Several weeks into the coronavirus lockdown, dealers are continuing to find ways to reach their clients and wider audience using technology.
From video stories to sales to free reading material, here are a few more strategies they have unveiled in recent days.
Since Philip Mould launched his Art in Isolation initiative (see ATG No 2436), other dealers have added their own video series to social media. It means that, despite the lockdown, it is possible to visit Mould’s bedroom, Derek Johns’ wild flower garden, Simon Dickinson’s folly and Rhod McEwan’s Highland home.
Without breaching social-distancing guidance, from the safety of a mobile phone viewers can watch a series of short films via Instagram, which show the well-known dealers’ personal art collections in their own homes.
Mould started the trend with videos on Instagram and YouTube from his 17th-century home, Duck End in Oxfordshire. Filmed by his son Oliver, he is halfway through a series of 20. Mould already has a large following thanks to his BBC show Fake or Fortune? and has notched up more than 130,000 views across various platforms.
Old Master dealer Johns has been able to demonstrate his fantastic art collection, wonderful garden and even his cooking skills in a series of Instagram posts, with the help of colleague Ellida Minelli who posts the videos remotely.
He explains his style is “lighthearted and slightly mad” and features a number of pictures of plants and flowers such as wild tulips alongside the real specimens growing in his extensive garden.
Father-and-son art dealers Simon and Milo Dickinson form a double act in their Wortley Art in Isolation videos, which were inspired by Mould’s. Milo said: “The reaction has been great. My father has had such a wonderful time collecting these objects and it is great to share some of their stories and try and bring them to life.”
So far the films have attracted 6000 views via Milo’s Instagram, “which is a lot considering my limited reach,” he adds.
In Scotland, McEwan Gallery has launched a series called ‘Art in Highland Isolation’ from McEwan’s home in Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire. The dealer is overcoming his camera-shyness to broadcast. “I’m not enjoying being in front of camera, but present circumstances are making us seek pastures new,” he says. “The fact that our gallery is in our home made me think I should make the most of it.”