Bloomberg Businessweek

How to Spend $1 Million on Art

Four top advisers take art that’s currently for sale and assemble million-dollar collections.
1 £550,000

A Classical Collection

The Old Masters dealer Johnny Van Haeften says old art has a bad rap. People often think that Old Masters are “dull and dark and rather dreary and boring, because they’ve seen them in museums covered in varnish.” The reality, he says, is that “they’re really quite fun.”

For his collection, he’s chosen only three artworks, one of which, a Sorolla, isn’t even an Old Master. “I’ve deliberately shown three different genres of painting,” Van Haeften says. Each, in its own way, is light and airy, and “you can hang them in any room of the house.” But each also represents a potential avenue that a collector could acquire in depth. “These are really the tip of the iceberg,” he says.

Today “there are deals to be found” in the Old Masters market, he says. “If you can go to an auction and can be bothered to sit all the way through, some things inexplicably do fall through the cracks.” Van Haeften’s recommendations total more than $1 million, but he says buyers should “assume there’s a bit

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