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Displaying items by tag: Roiling

In 1973, Robert Scull, the owner of a New York City taxi fleet, sold off the bulk of his noted Pop Art collection at Sotheby’s, in the process earning $85,000 for a painting by Robert Rauschenberg entitled Thaw that he had bought fifteen years earlier for $900 from the artist’s dealer. Rauschenberg, who had attended the sale, came up to the collector at the end, shoved him and said scornfully, “I’ve been working my ass off for you to make that profit?” Scull replied to the artist, “You’re going to sell now, too. We’ve been working for each other.” In other words, higher prices on the secondary market result in greater demand and higher prices on the primary market. However, Rauschenberg’s anger did not abate, and he became an advocate for “resale royalties,” whereby collectors pay artists (or their heirs if it’s within seventy years of the artist’s death) a percentage of the profits they earn when they sell an artwork.
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