leusis Art Advisory founder Liddy Berman
Eleusis Art Advisory founder Liddy Berman, who charters business jets to take clients to see artworks for sale.

Why Art Collectors Fly Privately

Art, as they say, is everywhere. That’s why traveling to see it by business jet is such a boon for collectors and curators. Flying privately lets them view as many works as possible quickly and conveniently, whether they’re dropping in at the Venice Biennale or detouring to check out Walter de Maria’s The Lightning Field, a land art sculpture in New Mexico’s remote high desert.

The first time Eleusis Art Advisory founder Liddy Berman chartered a jet to enhance a client’s experience was to visit Marfa, Texas, a small town several hours’ drive from the nearest airport served by airlines. That’s where pioneering artist Donald Judd purchased a decommissioned Army base in the 1970s to convert it into an art haven. 

“Today, Marfa stands as an international art destination,” Berman says. “Taking my client and her daughter to see [Judd’s] studio, his library, and his exceptional major installations and those of his peers was a great opportunity for them to connect to the artwork in a deeper way. Minimalism has since become a major focus of their collection.”

If a trip to view a collection or exhibition requires a refueling stop, Berman will factor in arts destinations en route—perhaps Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, a 1,500-foot sculpture in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, or the house and museum at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, where permanent exhibits include Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room―My Heart is Dancing into the Universe.

Berman notes that chartering a business jet allows her clients to see art not only around their busy schedules but before other prospective buyers. She recalls chartering a jet for an East Coast client to view works in West Coast storage following the death of a major collector.

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“By going straight to the source, we were the first people to view the works,” Berman says. “My client was able to choose which pieces he wanted before they went to the open market.”

Argentine collector Federico Castro Debernardi, who created an arts foundation in Buenos Aires in 2014, grew up flying privately as this was often the only way to travel between farms his family owned in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. 

Now living in Monaco, he often flies to London on business, to Art Basel, and to the Greek island of Mykonos or the South of France to relax, often bringing friends, artists, and curators along so they can discuss the latest arts news. 

“The good thing about flying private is that I can invite people,” Debernardi says. “Given that art is so word of mouth, it's one more productive occasion during the day for your collecting.”

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