MoMA, Guggenheim Experts Say You'd Be Better Off Buying Real Estate

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Agnes Gund with Joel Gray at his party last week.Photo: Patrick McMullan

With the big-money contemporary-art fairs in town last week and the big-money contemporary-art auctions set for this week, we had to wonder whether all these big-tickets works are good investments. “No Picasso is worth what people are paying today," MoMA president emerita Agnes Gund told us at a party for Joel Gray's photography last week. "They just aren’t that valuable in comparison. There are really Van Goghs and drawings that are worth more.” So where should you put your money? “Real estate is always the better investment because real estate will always be here, but the prices of art fluctuates,” she said. “Oops, I guess I shouldn’t say that!” Guggenheim director Lisa Dennison concurred. “I’d have to say real estate," she said. "You can live in it, you can hang art in it, and the prices seem more reasonable.” Real-estate prices seem reasonable? “As a museum director, it’s hard for me to say you should invest in art.” —Justin Ravitz