Larry Salander explains it all to you. James Panero's right--a story worthy of Balzac. I hope to have more to say later, but I'm off to more workaday concerns.
. . . Adding, now that I have a chance, that while the article is fair-minded and friendly to Salander, it doesn't soft-pedal the fact that the blow-up of his gallery forces observers to wonder if the dealer is a knave or a fool. Either way, I'm very doubtful his attempt at growing the market for Old Master art works could have worked on the scale he seems to have attempted (assume "I'm no economist" demurrals somewhere in here.) While tastes can change, too much of the value of a, say, Donatello is already priced in to the current cost of such an object. While this removes a lot of the uncertainty of the value of the object, it limits the potential for growth--and older art has uncertainties of its own regarding provenance and authenticity affecting its prices that are less of an issue in the contemporary market. Lastly, it feels like Salander's convictions regarding the value of older art didn't take into account the realities of the market for contemporary work to which he compared it. The purposes and effects one can put a large Jeff Koons Hanging Heart to are quite different from those that a Parmigianino suits, regardless of the superior aesthetic merit of the latter. I don't think it's possible to educate taste in a certain direction when it lies opposite to that which buyers are looking to pursue, or at least not to effectively do so. The same is still true, albeit on a lesser scale, when comparing contemporary painting and older works. Furthermore, the number of buyers able to operate on the scale Salander was imagining is necessarily very small in any segment of the market. He evidently looked at the $100 million price tag for Hirst's skull as a benchmark to meet, without (apparently) taking into account the extent to which that figure may have been a stunt. Not a great model on which to build a business.