Magnus Resch’s Online Courses in the Art Market Inspire a New Generation of Collectors

Navigating the art market can often feel like walking through a maze that, by design, only a select few have a map to. Magnus Resch – art market economist, Yale professor, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author of six books on the art market, including the recently published How to become a successful artist (2021) – aims to change that.

Driven by a singular goal of making the marketplace more transparent, accessible, and democratic, Resch’s work sits at the intersection of art, technology, and business.

“At the heart is always an analytical, data-driven analysis of an existing problem,” he explained. Notably, Resch is co-founder of Larry’s List, a database launched in 2012 that provides information on contemporary art collectors from over 70 countries; Magnus app, dubbed “Shazam for Art,” which offers artwork prices and provenance records to potential collectors; and more recently, Magnus class, a series of online courses that detail key principles for successfully navigating the art world as an artist and as a collector.

In his research, Resch realized that a fundamental problem limiting the growth of the art market today is the lack of new collectors. “Eighty thousand people go to Art Basel in Miami, but only about 500 buy art,” he said. “What about the other 79,500 who just go there? I’d say half of them have the funds to buy a piece of art, but that’s not the case. Something keeps them away. These are boundaries artificially created by the existing art world. I would like to change that.

Drawing on his vast experience of studying, collecting data and lecturing on the art market, Resch is acutely aware of the most common questions that new collectors constantly ask and the obstacles that prevent amateurs from art of becoming art collectors. He posits that most potential collectors do not acquire art simply because of the overwhelming size of the market and a lack of access to information. This commercial exclusivity, according to him, harms the art market as a whole. “If we don’t have collectors, we don’t have a market,” he explained.

Inspired by this lack of accessible information, Resch’s latest MagnusClass course, “How to Start an Art Collection,” is an invaluable toolkit for new and budding collectors. Broken down into nine main lectures, each with three to seven lessons that last an average of nine minutes each, Resch’s class highlights fundamental aspects of the art market that collectors should know, offering key insights into art fairs. art, auction houses, galleries, artists, art advisers, etc.

In the course, he answers questions that many collectors are often too afraid to ask: “Is art a good investment? “Am I paying too much?” “Which galleries should I trust? Rather than telling students exactly what to do – which artists to buy, which galleries to go to, etc. – Resch provides the essential tools to empower collectors to navigate the art market independently.

By breaking down key art market factors into tiered categories, potential collectors can easily make informed judgments when beginning to acquire artwork. Resch noted that these categorisations are not intended to distinguish between good and bad artists, galleries, advisors, etc., but rather aim to offer an overview and framework of the different layers of the art market so that collectors can better understand what they are. buy, who they buy from and who they ask for advice.

In addition to his lectures, Resch’s classes also include interviews with notable figures from the art world, including gallerist Jeffrey Deitch, the artist, collectors Susan and Michael Hort, and many others. These talks are an essential asset of the class that provides students with an insider’s look at the market from different angles.

Resch’s own journey as a collector started early – he bought his first work at a small auction at just 16 and has been growing his collection ever since. “Art can really enrich your life,” he reflected, “not only because you have something cool to put on top of your sofa, but it also enriches your social life.” He advises his students to engage in what he calls “responsible collecting,” explaining that collectors support an entire community of artists by collecting works of art.

Resch’s passion for art and inspiring new collectors is palpable. When we met, his eyes lit up discussing the fact that one of the first students to take the course, Mathias Wegeler (founder and CEO of Atheneum), has already acquired four works of art. In a recent interview with Artsy, Wegeler said, “I bought a great piece of work that I saw at The Hole gallery in New York. I also purchased an edition through Artsy’s auctions – the first art auction I have ever attended. And I purchased an edition and an original piece through Artsy’s gallery network. All are being delivered now and I’m so excited to see them hanging. I will definitely buy more.

Wegeler explained that before taking Resch’s course, collecting art was daunting. “I never knew where to start, what to buy and if I was paying too much,” he said. “The art world can be confusing and intimidating to a foreigner. Magnus’ course took away that fear because he explains how the art market works – for people who don’t have much time and no experience. Watching his class made me feel more confident when buying art.

In response to this glowing affirmation, Resch succinctly stated, “That’s why I do what I do.”

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