Oct 31, 2017
Are you interested in Art and Antiques? LearnChair Radio host Bob Dragone interviews John Hays, Deputy Chairman at Christie’s and a leading expert on American furniture and painting. John describes how starting as an unpaid assistant at Christie’s seven years later he ran the company’s furniture and decorative arts division. In the discussion with Bob, John explains how collectors can take risks in collecting unknown artists or concentrate on traditional areas such as American furniture. He state that such furniture is currently undervalued and pieces of Queen Anne or Chippendale may rise in price in the future. John notes that in choosing what pieces to collect, it’s all about the details. Thousands of dollars may separate one piece from another of the same era depending on how elaborate the details involved. John shares his thoughts on how an auctioneer, of which he is prominent at Christie’s, is like the conductor of an orchestra. The auctioneer assembles the collection at hand into an event that often resembles theater in performance and giving the audience a fun event. John tells two stories amongst his most memorable auctions. One involves a portrait of George Washington that set a record for such paintings and the other of a wooden chest with original paint from three hundred years ago that fetched a million dollars. When asked his opinion of the characteristics of a good leader, John stressed that a good leader is also a good follower. Such a leader allows his or her people to learn and discover. John added that leadership involves developing good working relations with colleagues and guiding younger employees. This interview is an interesting peek into the art world that you will enjoy.