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The Gray Market: Why Art Collecting Is Not Like an Oxycontin Addiction

This week, questioning alternative aspects of three art-industry scandals…

JUST SAY “NO”: On Monday, Christopher Glazek guided readers on an investigative deep dive into arguably the most private and prolific museum patrons in the US and the UK: the Sacklers. The family name currently graces courtyards, wings, and galleries at prestigious institutions that include the Met, the V&A, the Louvre, the Royal Academy, and the Smithsonian, among an almost comically long list of others.

But as Glazek’s story reveals in stomach-churning detail, the Sackler clan has been infinitely more interested in broadcasting its name than its history, and least of all the primary source of its billions. That source is OxyContin, the time-release prescription painkiller central to the American opioid epidemic, which a federal commission recently blamed for about 142 deaths per day, or “September 11th every three weeks.”

While Glazek spends the majority of the piece charting Oxy’s disinformation-fueled spread to epidemic proportions, his opening act lays bare some of the personal histories of the Sackler brothers: Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond. And among them is Arthur’s rise and (relative) fall, allegedly through his obsessive collecting of art and antiquities. Read more

2018-10-29T09:52:41+00:00