An Entrepreneurial Way to Collect Art Market Data

November 29, 2018

Magnus Resch, art market expert and entrepreneur, gave a lunch talk sponsored by the ICF, to students in the Entrepreneurship and Arts & Culture Clubs at Yale SOM.  Magnus first gave a brief overview of his education and working history and what inspired him to become an entrepreneur and eventually an entrepreneur in the art world.  After several failed tech startups, Magnus created a novel app called “Magnus” in which he hopes to provide more transparency in the collection of art market data.  The app has two main functions.  First, it innovatively uses artificial intelligence to allow the user to take a picture of any piece of art and the app will identify the image and give useful information such as the title, artist, price, etc.  Magnus explains that the app “works like Shazam for art.”  The app also allows its users to take photos of any art piece and input the information (artist, sell price, seller, buyer, etc.) which is then added to the art market database.  The uploaded images and information allow Magnus to collect data on pieces not only sold at auctions, but also sold at galleries.

The inspiration behind the creation of this app came through his extensive academic research, in which Magnus has found that data is nearly nonexistent for art pieces sold at galleries versus the amount of readily available data for art sold at auctions.  Generally, art prices and other relevant information are not reported on gallery sales which may skew art market pricing.  Magnus also found that art pricing varied from piece to piece based on the artist and the museum, collection, or gallery in which it is displayed.  A venue with more prestige, such as being displayed at MoMA, will fetch a higher selling price for something versus something displayed at a small town art gallery.  Therefore, the art market is in decline because less art is being sold and people are not valuing the majority of art as an asset.  Magnus points out that roughly 90% of art being sold is valued at $10,000.00 or less and it will not appreciate enough over the years to become a valuable investment.  It’s better to buy art that you like rather than buying art as an investment.  The remaining 10% of the art market is being sold at such dramatic prices that only a few people can afford it and consider it a real asset.

Below are photos from the event:

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Arts & Culture Club officer Michael Nock introducing guest speaker, Magnus Resch.
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Magnus Resch talking about his fundraising efforts and failed tech startups that led him to create his latest art identification and data collection app, “Magnus.”
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Magnus Resch presenting his research about the impact an art institution in which an artist’s work is displayed and its location has on an artist’s career.
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Magnus Resch answering student questions about art, valuing art as an asset, and art market data collection.
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From Left to Right: Guest speaker Magnus Resch, Michael Nock ‘19, Leigh Ann Clark (ICF Director), & Professor William Goetzmann (ICF Faculty Director)

About the author

Electra Ferriello

Assistant Director ICF