Portrait Artist Forum    

Go Back   Portrait Artist Forum > Business, Marketing & PR


Reply
 
Topic Tools Display Modes
Old 01-22-2004, 01:30 AM   #1
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
CAFE & BUSINESS MODERATOR
SOG Member
FT Professional
 
Michele Rushworth's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,460
Sargent's pricing




In volume two of Richard Ormond's excellent survey of Sargent's work there is an interesting note about his pricing. Here is a quote from a letter written by Sargent in 1896 to a representative of the Harvard Club of New York City, regarding the proposed commissioning of a portrait of their retired president, Joseph Hodges Choate:

Quote:
My prices are $2,000, $3,000 and $4,000 for head and shoulders, three-quarter length and full-length respectively. If, as you intimate, the Harvard Club has difficulty making those figures, I would make a reduction of five hundred dollars on each of them.
This is when Sargent is at the height of his popularity as a portraitist, and he is also quite busy with his work on the Boston Library and states in the letter that he would be unable to begin work on the commission for two or three years.

Evidently the pricing and schedule were worked out as Sargent completed a three-quarter length portrait of Choate in 1899.

Anyone know the rate of inflation for the past hundred or so years? I'd be interested to know what that translates to in today's dollars. I was also interested to note that Sargent was williing to negotiate on price, especially since he was so much in demand at the time.
__________________
Michele Rushworth
www.michelerushworth.com
mdrushworth@comcast.net
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2004, 10:14 AM   #2
Mike Dodson Mike Dodson is offline
Juried Member
 
Mike Dodson's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Centreville, AL
Posts: 306
I don't have an answer to your question Michele but I would like to plug these three volumes of Sargent's complete portrait works (I just received my 3rd) and say that they are exceptional. The colored plates are tremendous as well as Ormond's detailed description of each painting and his historical account of Sargent's career.

Excellent!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2004, 11:27 AM   #3
Stacey McEwen Stacey McEwen is offline
Juried Member
 
Stacey McEwen's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 36
Interesting information Michele!

Since I'm a big nerd at heart, I did the calculation based on some consumer price index historical data available on the web Assuming my source for the inflation rates is correct:

$2000 in 1896 => $41,512 in 2002
$3000 in 1896 => $62,268 in 2002
$4000 in 1896 => $83,024 in 2002

I don't know the inflation rate of the last year, so they're in 2002 dollars.

I'm mildly surprised - would've expected the numbers to be even higher!
__________________
Stacey L. Peterson
www.slpeterson.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2004, 08:35 PM   #4
Timothy C. Tyler Timothy C. Tyler is offline
Inactive
 
Timothy C. Tyler's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2002
Location: Siloam Springs, AR
Posts: 911
Pricing

I was struck when once reading about Sargent that he was not the most expensive portrait painter of his day. He was in demand and was very prolific. In America, he did 17 portraits in 6 weeks about the time you write about. I recall hearing 5,000 pounds but don't recall how big or when that was. I think one of his last full length portraits was 10,000 pounds. I certainly don't know what the exchange rate was then.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2004, 06:45 AM   #5
Matt Viinanen Matt Viinanen is offline
Juried Member
 
Matt Viinanen's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 7
Anders Zorn actually topped Sargent's prices from 1895 and forward. On a sidenote, Zorn's etchings went for higher prices than original Rembrandt etchings, in the 1920's. Zorn died 1920.
Go figure.

Matt
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2004, 07:47 PM   #6
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
Approved Member
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dodson
I don't have an answer to your question Michele but I would like to plug these three volumes of Sargent's complete portrait works (I just received my 3rd) and say that they are exceptional. The colored plates are tremendous as well as Ormond's detailed description of each painting and his historical account of Sargent's career.

Excellent!
Mike,

I hate to rub something in, but living so close to Boston, I am fortunate to see so many originals. They are great to study, and I have many, many, times.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 02:49 PM   #7
Mike Dodson Mike Dodson is offline
Juried Member
 
Mike Dodson's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Centreville, AL
Posts: 306
Sharon,

I am sooooooo enviuos! We have two painting of Sargent's here in Birmingham, one is a copy he did of a Hals painting and another is "Lady Helen Vincent". I was so awe struck the first time I saw it that I would visit the museum twice a week for two months and just soak everything in I could from this painting. I would make notes and go back to my studio and try different things. Visually it appears so simple. I know who to look up for a tour the next time I go to Boston!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2004, 05:13 PM   #8
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
Approved Member
 
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Dodson
Sharon,

I am sooooooo enviuos! We have two painting of Sargent's here in Birmingham, one is a copy he did of a Hals painting and another is "Lady Helen Vincent". I was so awe struck the first time I saw it that I would visit the museum twice a week for two months and just soak everything in I could from this painting. I would make notes and go back to my studio and try different things. Visually it appears so simple. I know who to look up for a tour the next time I go to Boston!
You are on!
It seems I am the official SOG Boston tour guide!

They are awesome and there is one huge one that is new and I have never seen in a book.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2004, 08:03 AM   #9
Tom Edgerton Tom Edgerton is offline
SOG Member
'02 Finalist, PSA
'01 Merit Award, PSA
'99 Finalist, PSA
 
Tom Edgerton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 819
Matt V--

The price-commanding power of Zorn's etchings makes more sense if you've seen them. Some of us found a wall full at the Gardner Museum in Boston at the last PSOA conference in April.

They're really indescribable. The light within them is palpable. He's gotten every possible nuance of tone possible in a value scale, and in the nudes, the flesh has a tactile appearance so lush as to rival oils.

All this from no more than an arrangement of black and white hatching. Just stupendous. See them if you can.

--TE
__________________
TomEdgerton.com
"The dream drives the action."
--Thomas Berry, 1999
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Topic: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Topic Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 

Make a Donation



Support the Forum by making a donation or ordering on Amazon through our search or book links..







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.