Art, economics and stupidity.

D7K_4486Marianne Heller runs the eponymous ceramics gallery in Heidelberg.

Not exactly my tasse de thé (as one says), but she presents good artists and has played a major role in promoting serious ceramics in Germany over the past 35 years.

Have to give her that.

The down side is that she has a tricky User Interface and – this is putting it mildly – isn’t particularly welcoming and doesn’t appear to be appreciative of favours.

Today takes the cake, though.

Vernissage of Sandy Brown‘s exhibition and I was chatting to her – we’d met previously, share a fair number of acquaintances and know (and helped) a young German potter who worked with her a few years ago.

She commands fairly astronomical prices these days – tea-bowls and small plates > €230… – and had one installation today comprising a 30-ish piece dinner service for 8  people bundled for €7200.

D7K_4493Ms ymbfa had taken a shine to 2 of the pieces and Sandy said, sure, she could have them, she has others that she can substitute, not a problem.

Ms ymbfa asks Ms Heller how she wants to do it – take them now, pick them up later – and from across the room I can see the gallerist’s face turn to granite.

Certainly not! There are others in the exhibition – take those. Sandy said that? If it doesn’t sell as an installation, I might consider selling the pieces individually at some stage…..”

And lets us walk away [Correction: SHE walks away…], not having taken down our contact details, not interested in which pieces we were interested in, not interested in what price we’d be prepared to pay.

Not interested in us as customers, it appears.

Work it out yourself – the average piece price is around €240, the smallest plate costs that, the tea-bowls are more and the large plates and bowls probably €400.

So you’re discounting significantly and there won’t be many people in the market for it at that price point.

So why not have a back-up strategy in case you don’t sell it as an installation?

Measure the interest in the individual pieces, set up a potential secondary sales channel for a negative sales outcome and – probably – achieve a higher revenue.

Or miss out on your 30% commission and rack up costs in sending them back to the artist.

And lose customers.

(Who were also looking at an( almost) four-figure piece)

Who tell other people.

Pure stupidity.

This entry was posted in Airheads, Art, Economics, Fail, Fools I have met and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Art, economics and stupidity.

  1. Kate says:

    Yup, she doesn’t do marketing very well, and has atrocious PR.

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