There is, according to the Wall Street Journal, a market in oil paintings of Alan Greenspan, and like most markets it’s somewhat depressed of late.
It seems an artist named Erin Crowe made a handy business for herself in the high palmy days of Greenspan’s tenure as Fed Chairman producing more than 50 oil paintings of Greenspan pictures she found online and in print. There were multiple gallery shows, in East Hampton and Manhattan. She says she sold them all, some for as much as $10,000. That bubble has since burst.
Most of the formerly-proud owners who spoke to the WSJ are not very happy about their downgraded investment in the art of finance. The ones which are still hanging are, according to their owners, chiefly an occasion for negative comments about Greenspan and his legacy from visitors.
Not all are still hanging. Brian McAnaney, a CT lawyer, says his Greenspan is in a closet, because “it is difficult to find a place for him in a family setting.” Matthew Schirmer, who bought his painting for $150,400 at a charity auction in a burst of irrational exuberance, had prints made up to sell at his own planned charity auctions to benefit Autism Speaks. None have sold. He has hopes that the original painting will recover some of its value when Greenspan dies. It’s currently under his bed.
Greenspan had no comment.
Crowe is philosophical. “I rode those paintings as far as you can imagine,” she says, “so how can I complain?” Now married and living in London, she’s moved on to professional pastures new.
She hopes to arrange a gallery show at some point for her portraits of Ben Bernanke.