Art Market Sails Over Turmoil

Weak dollar, overseas buyers help keep prices high
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 6:01 AM CST
This photo released by Christie's shows Andy Warhol's iconic 1963 portrait "Liz", which sold for $21 million. The portrait depicts Elizabeth Taylor, one of three legendary muses who inspired Warhol in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US financial markets were in chaos this year, but the art market certainly wasn't. The expanding ranks of the super-rich, the weak dollar, and emerging connoisseurs from Russia, China, India, and the Middle East kept auction houses in fine form, the AP reports, with postwar and contemporary works—including a $71 million Warhol—leading the way.

"If you look around, particularly in New York, it seems like everyone's a billionaire and they don't seem to be affected terribly by this credit crunch," said one consultant. A Matisse went for more than $33.6 million in a November sale at Christie's that earned almost $400 million, and a tiny limestone lion sculpture sold for $57 million earlier this month at Sotheby's.