The giant warehouse club store Costco sells diamond rings for upward of $65,000, so why not fine art? In 2003, Costco started selling signed lithographs and original drawings, including, for instance, a $147,000 crayon drawing by Picasso. But when questions were raised about the authenticity of a couple of the Picassos, Costco immediately shut down the operation. Now it is testing the waters again, offering a handful of fine art prints on its Web site. Maybe it seems strange, but given that venerable dealers like Knoedler are being investigated by the FBI for selling million-dollar fakes with thousand-percent markups, the idea of a respected brand standing behind its merchandise is comforting. Nor are they the first. Sears sold more than 50,000 pieces of art through its Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art from 1962-1971.
Check out Vincent Price selling for Sears on youtube.
Preface to the The Vincent Price Collection taken from Sears catalog.
Published: October 5, 2012
Along with the bales of toilet paper and drums of tomato sauce that Costco customers load into their online shopping carts, they can now add an original Warhol or Matisse, a result of this giant discount retailer’s recent decision to re-enter the fine-art market.
Quietly and cautiously, like someone newly divorced returning to dating, Costco has begun selling fine art again after quitting the business six years ago when questions were raised about the authenticity of two Picasso drawings it had sold online.
In the two weeks since Costco, a warehouse club store, began listing “Fine Art” in the Home & Décor section of its Web site, it has sold five works: two framed lithographs by Henri Matisse, one for $1,000, and the other for $800; a framed lithograph by Georges Braque for $1,400; a framed screen print by Andy Warhol for $1,450; and a framed textile-and-paint collage by Heather Robinson for $1,699, said Greg Moors, the San Francisco dealer supplying the art to Costco….