Where to live if you love art? Watch it, appreciate it and collect it. Here, Christopher Nye from The Luxury Real Estate Fair suggests some old, new and promising locations.
Some parts of the world are known for their art, be it classic Florence, avant-garde Berlin or cool and elegant Paris.
Places with beauty all around are sure to appeal to a more aesthetic type. It’s no surprise that young Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, took her sabbatical in Florence before studying art history at St Andrews University.
Art has always followed wealth, as have many other people, so the major art centers of the world tend to be overcrowded and expensive.
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But there are many quieter, less touristy places that have also gained a reputation for great art, where you can buy a truly lavish property to show off your own art for around € 500,000. To name just three examples: Normandy, where David Hockney ignored the pandemic among the ghosts of the Impressionists; the baroque beauty of Sicilian towns (top of page), a match for Tuscany; While Florida might not seem like one of the greatest art centers in the world, its Gulf Coast has a more artistic feel. Miami, as the de facto “capital of Latin America”, is a wonderful melting pot for art. Plus, it’s much warmer than the traditional art hotspots of New York and Boston.
A property for your art
While you have plenty of tips for finding the right piece of art for your property, finding the right property for your art can be more of a problem.
The obvious things to avoid include humidity, direct sunlight, and insect or animal infestations.
Life gets complicated if you have to find room to show off your heirlooms or existing collection. There are no hard and fast rules, and modern art can look just as good in an older setting as it does modern, and vice versa. It is more about the building where your art can breathe and be seen with maximum effect.
The growth of open houses, which will no doubt return after the pandemic, has caused many of us to reflect on where and how we can best display art in our homes, including for commercial purposes.
Ideally, we might have big, pale walls and no distractions, but you could also mimic living rooms of yesteryear and every inch of wall and floor with your favorite pieces (and some that might grow on you over the years) .
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A less spacious home can also have architectural features that lend themselves well to displaying artwork, such as alcoves, stairs, and ledges.
China’s wealth has also helped create a vibrant art market, and the link between East and West is Hong Kong. Major art galleries include the Tang Contemporary, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Para Site and the Edouard Malingue Gallery which showcases emerging artists in particular.
The biggest set to open this year, however, is M +, Hong Kong’s new visual culture museum.
Property in Hong Kong is expensive – around £ 18,000 (HK $ 200,000) per square meter, which makes a two-bedroom 60-square-meter apartment at just over a million pounds. The rapid price increases of the past decade have stabilized, in part due to the country’s domestic problems.
Favorite areas for living include the trendy and central Wan Chai district or the more upscale Jardine’s Lookout. Also discover West Kowloon, the home of M + and a thriving art space.
The return of the Bronzes from Benin to Nigeria has highlighted the value of African art. North Africa and Egypt in particular have always been a magnet for aesthetes and a wonderful base on the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
When choosing where to live, the island of Gezira and especially its northern end, Zamalek, combines a chic and arty district with the Cairo Opera House, the Museum of Modern Art, the Zamalek Art Gallery and the Wheel cultural El Sawy. Other museums and galleries are within a pleasant stroll across the bridges. There are some good international schools for those going with the family to this popular area for expatriates and diplomats.
When you live in Cairo, it’s as easy to see the new Louvre outpost in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district of Saadiyat as it is to drive to the original in Paris, or enjoy long weekends in neighborhoods. artistic, such as Askerkal Avenue in Dubai or Mar Mikhaël in Beirut, as when going to Barcelona or Milan. For a spacious apartment in Zamalek you should budget around £ 500,000.
Creative Coast of England
One of the small perks of England’s temperamental summer weather is that beach vacations often fail, which may be why so many old British seaside resorts have wonderful art galleries. The coasts of Essex, Kent and Sussex form a ring, conveniently located less than an hour from central London, now collectively known as the Creative Coast of England.
It includes wonderful art galleries in seaside towns varying from the most modest but bohemian, to the truly magnificent. There is something for everyone in Margate, Rye, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and Chichester. Between these are sights like Charleston, near Lewes, country house of the Bloomsbury ensemble, or Farley House, where Picasso used to visit.
You can still shop for art in Sussex, either at the many auction houses in Lewes and Canterbury, or by browsing the old and modern shops of Brighton’s Lanes. France is only a few minutes away by ferry.
The pandemic has – for many and various reasons, including a stamp duty holiday – pushed up house prices, especially in coastal areas where working from home suddenly makes it more feasible. All the same, £ 500,000 will allow you to buy a nice country house in Kent or Sussex Weald, or a very nice apartment in Brighton.
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