Art, Money and Power: Behind the Scenes at an Auction House with Alan Montgomery

Art, Money and Power: Behind the Scenes at an Auction House with Alan Montgomery


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Join a specialist in the art world to gain an insider's view of the workings of an international auction house. What actually goes on behind the scenes? Who is buying and who is selling? Who values the art? Why do some works of art make much more than others? And what about fakes and forgeries? 

Sometimes described as relying on ‘smoke and mirrors’ to create a sense of mystique and glamour, the art world often attracts headlines in the international press, particularly when high profile works of art sell for vast amounts of money. Having worked for many years as a senior specialist in Contemporary Art at one of the world’s largest auction houses, Alan Montgomery will reveal the inside story of daily life at such a company, discussing the history and workings of the multi-billion dollar trade in art and relating some of his own experiences, both good and bad. He will also give tips for collectors looking to dip a toe into the sometimes confusing process of buying and selling at auction.

Led by an ex-auctioneer and expert in art history, this interactive seminar will focus on the world of art and antique auctions and give an insider’s view of how the auction world functions. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels (or art purchases!), participants will come away with an increased understanding of the often mysterious world of fine art auctions.

Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, he has just started work on a book inspired by his Ph.D. research, which will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Informative, revealing tour of the art auction scene

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.
Positive Review
E
E.
Informative, revealing tour of the art auction scene