International fine art advisor sets up firm in La Jolla
By Kelley Carlson
Fine art consultant Aldis Browne previously had offices in art meccas such as Paris, Geneva, London, New York and Oslo. While he still maintains a location in Los Angeles, he now brings his expertise to La Jolla.
Scheduled to open early next year, Aldis Browne Fine Arts Inc. is setting up at 7752 Fay Ave. Hours will be by appointment only. “My primary office will be (here),” Browne said. “It’s where I want to live. My in-laws have lived here forever.”
Browne said he offers three services to clients: assisting collectors and their lawyers and accountants in planning their estates; negotiating artists’ commissions for museums or collectors; and advising clients on the best approach to buying or selling fine art. The fees for these services vary, Browne said.
“It can be a percentage,” he said. “With corporate work, there’s often an hourly fee. If it’s deaccession, it’s some percentage of the overall cost.”
And if Browne serves as an expert witness in court, the fee is $500 an hour. “It’s less for a family or a normal advisory situation,” he said.
There is no fee for an initial consultation, however, and Browne said he has advised everyone from AT&T to the Getty family. “I’ve worked with an awful lot of people,” he said.
His clients include The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The deYoung Museum in San Francisco and The J. Paul Getty Museum in L.A.
Browne has consulted with Esmark Inc. and Ashland Oil Co. in building their art collections. He has also organized exhibitions at such notable locations as The Art Institute of Chicago, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and several embassies in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State.
In addition, Browne has organized exhibitions such as those of Paul Klee and Currier and Ives. He cites among his favorites the Salvador Dali 1982 retrospective for Japan, and Edvard Munch at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Browne didn’t initially set out to be a part of the art world. He was attending graduate school in business at the University of Chicago when he landed a job at the Peter Deitsch art gallery in New York, and he chose not to finish his MBA.
“I loved art,” Browne said. “I took an art course my senior year in prep school.” After about six months at Peter Deitsch, he was hired by Associated American Artists where he worked for more than six years and eventually became director of its galleries. Browne launched his business in New York in 1972, and set up in California in 1986.
Now that he has settled into La Jolla, Browne is making plans for more projects. He said he’s working with a multinational firm that has a “major seven-figure collection,” and he’s also assisting with a show by Lebanese artist Huguette Caland in Beirut that is opening in January.
To learn more, visit www.artconsultant.com or call (858) 750-2115.
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