Correction: A previous version of this report misidentified Colin Clarke as Kevin Clark and incorrectly reported that Freeman’s opened in Richmond in June. It opened Aug. 1.
An auction house that specializes in dealing artwork has taken up residence in the West End.
Freeman’s Auction opened an office Aug. 1 at 5401 Patterson Ave. The 700-square-foot space is the company’s first location in the Richmond market and its second in Virginia.
The local venture is led by husband-and-wife team Colin and Debra Clarke, who opened Freeman’s Charlottesville office more than a decade ago.
Colin Clarke said the company has previously sold items from Richmond in Philadelphia, where Freeman’s is based and holds all its auctions. The company also handles auctions for antiques and jewelry.
“(Richmond) is a very underserved market,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success with the property we have taken from Richmond.”
He said Freeman’s chose the West End office to cater to its clients in the Museum District and in the River and Parham roads corridor. The storefront was formerly home to an insurance company.
“(The office) is within easy reach of a lot of different arms of our clients,” Clarke said. “We plan to build this up as much as possible.”
To help it crack into the market, the West End office will hold open appraisal days every third Wednesday of the month.
Freeman’s has been in business more than 200 years. It has a handful of offices around the U.S. and two in the United Kingdom. It gets the art and antiques that it sells from family trusts and estates, which it then auctions for a commission.
Clarke said Freeman’s was tasked with selling Lehman Brothers’ art collection after the financial crisis. He said modern and contemporary art, along with Chinese art, is doing well on the market.
Eventually, Freeman’s would like to open more offices in the mid-Atlantic.
“We do have plans to expand into the Carolinas,” Clarke said.