in other words

Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask

Herbert Lust


Herbert Lust began his career as an avant-garde writer and comparative literature professor at the University of Chicago. Lust’s devotion to literature (Gertrude Stein is his idol) led him to begin collecting while still a student. At age 19, he made his first acquisition: a wood-cut by the 19th-century Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, which he acquired for $1. 

In 1948 at just 21 years old, he received an M.A. in philosophy and mathematics from the University of Chicago. In 1949, Lust received the first Fulbright scholarship granted by the University of Chicago and studied for two years at the Sorbonne in Paris where he met Alberto Giacometti, who became a friend—and whose work he bought directly from the artist. Lust would go on to write the catalogue raisonné for Giacommetti’s works on paper, Alberto Giacometti: The Complete Graphics

Lust switched careers in 1957, becoming an investment banker. He wrote A Dozen Principles for Art Investment in 1969, which was one of the first publications to take an economist’s approach to the art market. He has gone on to write extensively about the artists that he has known and collected, publishing books and essays on art historical figures such as Hans Bellmer and Enrico Baj, among others. 

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