Recession Watch

Is the Art Market Rebounding?

It looked like it was only worth $200, but it fetched $43.8 million. A 1962 Andy Warhol painting of 200 dollar bills fetched the primo price at an auction for London-based art collector Pauline Karpidas, who bought the painting for a mere $385,000 in 1986. The sale underscores buyers' returning confidence in the art market, which the world financial crisis nearly destroyed. Some dealers proclaimed the end of the slump. New York dealer Jack Tilton enthused, "Art has come back more than stocks or housing." It may not be time to drink champagne out of Duchamp-signed urinals yet, though. Others, such as art adviser Todd Levin, pointed out that auction house estimates have been reduced by 50 to 75 percent, lowering expectations "to such a degree that everything looks rosy."