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Penny Liebman Aaron

Today’s contemporary art world is a morass of fairs, biennials, auctions, galleries, re-sales, artist’s studios, art schools, with a proliferation of art produced and collectors vying for that art. It can be a truly daunting and overwhelming prospect for anyone seeking to get involved in collecting contemporary art. How does one go about collecting art? What makes a work of art good? What makes a work of art have lasting market value? How is contemporary art’s value determined? How does one develop one’s own eye and one’s own collecting vision? 


Since 1997 I have been educating, advising, and guiding collectors through the labyrinth of the contemporary art world. I aim to build a nurturing and patient relationship with each of my clients. For a new collector, we may spend from six months to a year just talking and going to galleries before making an initial purchase. My clients have a wide range of collecting goals--from enhancing a home or office to building onto an existing collection.  


In addition to the relationships I build with my clients, I have solid and long-term relationships with numerous gallerists, artists, and art schools. Many of these relationships go back to my days as co-owner and co-director of LiebmanMagnan Gallery, which existed in Chelsea from 1997 to 2003. The gallery focused on young emerging artists such as Tania Bruguera, Valeska Soares, Los Carpinteros, and Nir Hod and was regularly reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, ARTnews, and The New Yorker. Then and now, my interactions have been built on trust, commitment and emotional intelligence.   


I also help my clients make the right intellectual connections between arts and ideas. I truly believe that the best collectors have a sense of the history of contemporary art, which is something I am always focused on, having studied Art History with Rosalind Krauss and Emily Braun at Hunter College, from which I received my Masters in Art History back in 1994. While pursuing my MA at Hunter at night, I worked during the day as a curatorial assistant at The Jewish Museum — a job that aided in instilling in me a strong historical sense. 


For those of my clients who wish to combine a passion for collecting with philanthropic pursuits, I can advise them in this area as well. I currently sit on the Hunter College Art Advisory Board, The Feminist Institute Board, and am actively involved with the TimeIn Children’s Art Initiative. 

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