Almost a year ago I wrote about the role played by auction houses in what might be described as public education in the arts. Aspire Art Auctions’ James Sey had just produced a position paper arguing that “auction houses in the SA market are more and more stepping into the gap left by the lack of resources available to our public museums and art institutions — most importantly in the areas of art education, research, publishing and promotion”.

Sey also affirmed that “the continuing lack of government funding for public art institutions means that private collectors and collections have increasingly become responsible for developing a place for fine art in our national cultural identity”.

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