Avant-Garde Appraisals & Art Advisory

“The goal of life is rapture. Art is the way we experience it.”   –Joseph Campbell

Avant-Garde provides advisory services for fine art, specializing in Modern, Postwar and Contemporary art. We believe that art is a conscious experience: a good work of art can not only enhance your lived spaces, it can enhance you on a deeper level. Learn more about our advisory practiceart tours, or speaking engagements on the transcendental power of art.

Avant-Garde also provides appraisals and cataloging services for art collections, personal property and Estates. With our intimate knowledge of the art, antiques and retail markets, we’ll make sure you get the full value of your treasures. Learn more.

Art Advisory

Avant-Garde is not your average art advisory.

In addition to offering expertise on art and the art market, we work with our clients to cultivate art appreciation as a conscious experience.

What does that mean?

We believe that art is an expression of our shared consciousness; artists tap into this elevated awareness, and put it into form, for the purpose of sharing it with us. But many of us suppress this intuitive connection to art in favor of a material or intellectual one.

Avant-Garde encourages clients to take a more mindful approach to art, to select pieces that enhance not only their lived spaces, but their own conscious awareness as well. Rather than conceiving of art-buying as “collecting” (a possessive notion), we encourage buyers to think of themselves as caretakers or hosts, welcoming the art into their space like an honored guest that will share its beauty and wisdom.

This concept was inspired by principal Emily Casden’s own reflection on her relationship to art. With her unique experience as a curator and appraiser, Emily will always add her art historical and market knowledge to her advisory practice, so clients can make informed decisions. But art that touches your soul is always the best investment–it will bring you joy for life!

As your art advisor, Avant-Garde will:

  • Work with you to identify what art resonates with you on a deeper level
  • Conduct extensive market research to select the right pieces for you
  • Broker the terms of sale to your best advantage
  • Facilitate the logistics of transporting, framing and installing work
  • Provide collection management support, such as facilitating conservation and loans, as needed

If you’re looking to downsize your collection, Avant-Garde will…

  • Research the primary and secondary markets to determine the best venue to take your artwork–including auction houses, dealerships, galleries, museums, or other charitable institutions
  • Negotiate the terms of sale with each venue to your best advantage
  • Facilitate the logistics of safely transporting the work to the venue

We believe art is for everybody—we can work with a range of budgets. Contact us for more information on how we can serve you.



Avant-Garde provides appraisals of fine art, specializing in Modern, Postwar and Contemporary art. We appraise paintings, prints, photographs, works on paper, sculpture, mixed media and more. Avant-Garde also provides generalist (Estate) appraisals of personal property, which includes furniture, decorative arts, and other household contents.

Whether you’re responsible for taxes on your late grandmother’s Estate, or insuring your art collection against damage or loss, Avant-Garde’s comprehensive reports will make sure you get the full value of your treasures. Our appraisals are compliant with the professional and ethical standards of the Uniform Standards in Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and IRS requirements.

Avant-Garde appraises art and personal property for…

  • Insurance against damage, loss or theft
  • Damage & Loss for work damaged by flooding, fire, etc.
  • Resale/Inventory
  • Estate Tax Liability
  • Gift Tax
  • Charitable Donation to an institution or charity for tax purposes
  • Equitable Distribution for divorce, inheritance distribution, etc.
  • Collateral for loans, etc.

Not sure if you need an appraisal? Learn more about some of the occasions that call for an appraisal. And here’s some helpful terms and resources to help you make sense of it all!


Do you need an inventory of your art collection? Overwhelmed by all the stuff in grandma’s attic? We’ll roll up our sleeves and sort and catalogue your property so you can focus on the important stuff.

Avant-Garde will…

  • Catalogue your art collection or personal property according to the Getty Institute object ID™ standards
  • Provide bound and/or digitized illustrated inventories, itemized and organized according to the client’s needs
  • Oversee the sale and distribution of property, as necessary


Art Tours

Coming soon (hopefully): The best way to learn the joys of art is to experience it firsthand! Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has delayed Avant-Garde from launching its art tours, but when it is safe to do so, we look forward to offering museum and gallery tours that will ignite your passion in art. Stay tuned!!

Speaking Engagements

Looking to spice up your company’s lunch ‘n learns? Need an art specialist’s insight for your panel? Emily loves sharing her knowledge and passion for art with others. Emily offers engaging and comprehensible lectures on a host of topics, including:

  • Art and Spirituality
  • The Art and Antiques Market
  • Art Appraising
  • The Benefits of Working with an Art Advisor
  • Select Art History Topics (such as Avant-Garde Art, Modern Art, etc.)

Contact us to let us know how Emily may provide compelling content for you, your company or your community.