“This boy is a genius, but he will drive me crazy.” – Henry Duveen
I recently finished reading S. N Behrman’s biography on Joseph Duveen (1869–1939), one of the most influential art dealers of the 20th century. Below are six of my favourite anecdotes from the biography on entrepreneurship and wit, which I hope you will also find entertaining.
Have you heard that the Van Gogh Museum has recently entered into a partnership with Hyundai? It is even more tenuous than their partnership with Heineken last year (which, at least, is connected by Amsterdam). Of course both partnerships are thinly veiled attempts to reach new audiences and get free images for licensing, although I am quite impressed with Heineken's new limited edition Sunflower Collection bottle designs and also Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Rüger's unflappably positive PR quotes trying to find a link with his new sponsors.
Inspired by the Museum's new commercial collaborations, I have designed adverts for four more art historical + (imaginary) brand partnerships... but that definitely should not happen in real life.
Which do you think is the worst?
Bosch + Travel
One day, my Editor walks in with a man. “This is Martin Gayford,” she says. We smile politely in acknowledgement.
“Do you know the man with a blue scarf?” she adds.
“Oh yes! The Lucian Freud portrait!” I jump up and shake his hand like, I am embarrassed to recall, some kind of sycophant.