March 29, 2021

Christie's Education Weekly Virtuals
Building Collections: Cross-Category as a Collecting Strategy

The most influential collectors and patrons in history collected in an eclectic way, building collections based on their own artistic vision and mission, informed by a broad and deep understanding of art and civilization. 

The Medicis commissioned art of their time, but also surrounded themselves with Greek and Roman antiquities.  Qianlong Emperor assembled art produced throughout dynastic China, but also perfected art from his own time in his imperial workshops, and embraced westerns art and curiosities.  In the Rockefeller family, while some were devoted to classical European art, some champion the avant-garde and built one of the world’s most impressive modern art collection.   

In today’s global art market, long gone are the geographical, time and cultural boundaries. More and more collectors are able to strategically build their collections based on their own understanding of aesthetics, culture and the art market.  Connecting the dots between the east and the west, or juxtaposing the past and the present, they bring objects into context and giving them new life.  Their collections are an expression of their own artistic and creative identity.   

This 6-week online programme broadens the horizon of art appreciation and collecting by introducing a comparative approach to art history.  We will learn about the encyclopedia collection of the Rockefeller family, as well as how Belgium interior designer and art dealer Axel Vervoordt made his name as a taste-maker and pioneer of cross-cultural buying.  We will also investigate a few cross-category themes, “Chinese ink and Western Oil Paintings”, “Chinese Classical Paintings and the Contemporary Eye”, and “Chinese Contemporary Art and Western Art”, serving as reference points for collectors to formulate their own cross-buying strategies.

Join us every Wednesday 12:30-2:00pm from 7 April to 12 May and learn about cross-category collecting.

To learn more about Christie’s Education programmes in Asia, please visit:

Selection of pieces from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, by interior designer Frank de Biasi.

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