Chapter 15
Hotel High Jinx And The
Scummy Seas
Today's art market has given birth to one of the most
sinister trends in art history... The traveling cruise ship
art auction.  While it has done wonders for the popularity
of art buying, it has cursed the careers of countless artists
and deceived millions of unsuspecting patrons.
What the cruise ships' auction people do is look for
art publishers who are struggling financially. They will then
approach these publishers and make an offer to purchase
large quantities of back-stocked editions.  Unless the
publisher is going totally under they will sell only unpopular
editions, which have been sitting around collecting dust.
Publishers in financial trouble too often find this as a
ready source of cash. The cruise lines will write a bulk check
purchasing these limited editions at values so low the
pieces can be auctioned at one hundred or two
hundred dollars per work and still make quite a
tremendous profit.
The paintings will be framed in a very inexpensive
way and sent out for auctioning. The cruise lines also rent
hotel conference rooms in mid level hotels around the
country where they invite a database of collectors from the
cruise auctions to participate in another auction just for
them in their local town.
The hotel and cruise line auctions will often use
frames which are going out of stock or may no longer be
available. It is usually the case where the client ends
up having artwork arrive with a frame looking