Braque in Bulk: Costco Gets Back into the Fine Art Market

In 2006, Louis Knickerbocker, a meat distributor from Newport Beach, California, bought a Picasso drawing online. The price looked too good to be true, $39,999.99. But why have concerns when the piece was being sold by the reputable art dealer, Costco. That’s right, I said, Costco! Said Knickerbocker: “They just sell the top quality — whatever you buy at Costco, whether it’s a washing machine or a vacuum cleaner.”

The Picasso drawing ended up falling under suspicion, and Costco exited the fine art market. But now, six years later, they’re back. According to The New York Times, Costco recently opened a Fine Art section on its web site and started selling lithographs by Braque, Matisse, and Warhol, mostly in the $1,500 range. Perhaps because of The New York Times publicity, these objets d’art are now all sold out.

The next time you’re filling your cart with 10 pounds of coffee and 1728 bottles of water (you need to hydrate after all of that caffeine, you know?), pay another visit to the Fine Art section. They may have the deal of the century waiting for you.

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