With over 25 years experience in the art industry, Angela Tandori has crafted a philosophy for collecting that places custodianship first and foremost.
How did you get into art consultancy?
Up until now, the pathway to working in the Australian art market has largely been through experience rather than formal education. Things however, are shifting. The formation of peak bodies like the ACAA, alongside specialists courses like those provided by Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Christie’s Education speak to the sector’s growing professionalisation.
As a second-generation art specialist, my own journey was a mix of experience and education. After completing a Bachelor of Arts and living in London and Tokyo, I returned to Australia in my late 20s. Curious about art dealing, I began attending a weekly art auction frequented by the trade. Initially, comprehending the proceedings was a challenge. The works of art on display were haphazardly arranged, and scarce catalogue details were provided. Moreover, the prices achieved at auction didn't seem to obviously align with the perceived aesthetic value of the artworks. It was an incredibly bewildering experience! Over time however, I discovered I had an intuition for it; backed by research skills attained at university, I developed a keen eye for identifying, assessing and understanding the value of art.
How would you describe your current consultancy practice?
Over more than 25 years experience, I have built a consulting practice founded in historical and market insight. Through commissioned Market Reports, I provide collectors with strategic advice tailored to their collecting goals and based on data, experience, research, networks and more.
My mission is to see my clients, no matter their level of art experience, become informed, inspired and lifelong collectors. My vision is to see collecting as holistic — a life-cycle that spans acquisition and resale, and pays attention to the broader social and cultural context of art.
What do you see as the future of art consultancy?
When I entered the industry in the late 1990s, the prevailing message was buy art as an investment. By 2008 however, this proposition was under stress. The Global Financial Crisis, alongside stricter regulations in how the ATO classified art for self-managed-superannuation funds saw confidence waver. While it was a relief to see the conversation evolve, it raised the question: what value proposition should replace “investment”? In searching for an answer, I came to the concept of “custodianship” — a more profound and meaningful rationale for investing in art. Under this philosophy, acquiring art becomes more about appreciation and stewardship; while financial investment remains an important consideration, it flows on from art’s full spectrum of value — social, cultural, artistic and personal.
When I introduced the concept of custodianship to my clients, it resonated. It became evident we were all looking to be reinspired by art — to look beyond the purely financial to art’s intrinsic qualities, cultural significance and enduring legacy.
By placing emphasis on custodianship, I believe art consultants can build a more sustainable art market. The future of art consultancy lies with this. By cultivating long-term relationships with collectors and encouraging sustainable ownership, we can create a bridge between the past, present, and future, ensuring that artworks continue to inspire and enrich generations to come.
"When I introducted the concept of custodianship to my clients, it resonated. It became apparent we were all looking to be reinspired by art."
© Menzies Auction House
Angela Tandori (right) at a Menzies auction.
© Art & Collectors.
Angela Tandori (right) presenting a talk, 2023.
© Art & Collectors.
Angela Tandori sharing the story of Eric Thake's iconic greeting card linocuts.