Fine Art Seen As Good Place To Park Capital

Looking for a place to place your spare cash in financially troubled times? Well, apparently you could do worse than to plunk down a few million for fine art.

Don Bacigalupi, the director of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, notes that the art market recovered from the recession "relatively quickly," by early 2009.

Bacigalupi said that "there's been a kind of shift of resources into art of late. You certainly see it with people like hedge fund managers and others who are buying lots and lots of art." Apparently, he said, "there was a sense that the art market or art objects might be a place for people to park money when all the other markets were so much in turmoil."

A caveat: Bacigalupi is helping Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton (estimated net worth: north of $20 billion) in her search to populate the museum with great American works. Picking up some sofa art from a "starving artists" show probably isn't a good investment strategy.