Our Story


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Photo by Greg Morris

When I started my own appraisal and art advisory business in 2017, I was soon both blessed and burdened with a heavy workload. Feeling overwhelmed, I started researching meditative and mindfulness practices for myself that would help me manage my anxiety and stress.

Around this same time, during a networking breakfast someone asked the group to share what they found most rewarding about their job; when it was my turn, I shared that whenever I found myself feeling frustrated or low, I headed to a museum or gallery. I felt the greatest presence and peace of mind after a few hours wandering around Chelsea galleries or the cavernous wings of the Met. What a joy and honor it was to study art for a living!

It was then that I had an epiphany: wait a minute…art is my mindfulness practice!

I have always believed that art serves a higher purpose: it connects us to an elevated, shared consciousness. And my contemplative experience of art is akin to mindfulness meditation: I enter a state of heightened awareness to be fully present with the artwork and feel that sublime connection.

In this epiphanic moment, I realized that it was this, more than anything else, that I wanted to share with my clients: I want them to feel the transcendental power of art.

In my role as an art advisor, I work with my clients to cultivate a more mindful and intuitive approach to art.

With my unique experience as a curator and appraiser, I will always share my art historical and market knowledge, so clients can make informed decisions. But artwork that resonates with your soul is the best investment—it can bring you joy for life.

Join me on the journey!

Emily Casden


Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Williams College and a master’s degree in art history from Hunter College (CUNY), with a focus on late-nineteenth and twentieth-century modern art. She is a member of the Appraisers Association of America, with accreditation in Impressionist, Modern, Postwar and Contemporary art.

Emily started her professional career as a junior curator at The Jewish Museum, where she worked on a variety of exhibitions over her seven-year tenure. Longing to expand her skillset beyond Museum Mile, Emily transitioned from the museum world to the gallery and auction world, the latter affording her the exhilarating and intimate joy of handling, researching, and cataloging a panoply of objects. In 2015, she completed a Certificate in Appraisal Studies in Fine & Decorative Arts at New York University.

Shortly thereafter, Emily joined Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers, first as an Appraisal Assistant in the Furniture & Decorative Arts Department, and then as manager of Doyle’s Hayloft division, where she researched and catalogued Estate property, and managed the inventory of a 10,000 square foot facility.

Emily started Avant-Garde in 2017 to bring her diversity of experience to the aid of her clientele. Whether you need an art advisor, appraiser, or an engaging art tour guide or speaker, Avant-Garde is happy to serve you. Contact us!