If you are like me, you are probably getting all sorts of notices of auction house restrictions and closings. Christis's and  Phillips have announced closing and postponements.

Many other businesses are now having employees work remotely, and many school systems have temporarily closed. I would assume it will have an impact on our appraisal practices as well. ISA Annual conference is scheduled for late April, and ISA leadership, from what I understand is working with partners to weigh all available options, which of course could include cancellation. AAA has suspened all of its in-person programs and is looking to add more online options.

The Artnewspaper reports
Auction house has closed New York saleroom along with other offices—Sotheby's has not as yet announced any closures while Phillips has postponed all events and sales until mid-May

14 March: Phillips announced that it will postpone all sales and events globally until mid-May

Christie's is shutting almost all of its locations in the US and Europe, including New York, until further notice and postponing March and April sales due to the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Phillips has also postponed all sales and events internationally until mid-May and closed its offices across the US and Europe.

In a statement released last night, Christie's says the decision is to protect the "health and well-being of our employees and our clients". Guillaume Cerutti, Christie's chief executive officer, says: “In the days ahead, we will be communicating a number of necessary changes to our usual course of business, including further changes to our sale calendar. These decisions are undertaken with a great degree of care and in close consultation with our clients.”

As of Monday, 16 March, as a precautionary measure Christie's flagship New York premises will be closed along with its offices in Brussels, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Dallas, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Houston, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Monaco, Moscow, Munich, Rome, San Francisco, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Vienna and Zurich.

Christie’s King Street in London will, however, remain open, although the business is "reviewing the situation on a daily basis." The Amsterdam, Geneva and Paris offices remain open but with a reduced number of staff.

All but two sales—Prints & Multiples (18 March) and Chieveley House, Berkshire and Five Private Collections (19 March) in London—in March and April will be postponed for now (new dates will be released in the coming days, the firm says).

However, with the major May New York sales looming, the statement hints that more sales might be affected as Christie’s is "working through a restructuring of its forthcoming auctions, including significant changes to the sales calendar in the Americas and Europe."

The following auctions will be postponed—no new dates are announced as yet, the original sale dates are shown in brackets.

In New York: A Lasting Engagement: The Jane and Kito de Boer Collection (18 March); South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art (18 March); Contemporary Art Asia Online (19-26 March); Photographs (31 March); Dalva Brothers: Parisian Taste In New York (2 April) and Prints and Multiples (15-16 April).

In Paris: Dessins Anciens et du XIXème siècle (25 March); Oeuvres Modernes sur Papier (26 March); Hommage à Arp – La collection Greta Stroeh (26 March); Art Impressionniste et Moderne (27 March); Livres Rares et Manuscrits (7 April); Art Précolombien (7 April); Arts D’afrique, D’océanie et D’Amérique Du Nord (8 April); Collection Delanoue (28 April) and The Collector: Le Goût Français (29 April).

Meanwhile, Sotheby's also released a coronavirus statement from its chief executive Charles F. Stewart last night as a reassurance to clients, but did not announce any closures as yet. Stewart says: "So far, we have been able to conduct auctions and offer the full range services to our clients, despite modifications as appropriate in certain instances. While we cannot predict the future, we wanted to let you, our valued clients, know how we are addressing the epidemic and what you can expect from us in the near future."

Stewart says that the firm will follow "the advice of local government officials and health authorities and, where appropriate, have colleagues working remotely" and adds that Sotheby's "galleries in New York and London are open this weekend" with sale views open to the public.
Source: The Art Newspaper 

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