Magnus Resch’s online art market courses inspire a new generation of collectors

ByMike V. Cooper

Nov 15, 2021

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

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

“At the heart is always analytical and 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 more than 70 countries; Magnus app, dubbed the “Shazam for Art,” which offers art awards and provenance recordings to potential collectors; and more recently, MagnusClass, an online course series that explains the key principles for successfully navigating the art world as an artist and collector.

During 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 around 500 buy works of art,” he said. “What about the other 79,500 who are going there? I would say half of them have the funds to buy a piece of art, but they don’t. 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 in the art market, Resch is keenly aware of the most common questions new collectors regularly ask themselves and the obstacles that prevent art enthusiasts from discovering. art of becoming art collectors. He postulates 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 market exclusivity, he argues, is to the detriment of the art market as a whole. “If we don’t have collectors, we don’t have a market,” he explained.

Inspired by this dearth of accessible information, Resch’s latest MagnusClass course, “How to Start an Art Collection,” is an invaluable toolkit for both novice and budding collectors. Broken down into nine main lectures, each with three to seven lessons lasting 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, auction houses, galleries, artists, art advisers, and more.

In the course, he answers the questions that many collectors are often too afraid to ask themselves: “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 visit, etc. – Resch provides the essential tools to empower collectors to independently navigate the art market.

By breaking down key art market factors into tiered categories, potential collectors can easily make informed decisions when starting to acquire works of art. Resch noted that these categorizations are not intended to delineate between good and bad artists, galleries, advisers, etc., but rather aim to provide an overview and framework of the different strata of the art market so that collectors can better understand what they are. buy, who they buy from and who they seek advice from.

In addition to his lectures, Resch’s classes also include interviews with leading figures in the art world, including gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, the artist, collectors Susan and Michael Hort, and many more. These interviews are a vital asset for the class as they provide students with an insider’s perspective on the market from different angles.

Resch’s journey as a collector began very early: he bought his first work in a small auction when he was only 16 years old and has continued to develop his collection ever since. “Art can really enrich your life,” he said, “not only because you have something pretty to put over your sofa, but it also enriches your social life. He advises his students to engage in what he calls a “responsible collection,” explaining that collectors support an entire community of artists by collecting art.

Resch’s passion for art and the inspiration of new collectors is palpable. When we met, his eyes lit up as he explained how one of the first students to take the course, Mathias Wengeler (founder and CEO of Atheneum), has already acquired four works of art. In a recent interview with Artsy, Wengeler 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 participated in. And I bought an edition and an original piece through the Artsy gallery network. All are delivered now and I am so excited to see them hanging. I will definitely buy more.

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

In response to this laudatory statement, Resch said succinctly, “This is why I do what I do. ”