Magnus Resch, a 29-year-old German internet entrepreneur and former gallery owner, last month launched Larryslist.com, a database of more than 3,000 private art collectors. For $9.50 (free of charge for artists), users can access collectors’ profiles, view the artists in their collections (as well as specific works they have bought) and check their worldwide rankings. Rankings are calculated based on several criteria, including collectors’ engagement with museums and participation in art fairs. If, for example, collectors sit on a board, they score more points.
Although the company has its headquarters in Hong Kong, a team of 25 art market researchers in 20 countries gathered the information over the past year, using more than 27,000 resources, including websites, archives, books and specialist magazines.
Resch concedes that there will not be many surprises when it comes to US and European collectors: California’s Eli Broad is ranked number one, but the works listed in his collection do not include those bought privately. “It gets more interesting when you look at the emerging markets like Brazil and China, where less information is available,” he says.
Resch says he aims to bring transparency to the art market, adding that “the collector side of things has been closed until now”. Collectors are encouraged to contact the company to add or amend data, but it remains to be seen whether they will respond.
In November, Larryslist.com is due to publish a report on global collecting habits. A preview reveals that 82% are aged over 45 and 71% are male, while a study of privately owned museums shows that 12% of collectors worldwide open their collections to the public.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Online database ranks private collectors'