Pritha Mukherjee

Account Development Manager


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When entrusting your fine art with a handling company, it’s crucial to know that the experts you’re working with share your passion for art.  

In this new series, we are introducing our team of global art leaders, individuals bound by a love of art and a willingness to handle the precious art in their care as if it was their own, and ensure the process is simple, safe, secure and efficient.

Here, we meet Pritha Mukherjee who leads our Crown Fine Art activity in India. She talks a little bit about who she is, her role and how she sees the art industry evolving.  

Tell us a bit about you and your role at Crown.

I’ve been with Crown for over six and a half years, working for Crown Relocations initially. I started my role as Fine Art lead just last year for the whole of India. Interacting with people, hearing their stories, learning about new countries and their cultures is something I love doing. 

What has been your fondest memory at Crown?

My fondest memory is also my toughest. It was one of the hardest clients and biggest projects that [Relocations] has handled: thirteen 40ft containers relocated from India to France.

It was a huge volume enquiry planned and completed during 2021. COVID wasn’t quite over yet, meaning we faced a lot of restrictions and needed to find resolutions. The two-year ordeal was one of the most rewarding. We were contacted by different departments and offices in varying regions who informed that this kind of high-volume task had never been done before for a private client. 

For Fine Art, we previously handled one was the most expensive paintings made by any Indian artist. It was 40 Crores ($4,817,476.00 USD) and needed max supervision. Flights kept changing and we struggled to get a booking as we had to be particular about the flight we were sending it on…an incredibly challenging experience, but definitely very rewarding as well. 

I pride myself and our team of art handlers on going above and beyond for clients and helping to make things simpler. And through my time at Crown, I’ve sought to do that whether handling people and their affects, or fine art for collectors. 

What do you feel makes a great fine art company? 

Personally, I think it’s the level of expertise and knowledge that sets ‘good’ apart from ‘great’, and fortunately we have plenty of that within CFA. Our people don’t just have a passion for art, but understand they have a responsibility to make sure pieces get from A to B with maximum safety and proper installation, whether that be nationally or internationally. 

No piece of art is the same, so we try to facilitate a smooth, personal service for every one of our clients. 

We are lucky enough to be part of Crown because we all continue to learn from each other. I’ve learned a lot from the UK and Dubai teams and made sure to adopt that into my own practices.

As the world increasingly turns digital, why does Fine Art remain important? 

We have actually recently cleared one of the first digital artworks bought through NFT artworks in India.

I believe that younger collectors have scattered interests – they’re not just fixated on modern or contemporary art, but they do look for something new. It’s just how things work. 

Older collectors, that have been collectors for generations, generally go for the modern or contemporary art, looking at the physical aspects. For that, India does have a lot of exhibitions which enables collectors to connect with galleries or artists and view works in person.

What do you feel are the challenges & opportunities for the art market?

In India there are two types of clients: those who are price conscious, and those who are simply art lovers. 

We proudly cater for both, seeking to deliver a high-quality, cost-effective service. We pride ourselves on the extensive range of services we provide, like our customized crates or specialized transport opportunities. We want to make every step of the handling process as simple and stress-free for our clients as possible. It all ties back to Crown’s purpose of making it simpler to live, work, and do business anywhere in the world. 

This means we can help art lovers take care of their art like it’s our own. And clients recognize that! They appreciate our effort and expertise, which is quite extensive considering we’ve been in the field nearly 60 years. 

For the commercial market, we can be competitive, but apply our depth of knowledge and expertise, to ensure artwork is handled efficiently but with great care.

We’ve also seen a growth in exhibitions, with a lot of galleries holding or participating in different exhibitions around the country – a 35% increase in the last four years in India explicitly, but not necessarily in major cities like Delhi or Mumbai. They’re appearing in areas like Bihar or Indore, the places that people don’t typically think about when they think of India. There’s no denying that the opportunities are there, so get in touch and to see how we might be able to help.

Where do you get your knowledge and expertise?

Surprisingly, my background is actually in engineering and then a postgraduate in management, but when you’re interested in something you have that desire to learn more!

My mother was an artist herself who taught me varying forms of art - basic fabric panting, oil painting, watercolor painting…she’s done a lot. When I’d come back from school or college, I’d always see her painting. 

With support from Crown India and my manager once I took up Fine Art, I completed a course from the Museum of Modern Art based in New York to get a better understanding of art. I needed to understand the different types of artworks and the sorts of packing materials used, as these form the basics of CFA. I try to make it a point to be present at the packing site to see how the crew are working. When all is said and done, these are the members that have been there from the start and have that knowledge of handling artwork. It’s the practical knowledge that makes you remember things.

Reading and interacting with people within the art industry has prepared me for the role, but the learning never stops. There is always something new to learn.

What do you feel is next for CFA, either in India specifically or globally?

Traditionally, focuses within the market have always been on European and American artists. You hear about London or Paris when it comes to conventional and current creators, but you rarely hear about the ones from Asia…they rarely get the recognition or demand from the market. 

Yet, tides seem to be changing, as in a lot of auction houses - Christie’s, Sotheby’s, you name it - you now see a lot of the South Asian artworks becoming part of the auction with demand constantly increasing. I’ve been travelling for the last two months, and genuinely feel that art in Asia is getting the recognition it needs. A lot of artworks are being sent from India or other South Asian countries, which means, to me, that there is likely a change in the market. It’s incredibly exciting to see pieces that were created on home soil featured in exhibits around the globe and I cannot wait until we get the chance to be part of the process! It’s an amazing time to be in the art market.

We share your passion for art. Get in touch for a chat about the bespoke services we can offer for your fine art needs. 

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