I'd Love to Exhibit My Objects, But...
Collectors, in general, are fascinated about the idea of exhibiting their objects in prestigious museums, sometimes only because they are quite passionate about their artworks, but in many cases also due to financial reasons. They also know that, on top of it, they will be saving on insurance costs whilst the object is in a museum and maybe even on storage costs, for those who cannot keep their collection in their own homes.
And these benefits look very attractive so far, don't they?
Well, after working at Vastari as a Collections Specialist for 6 months and speaking to various types of collectors from all over the world, I really feel like sharing some of the most common constraints they have when it comes to lending their objects to public institutions… and explaining how Vastari is revolutionizing it all!
“I don’t know any museums, how does it work?”
The main concern comes from the fact that many collectors haven't had any relationship with non-profit museums so far. This means that they don't know exactly how a museum loan works and thus they don't feel comfortable on entering a loan agreement. They are not confident about how serious the institution is when dealing with private entities, so they feel afraid that the museum will not take good care of their objects. This is a fair point - why would they take any "risk"?
“My network is already big enough”
This, of course, is different for big collectors, who have been around for years and have a lot of well established connections. Many of them often tell me - "museums know what I have so they can approach me directly if needed.” But then they add that “the only problem is that they might not think of me when organising an exhibition'’. This then leads me to simply question the kind of relationship shared between the collector and the curator. These well-known collectors are normally used to lending their objects to museums, going to meeting with directors and being aware that each institution is unique - i.e. they have their own internal policy and negotiable terms to the loan agreement. However, on the other hand, these big collectors tend to be more conservative. They usually lean towards keeping their connections only within their own network and fail to realise that there are an ample amount of opportunities to lend to different institutions in different countries.
“I worry about my information being on the internet”
Another important point is that collectors, especially ones that are older, tend to keep all the information about their collections completely private. They tend to be quite selective in terms of who has access to the details about their objects and they are usually quite reluctant in sharing information through online platforms. This, of course is understandable, not only because they own so many valuable artworks, but also because the art world is still pretty old fashioned. When most of the information about the objects in their possession are still provided on a piece of paper, when these objects are still being purchased physically at galleries or auction houses - why would they digitise it? The answer is connections. Connections with new institutions are much less likely to happen when information regarding objects cannot be shared easily to curators.
I know what you might be thinking, 'this is all just too obvious and simple to be the actual solution' - but they don't just say "Simplicity is Genius" for no reason.
The solutions are actually out there
As a company that has been putting forth the idea of innovation in the art industry since 2012, we at Vastari strongly believe that technology is the key to revolutionise this old-fashioned art world while still preserving its privacy and safety.
We have been leading several panels about blockchain in the art world internationally and we are proud of being able to open new doors and creating multiple spaces for debates. Vastari, as a matchmaking portal, is being constantly developed to enable beautiful art to be seen worldwide, while working with existing systems seamlessly. We simply want to facilitate a natural flow between collectors and museums - in a way that both parties feel comfortable and safe to work on a loan agreement.
Although we know that the art world might not be ready - yet - for consensus, our goal is to provide a more transparent and open connection between collectors and museums worldwide. We believe that without consensus and transparency, various amazing artworks will be kept hidden in storages, when they could have been appreciated by large audiences on the walls of famous museums...
And that is certainly not what art was made for!