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Headlines and Highlights: Week of July 21st

Headlines and Highlights: Week of July 21st
July 21, 2023
Keenan Flack

PSA Acquires Genamint

The News: PSA, a sports merchandise authenticator, has acquired software company Genamint to introduce new tech to their grading process. This addition will aid in dealing with the rising volume of trading card submissions.

Why: PSA is actively enhancing its capabilities to keep pace with the booming trading card market. By integrating Genamint's technology, it aims to increase grading speed and accuracy, and manage the unprecedented surge in submissions more efficiently. 

Who: The acquisition introduces Kevin Lenane, Genamint's founder, as the new VP of Product Management at PSA. Under his leadership, and with further tech and operational investments, PSA plans to take its grading process to the next level. PSACARD

Joopiter to Sell Williams Sisters' Ernie Barnes Works in Charity Auction

Ernie Barnes, Holding Court, 1986. (COURTESY JOOPITER)

The News: Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, alongside their sister Isha Price, have put forward four previously unseen works by artist Ernie Barnes for a charity auction. The auctioned pieces, two paintings titled "Holding Court" (1986) and "Mentors" (2008), and two drawings "Saxophone Study #1" (1993) and "Study for Brother to Brother" (1994), will be available for bidding at the digital auction house, Joopiter, from July 24 to August 1.

Why: The Williams sisters purchased these works directly from the Barnes estate several years ago. Now, the charity auction aims to support the Yetunde Price Resource Center, a community-based organization that the sisters founded in memory of their late sister Yetunde, who tragically lost her life in 2003. The sale of these never-seen-before Barnes pieces will help fund vital resources for those affected by violence in Compton and underserved communities across the country.

Who: Ernie Barnes, who passed away in 2009, was a renowned Black artist celebrated for his distinctive portrayal of Black life. His paintings are recognized for their lively scenes of Black people engaging in leisurely and joyous activities. Over recent years, there's been a revival of interest in Barnes's work, leading to several significant exhibitions and a record-breaking auction sale of his iconic painting, "Sugar Shack." The artwork sold for a staggering $15.3 million in 2022 against a low estimate of just $150,000. ARTNEWS

Altan Content

This Wednesday's Alts & Ends, as always, covered three of the biggest stories in collectibles:

  • An unbelievable record for a sealed iPhone LINK
  • Fanatics launching their live events business and what it means for the hobby
  • A review of the high-end auction landscape, and the recent downtrend in the art market LINK

Authenticate and Elevate: How Authentication Standards Propel (or Hold Back) Memorabilia Markets LINK

The Women's World Cup is Here: Let's Check in on USWNT Cards & Memorabilia LINK

Collectible Happenings

Ken Goldin announces his return to the CEO Chair of Goldin Co. He was CEO from 2012 until early 2021 when the company was acquired by Collectors. Ken was in an executive chairman role for the last couple years since the acquisition. TWITTER

PSA has partnered with COMC, a marketplace for ungraded trading cards, to provide a streamlined card grading and authentication process. COMC customers can now directly send their cards for PSA grading, with COMC handling all details and logistics, while graded cards return to COMC accounts where collectors can store, sell, or ship them. PSACARD

OpenSea announces a new feature: Deals. Users are now able to enter into deals with one another to trade one or multiple of the NFTs in their collection. NFT trading has existed for a while, but having a trusted intermediary like OpenSea will create a more reliable environment than Twitter DMs. LUCKYTRADER

Card Grader, SGC, has relocated to a larger 35,000 square foot office to improve operational efficiency and expand their services for collectors. The company reassures there will be no disruption in processing submissions, and it appreciates the community support which made this expansion possible. TWITTER

Heritage Auctions has promoted Samantha Robinson to Director of Decorative Arts & Design at their Chicago office, where she will continue to oversee categories she previously built up. Robinson's work has led to record sales, strengthening Heritage's position in Art Glass, Art Pottery, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco categories. HERITAGE

In celebration of X-Men's 60th anniversary, Marvel Comics is partnering with Kith and Asics on a special "X-Men" Gel-Lyte 3 sneaker collection, featuring seven unique colorways inspired by iconic characters. Additionally, each pair includes a collectible Marvel trading card, featuring the logos of Kith and Marvel, encased in Kith x PSA co-branded slabs, amplifying the nostalgia and uniqueness of the collaboration. COMPLEX

Patrick Drahi, owner of Sotheby's and co-founder of Altice cable company, faces scrutiny as his associate and Altice ex-COO, Armando Pereira, has been detained amid a corruption investigation in Portugal. While there's no direct link between the probe and Sotheby's, observers fear the turmoil at Drahi's firms could cause distractions and potential issues for the auction house, especially in a cooling art market. ARTNET

The Jackson Pollock Studio and digital art platform Iconic released "Beyond the Edge: The Jackson Pollock Studio Collection," featuring NFTs of four sections from Pollock’s studio floor, each in editions of 125, raising $525,000 in three days. Pollock famously painted his sweeping canvases on the floor, meaning the works sold here are made up of the paint that missed the canvas; unintentionally creating an entirely new set of works. ARTNEWS

In an interview with Bloomberg Christie’s CEO, Guillaume Cerutti, said that the house is using AI “not to replace or create additional challenges for the art world, but more to add value to what we do. For instance, by providing more info or comparables to our clients”. Christie’s launched a venture fund in 2022 to invest in startups in and around the art market; Cerutti says that AI is one of the firm’s focuses. TWITTER

eBay is revamping its trading card listings by eliminating the "new/used" tag and instead requiring sellers to specify whether a card is graded or ungraded, and provide additional details about the card's condition. eBay plans to automatically move existing listings into the new system this month, but sellers, particularly those with ungraded cards, may need to add more information to their listings over the coming months. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

Adam Lindemann, art collector and owner of Venus Over Manhattan gallery, was arrested for criminal trespass and harassment following an incident at The Ranch, a gallery owned by Max Levai, in Montauk. The dispute reportedly started over zoning regulations at The Ranch, and Lindemann's lawyer has expressed confidence that the charges will be dropped. ARTNET

The live stream shopping platform Loupe is expanding to Canada through a partnership with international shipping service, ShipMyCards. This partnership enables Canadian collectors to conveniently and economically have their cards shipped, and marks Loupe's first move into international markets. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

the Barbie movie premieres this weekend and Artnet put out a delightful article on the ten most expensive Barbies ever sold. ARTNET

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