Is the notion of falling in love with a work of art on a gallery visit under threat as art sales move online? Not according to La Playa’s new Head of Fine Art, Jane Byde ACII. The boutique insurance broker has added a specialist international Fine Art practice to its niche operation, appointing art insurance expert Jane Byde.
Guests at the packed launch party at Mayfair’s Maddox Gallery were treated to a private viewing of works by international cutting edge artists including the famous naked portrait of Donald Trump by Ilma Gore.
Jane joins La Playa with ten years of insurance experience working in fine art and marine in the Lloyd’s market, along with a degree in History of Art and a diploma in Museum Studies. With a passion for 18th Century London and European Marine painting, her industry experience and academic studies combine to equip her with the perfect balance of business expertise and technical, artistic and market insight.
Is the romance over for art galleries?
"With the growth in online sales and the evolution of transactional sales models, some areas of art are being commoditised, for sure - and there’s talk of the decline of the premises-based art gallery,” says Jane Byde ACII. “However, buying online will never replace the experience of buying art in person – and creating the time for it is part of the luxury lifestyle. We’re seeing headlines everywhere: “Offline is the new luxury” – a status symbol, even; and there’s a whole industry developing around “disconnecting” and “de-teching”, with high-end restaurants and hotels offering rewards for checking in your phone at the front desk. International art fairs are testament to this mood, as they continue to grow in number and size, drawing in clients from all over the world”.
“Insurance has faced a similar technological shake-up – but the boutique model, with expert advice and a white-glove experience at its heart, gives clients a private curator to filter out the “noise”. La Playa can help high-end gallerists ride the vagaries of the art market and serious private collectors protect their portfolios, whether as investment or passion project”.
Unusual as a boutique-sized broker with international operations, La Playa has expertise in insuring the most unusual artistic media, from performance art to digital and public works. As well as working with collectors, galleries and dealers, it also looks after art conservators and musical instrument makers and dealers, insuring ultra-valuable fine instruments by Stradivarius, Amati and Guarneri.
“Fine Art has been a growing element of both our Private Client and Media practices in the UK and US” says CEO Mark Boon,“So it makes sense now to create a dedicated, international facility to serve both private collectors and galleries and dealers, whose operations tend to span territorial boundaries. With our offices in London and New York, we’re ideally placed to ‘join up the dots’ for these clients.
Not many fine art insurance ‘specialists’ actually have a fine art background – so with Jane’s degree in History of Art and MA in Museum Studies, we’re staying with our Insurance with Intelligence brand principles to offer the ‘real deal’.”
Now a registered broker at Lloyd’s of London, which gives direct access to the world’s premier specialist insurance market, La Playa will be working with industry-leading art insurers, providing dedicated protection for those invested in preserving works of art and fine instruments for future generations.
Background: La Playa
Established in 1999, La Playa is a boutique-sized, international independent broker. We’re here to create a safe space for the risks that expand our vision, change our lives, make things happen, enable innovation.
We believe in risk as a creative force; we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the bold and the brave, providing advice and protection to grasp life by the horns and live it to the full. Too often we see, smart, creative people buying insurance that’s the wrong shape and the wrong size. We’re here to help you get the protection you need on your terms:
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