Many people venerate the past at the expense of the new. A bad move in my opinion. If you consistently do this, you risk becoming an irrelevant old master yourself!
We’ve all read articles – and had endless conversations – about how the past (be it architecture or furniture or culture) was better than what’s on offer today. But the contemporary will always win because most people prefer to be associated with the new (and remember, the old was contemporary at one point). So get over it, people!!
Here are 7 examples of how changing tastes have threatened the relevancy of the old:
- At Christie’s, the values of old masters (European painters working before 1800), fell by 33% and experts in the field are quietly leaving the auction house.
- Contemporary art and contemporary architecture go hand in hand. New sleek buildings – with high ceilings and big windows – call for gigantic pieces of contemporary art along with contemporary furniture.
- The bottom is also dropping out of the antique market around the world e.g. Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have all cut back on antique furniture as buyer demand dwindles. Prices have dropped by as much as half. Daniel Stein, an antique dealer in San Francisco tells The Economist: “Do I think antiques are going to come back? Not in my lifetime.”
- Companies used to buy antiques for their offices, today they all favor a modern look. “Mad Men” has helped push the slick, minimalist aesthetic of mid-century modern furniture into the mainstream.
- Home magazines and blogs drive trends in architecture and art. Many successful decorators sell furniture lines, and therefore have a financial incentive to suggest new items.
- Modern living means some furniture has lost its usefulness e.g. armoires, formal dining rooms. People do not want period rooms, no matter how much money they have, says Bunny Williams, an American interior designer. “Everyone lives a more casual life.”
- Baby-boomers are downsizing, some are shifting to mid-century modern furniture. Prices for mid-century designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and Jean-Michel Frank have quadrupled in the past decade. A pair of small Frank tables were recently spotted in New York with an asking price of around $400,000.
The pics above show 3 contemporary homes and art collections on top (with artist KAWS at left) and a totally antiqued out Joan Rivers’ apartment on bottom. Not surprisingly, the new owner did a total gut renovation.