.

In the October, 2004, issue of Art & Antiques, writer Bobbie Leigh stated, “The paintings of top-tier Aboriginal artists take pride of place and can sell for six figures.” She then quoted prominent London gallerist, Rebecca Hossack, who said, “I have seen Aboriginal art grow from being viewed as a curious ethnographic phenomenon to one of the biggest art industries in the world.”

All this simply adds up to the fact that high quality Australian Aboriginal art is “an investment you can live with” – and that it may well appreciate in monetary value all the while you appreciate its beauty.

Tony Clifton, The New York Times, April 24, 2003
[Aboriginal art is] “A hot commodity with a 30,000-year lineage. In Australia, modern Aboriginal art resembles its ancient predecessors, except for the prices.”



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