Collectors

Tom Toumazis MBE at PAIAM Conference 2017

Tom Toumazis MBE, Tagsmart’s Executive Chairman, was invited to speak at this year’s Professional Advisors to the International Art Market Conference, which took place at Sotheby’s Grosvenor Galleries at Aeolian Hall on 11 July. 

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He took the opportunity to discuss Tagsmart’s journey, which began with Steve Cooke, our Chief Innovation Officer, and renowned frame-maker Mark Darbyshire. Led by Tom, in the past couple of years we gradually assembled an esteemed board of advisers formed of the UK’s foremost security, art conservation, software and materials science experts. 

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Throughout Tagsmart’s evolution, we have endeavoured to create a solution which appeals and conforms to our clients needs and wants. We have worked extensively alongside scientists and conservators ensuring our Tag does not interfere with the artwork and is applied with ease. The outcome is our triple-lock solution for authentication encompassing the DNA Tag providing proof of origin, the Certificate sealing ownership and our digital Provenance Record acting as a digital passport over time. 

After a year since Tagsmart’s launch, we are pleased to be working with some of the UK’s leading artists including Mario Testino and Gary Hume and to have tagged over 5,000 works of art. 

We are honoured to have shared our story with other professionals in the field, discussing the challenges of establishing authenticity and how we believe technology is leading the way forwards in addressing this issue. 

Private art becomes public

For decades, art collectors across the globe have opted to donate their collections to museums, but lately, private art collections are becoming modern-day museums. Reasons for this include fulfilling social responsibility, freeing up space in homes and taking advantage of the tax benefits.

Though there has been much hype about the recent growth in the number of private museums, this concept is nothing new. In the 1920s, when Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney offered to donate her extensive collection of American artworks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it was refused. So, she set up her own museum—The Whitney—which, to this day, focuses exclusively on American art and artists. Then, in the 1930s, Solomon R. Guggenheim (perhaps inspired by Gertrude Whitney) introduced the American public to the works of Wassily Kandinsky and Rudolf Bauer through his private collection. He soon began working with renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright on an iconic building to permanently house it.