Art valuer finding ready market in Oamaru


A Dunedin woman who set up her own art valuation business earlier this year has found a market for it in Oamaru.

Art valuer Jennifer Hopkinson, who created Art Valuation Services Limited, has been valuing art around Otago and South Canterbury since she created her company in February this year.

Ms Hopkinson, who was in Oamaru valuing art for a client on Wednesday, said she felt there was a need for the service here because there were a lot of farmers who liked and owned landscape works, among other art.

“There’s definitely a market for this.

“[The farmers] love landscapes because they look at them every day.

“You can’t live in New Zealand and not be influenced by landscapes, especially in Oamaru.”

She did valuation work in Oamaru for the first time a couple of months ago and has had at least five or six calls from interested clients in the area.

Ms Hopkinson values artwork for companies, private owners, councils and schools – anyone with art – for private valuations, insurance claims, wills and relationship break-ups.

“I go into your house because you think your art could be worth something.”

She takes down the details of the work then researches it to find everything she can about the work before making a formal valuation, which is presented to the client.

“You’re like a detective in this job.

“You can find out all sorts of things about a picture just by looking at it.”

She has always been interested in art, has various art history qualifications, has a vast collection of her own (which encompasses 300 works) and owned the Moray Gallery in Dunedin for 20 years.

“This year I sold the gallery and thought, right I’ll start really doing this.”

As far as Ms Hopkinson is aware, she is the only person to do this work in this sort of way, she said.

A number of companies and auction houses offered similar services but she did not think anyone else had set themselves up fully to do it like her.

“I feel it is pretty good because I’m doing something I love.”

Ms Hopkinson will be returning to Oamaru soon and expects there will be more people in the town who need her services.



VALUING OAMARU: Art valuer Jennifer Hopkinson with a Colin Wheeler artwork picturing the Oamaru Mail  building in Coquet St in 1987.

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