New Mexico Bill Would Regulate Art Auction Houses

Jan 27, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill introduced in the New Mexico Legislature would impose government oversight of art auction houses and change the way some do business.

Sen. Tim Keller says his bill is a response to reports of questionable auction practices that distort prices for expensive pieces of art.

Keller's bill would authorize the Attorney General's Office to regulate art auctions and act on consumer complaints. It also mandates certain disclosures, such as minimum prices.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a former auction house director believes the Albuquerque Democrat's bill could be considered onerous by the businesses involved.

Now a curator at a Santa Fe gallery, David Clemmer says auction houses probably won't want to disclose pricing details or any financial interests in artwork they are selling.