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Cy Twombly
Untitled (Rome)
1961
$7,968,000
Sotheby's New York
Nov. 9, 2005
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BOOM IN BLOOM?
by Richard Polsky



As a private dealer of contemporary art, who started in this field in 1978, I have never seen more money available for buying art -- and have never found it more difficult to make a living.

When I began dealing art, all of my attention was focused on meeting new clients and helping them improve their collections. Time and money were spent taking collectors to dinner, touring museums with them and treating them to expensive art books. The idea was to ingratiate yourself and develop long-term relationships. You wanted clients to feel special. I'll never forget reading a story in author Sophy Burnham's The Art Crowd about Leo Castelli telling a collector who wanted to buy a Cy Twombly, "I know your collection and will let you have nothing but an important Twombly. Be patient. . . I shall think of you. . . as soon as I get one good enough." That's how business was done.

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