Auctions conducted more than two hundred years ago by the four great London houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips and Bonham’s—provided a setting that would be very familiar to what auction-goers know today. And the reverse is true. If a buyer at Harry Phillips’ auction of Marie Antoinette’s paintings during the 1790s could travel across time, he would stroll comfortably into a modern-day auction room. Sure, there are some embellishments today—presale estimates, sales catalogues and the ability to bid online—but the heart of the commerce in art has not changed.
As the pioneer credited with initiating the discipline of art economics, the firm confronted historical challenges—long lead times for the development of bespoke client solutions where there were no prior models or templates; and accessing massive amounts of often hard-to-acquire, diverse data. These challenges, and others, lent themselves to an initial client base that had a distant investment horizon and recognized the long term value of adopting leading-edge invention. They understood instinctively that first-mover advantages in their extremely competitive marketplaces would be of generational duration.
Most research and writing by Kusin & Company is proprietary and for the exclusive use of clients. However, the firm has authored or co-authored technical and peer-reviewed scholarly works, including
Published in English, French and German by The European Fine Art Foundation (Helvoirt, The Netherlands) in March 2002. This work has provided a universal foundation to reshape how the global trade in fine art, decorative art, and antiquities can be calculated and understood. Specific analyses of taxation and regulation of the art trade in the European Union serves as a focal point. Out of print.
Published in English, French and German by The European Fine Art Foundation (Helvoirt, The Netherlands) in March 2005. The work addresses two topics: Defining, sizing and analyzing for the first time the global market for modern and contemporary art; and analyzing the impact on the trade in those works of the droit de suite, a transaction tax unique to the European Union and a handful of other countries. Out of print.
Rex Thompson, PhD (Collins Professor of Finance, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University) and Clare McAndrew, PhD (Kusin staff economist), Journal of Banking and Finance, 2007, Vol. 31, Issue 3.
Rex Thompson, PhD (Collins Professor of Finance, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University), James L. Smith, PhD (Professor of Finance, Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University), and Clare McAndrew, PhD (Kusin staff economist), Journal of Applied Economics, March 2012, Vol 27, Issue 2, pages 235-252.
This forthcoming work will offer a comprehensive view of the institutionalized sources of weakness that hobble the global marketplaces where art is bought and sold. Filled with anecdotes, the book, while demonstrating how to resolve the famous inefficiencies of the art sector, will be bright, making it both easily accessible and enjoyable to a wide readership.