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May 13, 2004



A hot button! From my perspective, you are spot on - first of all, the child's 13 years old. His parents should have been at his side, not a Sotheby's employee. And, did you ever stop to think that allowing a 13 year old to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on art is God's way of letting them know they have too much money?

David St Lawrence

Both of you seem to be bent out of shape by the fact that this 13-year-old knows art will enough to collect it. If he knows the art market, he knows it. Age is not the only factor that leads to knowledge. Your ranting sounds too much like petty jealosy to give it credence.

I'm sure if you lived in Mozart's time, you would have been even more apoplectic. Talent is not a function of age. Neither is envy. Stick to things you know and you will be a lot happier.


David: I appreciate your comment. Thank you for sharing. Really. Not to contradict, but maybe to clarify, I think the thing that upset me was that the parents were apparently absent from this child's art buying experience. I was also troubled by the fact that a 13 year old might potentially purchase something at those price levels. I started collecting art when I was 14 years old. My parents encouraged my passion to purchase and own art work. But I was only allowed to purchase what I could afford with money that I had earned. I do not claim to know that this is the "best" way to teach a child about commerce and value, I simply felt that allowing a child to potentially purchase something for hundred of thousands of dollars seemed a little extreme and warped. Again, I appreciate this child's knowledge and passion and question the parents' handling of this passion. All of this, of course, is just my opinion. I appreciate you sharing yours as it deepens my understanding of the issues.

David St Lawrence

You are so much closer to the art scene that you probably have a better grasp of the dynamics of this situation than I do from my remote viewpoint. I apologise for any invalidation of your passion for art.

These parents may value this child's judgement as an expert collector and it would seem that he deserves it. He bid and stayed within whatever limits he had set. The most telling comment came from the auction house employee who was watching him in action.

The parents probably fund his investment in art and share in the profits. It would be interesting to see how he does over the years. Will he continue his success, or will he become a has-been at sixteen?



I agree with everything you add here. Thanks for continuing to discuss this with me! I may have a grasp on the art world (although I admit to having a lot to learn) but I have absolutely no grasp on being a parent!

Keep in touch!

Brian Morrison

It seems to always come down to who you know. How many artists or collectors have sliped through the cracks because of timing and place? In this society money talks, so in this case the kid talks because he can. Also seems he doesn't really know any more then the rest of us because he bid on known commodities. Perhaps this boy would be better served getting a job and learning need, goals and achievment on a personal level.

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