As an Art Consultant, Elizabeth Hastings has published books, ferried art between yachts and helped collectors connect with public institutions.
© Karen Black / Sullivan+Strumpf
How did you get into art consultancy?
I became an Art Consultant in 2010 following a fortuitous meeting with an art collector who’d acquired a significant portfolio of art, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts. He’d kept meticulous records but wanted to document the collection on a computer database and publish a beautiful book as a legacy. I’d spent the first 15 years of my career working for the Bendigo Art Gallery, The British Museum, Sotheby’s London and Liverpool Street Gallery, so the breadth of my expertise across Australian and international paintings, prints, sculpture, furniture and decorative arts equipped me well for this role.
Since assisting this collector to buy and sell, curate and relocate his collection, I’ve had the pleasure of aiding other private, corporate and institutional clients. It is always a privilege to be invited into a client’s domain and be entrusted with their most valuable possessions.
How would you describe your current consultancy practice?
My consulting practice offers curatorial advice and collection management services to private and corporate clients who seek to build an art collection or relocate an existing collection from house-to-house, office-to-office, interstate or overseas…even to luxury yachts in the Mediterranean! No location is too difficult and often clients simply want to know that their art and valuables will be handled with infinite care from door-to-door.
Research, writing, book publishing and valuations are also my niche. I am an Approved Valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program and qualified to provide valuations for insurance, probate, estate planning and the division of property in family law matters.
What do you see as the future of Art Consultancy – do you have future goals?
As an Art Consultant, my aim is to foster my client’s appreciation of art, to provide practical solutions to support their collecting interests and to act with professionalism, integrity and discretion at all times. I share these values with my fellow ACAA members, as we strive to have our profession recognised as the gold standard for independent client service in the visual arts.
Tell us about a time your consulting services saved the day.
A global financial services company with an international art collection had planned to relocate its Sydney Office operations from Macquarie Street to a glamorous new space in Martin Place. Due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions, the London-based art curator was unable to fly to Sydney to oversee the pack-down and relocation of the collection. Through a word-of-mouth recommendation, I was introduced to the curator and, after qualifying for the position, I acted as his ‘on the ground representative’ to coordinate, relocate and hang the collection in the new suite of offices. We spent hours and hours on FaceTime, working ‘virtually’ together to position and hang the art. Thanks to modern technology, and a whole lot of patience and trust, the new offices look incredible!