in other words

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

This is a collaboration between In Other Words and artnet News

#39 “The natural disposition is to not want to believe the numbers because it just can’t be this bad”

Podcast with Valentino Carlotti, Allan Schwartzman and Julia Halperin


From left to right: Charlotte Burns, Allan Schwartzman, Valentino Carlotti and Julia Halperin. Photo credit: Colin Miller

Art Agency, Partners
#39 "The natural disposition is to not want to believe the numbers because it just can’t be this bad"

BY Charlotte Burns
executive editor of In Other Words

Just 2.3% of all acquisitions at 30 prominent US museums over the past ten years have been of work by African American artists, according to a joint investigation by In Other Words and artnet News.

Meanwhile, the total auction value of work by African American artists over the same period represents a mere 1.2% of global auction sales. 

Working together in an unprecedented three-month partnership, Charlotte Burns (executive editor, In Other Words) and Julia Halperin (executive editor, artnet News) have captured and analyzed market and museum data which, coupled with conversations with more than 30 prominent curators, collectors, dealers, museum directors, academics and philanthropists, reveals that progress is much more recent—and benefits far fewer artists—than popularly perceived.

In today’s podcast, they discuss the data and its implications with Allan Schwartzman (co-founder, Art Agency, Partners) and Valentino Carlotti (global head of business development at Sotheby’s; board member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and previously of the Guggenheim and the Studio Museum in Harlem).

Click here to read the series of articles analyzing the data.

Click here for the full transcript

Charlotte Burns: Hello and welcome to In Other Words, where we cover everything you ever wanted to know about the art world but didn’t know who to ask. I’m your host, Charlotte Burns, and today, along with my colleague Julia Halperin, who is the executive editor of artnet News, we will be discussing a report we just jointly published investigating the representation of African American artists in US museums and the global art market. Joining us today are Valentino Carlotti, global head of business development at Sotheby’s, and Allan Schwartzman, co-founder of Art Agency, Partners and a chairman at Sotheby’s.


Valentino D. Carlotti

former executive vice president of business development, worldwide at Sotheby's

Valentino D. Carlotti joined Sotheby’s in October 2017 as the global head of business development and held the post until December 2019. Prior to that, he worked at Goldman Sachs from 1994 until 2017, becoming partner in 2006. Between 2007 and 2012, he was the president of the Goldman Sachs Brazil Bank, managing the São Paulo office.

A dedicated philanthropist and collector, Carlotti is actively involved in numerous philanthropic organizations dedicated to the arts, education and youth development. He previously served as a trustee on the boards of the Guggenheim Museum and the Studio Museum in Harlem and currently serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Mayor’s Fund Board of Advisors; Carnegie Hall; American Ballet Theatre; Jazz at Lincoln Center; Guild Hall; MLT; and the Boys’ Club of New York.

As global head of business development at Sotheby’s, Carlotti led and coordinated all business development efforts around the world and was heavily involved in traditional and online growth strategies. He held management responsibilities for the American and European chairmen, global client development and coverage groups, fiduciary client group, proposals, museum services, restitution, tax & heritage, valuations and the art & object divisions. Carlotti provided leadership for Sotheby’s regional offices and sales representatives in North and South America, and provided business development support across Europe, the Middle East, Russia, India and Africa. 

Allan Schwartzman

Allan Schwartzman was a Founder and Principal of AAP. He brought to the company more than 20 years’ experience in advising some of the world’s most influential and sophisticated collectors in forming their holdings of contemporary art, both individually and in conjunction with their stewardship of major museums.

Schwartzman is also widely respected as an independent curator, most notably for Instituto Inhotim, the visionary contemporary art park set within a 5,000-acre botanical garden in Brazil. As creative director and chief curator of Inhotim, he has been central to developing the collection of the renowned institution and commissioning its signature site-specific works by artists including Chris Burden, Giuseppe Penone, Matthew Barney, Doris Salcedo, Doug Aitken, Rivane Neuenschwander, Olafur Eliasson and Rirkrit Tiravanija, including projects that could not have been realized anywhere else.

Known equally as a tastemaker in contemporary art and an authority on the art market, Schwartzman is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Art Basel and notable events around the world.

Schwartzman was a founding staff member of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City and served as curator from 1977 to 1980. He has written extensively about art for publications including The New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Artforum and Art in America and was a contributing editor of Connoisseur. He served as a board member of Franklin Furnace from 1980 to 2000 and currently serves on the Board of Artists Space, one of New York’s premier alternative spaces, having also served as the board’s president.

Julia Halperin

executive editor, artnet News

Julia Halperin is executive editor of artnet News, where she oversees editorial operations for the world’s most widely read art news site and manages a staff of editors and writers in London, Berlin, and New York. Previously, she served as museums editor of The Art Newspaper, where she oversaw international coverage of museums and other major art institutions, and as news editor of Art + Auction magazine. Her writing has appeared in WIRED magazine, the New York Observer, and New York magazine. Halperin holds a BA in art history and English literature from Columbia University.

Charlotte Burns

executive editor of In Other Words

Charlotte Burns is the editor of In Other Words, our weekly newsletters and podcasts. She was previously the US news and market editor for The Art Newspaper, as well as a regular correspondent for publications such as the Guardian and Monocle. Previously, she worked with the London dealer Anthony d’Offay on special projects. For several years, she was a consultant at the cultural communications agency, Bolton & Quinn. She also worked at Hauser & Wirth in London.

Burns received a Masters degree (with Merit) from the Courtauld Institute in Art and Cultural Politics in Germany, 1890-1945, as well as a first-class B.A. honors degree in English and History of Art from Birmingham University. She moved to New York in 2010.

The live record

Behind the Scenes with Valentino Carlotti, Allan Schwartzman, Julia Halperin and Charlotte Burns

10 Images

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