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Monday, March 4, 2013

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Anne Hargrave, Art Advisor and Appraiser Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

Anne Hargrave

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Art advisor and appraiser Anne Hargrave grew up playing in the vines of her family’s pioneering vineyard, Hargrave Vineyard, on the north fork of Long Island. She went to the Hampton Day School for elementary school and graduated from Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT in 1993. Anne’s early interest in art was cemented Senior year when she took art history classes with the legendary teacher Alice Delana. That formative education and support combined with her delight in visiting artist studio’s like Roy Nicholson to choose works to feature as wine labels made Anne quite sure she wanted to have a career in the arts. We salute her on her on being a member of the Appraiser's Association of America.

Anne went to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY for college, and left campus often for trips into Manhattan. She ended up going to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London initially as a junior year abroad, but ended up loving the school and city so much that she transferred and finished her degree there in 1997. 

While in London, Anne worked on a catalogue with the old master drawings dealer Kate Ganz. After months of slide shows and lectures on history and subject, it was a revelation to handle objects and to develop a sense of connoisseurship, or quality. It was in London that Anne first started going to auctions and sharpening her eye. 

After graduation, Anne worked as an intern for a year in the Old Master Paintings department at Christie’s in New York. Christie’s was still on Park Avenue at that time, a warren of rooms and eccentric but deeply knowledgeable people. Each and every object had a story to tell. Anne also loved the excitement and drama of the sales room, and especially loved playing Vanna White as she pointed out works hanging on the walls during the auction.

Anne went on to take the American Fine and Decorative Arts course at Sotheby’s in New York in 2001-2002, and found her niche. She worked in that field with Birnam Wood Galleries in East Hampton, NY and for Brock & Co in Concord, MA where she researched and sold paintings both at the gallery and at art fairs around the country. She frequently attended auctions and art fairs, buying works both for the gallery and for clients. Anne also became more interested in Contemporary art during this time.

In 2009 Anne founded her own art advisory and appraisals firm. She took classes in appraisal studies through NYU and is about to be inducted as a member of the Appraiser’s Association of America. Anne is part detective as she helps clients find just the right works for their collection. Her company is based on eastern Long Island, but her clients are around the country and Anne has gone from Virginia to Arizona for jobs. 

Ultimately, Anne thrives on the balance of country and city life, and travels frequently between both places for work and pleasure. When in the country, Anne loves swimming in the ocean and cooking feasts with the local bounty ranging from bay scallops to chardonnay to peaches. And in the city, Anne loves exploring great restaurants – a favorite is Jean Georges – and of course all the wonderful museums and collections the city has to offer. We are absolutely thrilled to present Anne Hargrave as our latest Mover and Shaker and are proud to say she is among those we've known the longest! Peachy Deegan interviewed Anne Hargrave for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What is your first art memory?
Anne Hargrave: In my grandmother's New York apartment, she had a wonderful cubist painting of clam diggers by her mother, Lousia Winslow Robins, in the dining room. I loved that painting, and was fascinated by the prismatic surfaces, and details like the scuttling crabs and men with their rakes. 

What was it like to grow up on a vineyard?
It was terrific. I grew up alongside the vines, and once I was older really loved tasting barrel samples to figure out blends before bottling. 

What should most people know about art that most do not know?
In terms of the art market, lots of people are not aware that auction previews - including powerhouses like Christie's and Sotheby's as well as at smaller local auction houses - are open to the public. There is no better way to educate your eye. 

How do you define overvalued and undervalued art and how is one able to identify each?
By definition, overvalued art costs more than it is worth, and the reverse is true for undervalued art. And how do you know what it is worth? Do your research on price trends at auction, get to know the relevant dealers, and ask an art advisor! 

What should most people know about vineyards that they would be surprised to find out?
People think of winemaking as quite romantic - and it can be - but at heart it's agriculture. You are at the mercy of the weather, and the quality of your wine is so dependent on what grows on the vines. Also, that those beautiful tended vines would be wild scraggly trees if they weren't pruned and trained. 

If you were stranded on a desert island with an executive chef who had a cooler of your favorite food and methods to prepare it, what 5 bottles of wine would you bring with you and why?
Only 5 bottles?! Well, I adore champagne, and Krug in particular, so that would have to be on the list for its complexity, depth, and utter deliciousness. I'd bring a bottle of Hargrave Vineyard pinot noir 1995, which was a silky, mushroomy, classic vintage of the heartbreak grape. And a bottle of Faively Nuits St. George clos de la marechal 1995 for comparison. We did a wine dinner once pairing our pinot with the classic Burgundy, and ours was more mushroomy and theirs had more pronounced perfume qualities. Then, I do love a good Chablis, but I think the wines of St. Bris are an even better value, so I'd bring the Goisot St. Bris 2010 which has racy acidity and gorgeous minerality. Since I'm on an island, that will go great with all the seafood we'll eat there. And I'd also say I'd bring a bottle of the Peconic Bay Vineyards Reisling. My brother is the assistant winemaker there, and the wine is fabulous - again, great acidity, totally dry but generous in flavor, and pairs amazingly well with food.

What did you like most about Miss Porter's School and what should the world know about it?
It's a great school! The traditions make the school really special, especially the german, but it's the teachers and fellow students that make all the difference. I took my first art history class with Mrs. Delana at MPS, and she galvanized me to pursue my aesthetics beyond the classroom. 

What did you like most and least about London both personally and professionally?
Here's what I loved about London: the parks, museums, endless cups of tea and the fact that cabbies would start up cogent conversations about Sir Anthony Blunt and the Queen's collection. Here's what I didn't love: the lack of good grilled cheese sandwiches or peanut butter! 

Where are the best peaches in New York?
Without question, Wickham's orchard in Cutchogue has the best peaches, both white and yellow.
What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
I wanted to be like Oscar Wilde and try to live up to my porcelain. 

What are you proudest of and why?
The merlot 2007 I hand picked and fermented with my family. That wine is totally to our own tastes and you can't buy it anywhere, though we do have a few cases left in the cellar. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
Being on the acquisitions committee of MoMa would be pretty darn great.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
If they ever start giving out awards for art advisors I'd love to get one.

What one word best describes you and why?
Vivacious sums me up pretty well - lively, attentive and interested.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Central Park is pretty hard to beat, and is uniquely New York.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
I love Bendel's, but I miss the tea room they used to have. They had this hazelnut merengue cake that was superlative.

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why?
The people I think would be the most amusing and best sales guy around, like Joseph Duveen, died decades ago, but he could sell a refrigerator to an eskimo. 

What is your favorite drink?
That would be a maidstone.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party?
The time a rather drunk man came up to me and my brother and exclaimed how suave and debonair our father was - only he pronounced it "soove and de-bone-er" 

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
So hard to choose - I had a memorable meal at Del Posto recently, and love the Modern for a fun evening.

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature?
Oh gosh, Holden in The Catcher in the Rye is no phony. And Eloise will always be a favorite.

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
Madame Louise Pommery, of the inimitable Champagne house, took her late husband's dusty brand to new heights by insisting on quality above all. We have her to thank for racy, utterly dry champagne. She was also a great supporter of the arts and a super savvy business woman, both great things to live up to.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?
I'd be pretty happy to have fragrant garden in my name.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
You mean after jumping over curb puddles? Riding in Central Park and skating at Wollman's Rink are pretty wonderful.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
Walking around or taking public transport to a transporting cultural experience like the ballet or opera gives a great frisson.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why?
I'd say Gerald and Sara Murphy and their ex pat crowd in Paris in the 1920s would be the most wonderful hosts and party imaginable. 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
Hearing Roseanne Cash live, in a parlor setting, at the Century Association was memorably beautiful. Her voice is so distinctive and I love her American song book program.

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world?
I served on the board of Hallockville Museum and I was on the auction committee of Harvest, a food and wine event to benefit the Peconic Land Trust and East End Hospice, amongst other activities over the years.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
It seems that almost everything is talked about and dissected in this city, but the pleasures of home cooking seem to be the most under the radar in New York. And the most overrated would have to be glorified hot dogs in served by guys with curated beards in Brooklyn.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
The charities and events column is a fun list of people and places in NY. 

Have you tried The Peachy Deegan yet and if not, why not? 
Nope, haven't tried that yet. Sounds good though.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
My parting thought would be to only drink wine whose winemakers you have met, and to only buy art you have personally seen. I'm happy to share my firm convictions on both art and wine.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
They are welcome to e-mail me at:

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