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Eli Broad: Art Prices Have Bottomed

By Dan Weil   |   Friday, 12 Jun 2009 12:11 PM

Financier and big-time art collector Eli Broad says art prices have bottomed.

Attending the Art Basel fair, the billionaire told Bloomberg that the drop in the contemporary art market has “leveled out.”

Broad says, prices are now more rational. “They went up 500 percent over 10 years, now they’re up 250 percent. Now good things are beginning to come on the market.”

At the Basel fair, prices are lower than last year, and the quality of works is higher, the 76-year-old founder of KB Home and SunAmerica tells Bloomberg.

The Broad Art Foundation contains almost 2,000 contemporary pieces, including works of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Cindy Sherman.

“During the fair, we bought a drawing for an Ed Ruscha painting we have in our foundation for a fraction of the price it was estimated at in an auction a year ago,” Broad says.

Broad financed the creation of a contemporary art annex to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the cool sum of $56 million.

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, designed by Renzo Piano and measuring 58,000 square feet, debuted in February, 2008, containing some of the Broad Foundation’s collection.

Art prices certainly appear to have slumped to bargain levels as the richest investors suddenly pulled back.

“The art world is resetting prices to 2004, 2005,” New York University art investment expert Michael Moses tells The New York Times.

“It’s not resetting to the late ’90s like stocks, but it’s resetting.”

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