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Unfazed Collectors Drive Strong Sales on Art Basel Miami’s First Day

Rich collectors, most of whom stayed masked, charged through the fair despite the omicron variant.

Opening day at Art Basel Miami Beach’s 2021 fair.

Opening day at Art Basel Miami Beach’s 2021 fair.

Photographer: James Tarmy/Bloomberg

News headlines have been beating a continuous, ominous drumbeat about the Covid-19 omicron variant, but wealthy collectors continued to line up on Tuesday morning for the VIP opening day of Art Basel Miami Beach.

The art fair, which runs through Saturday (VIP days are on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which the public can pay $65 for a one-day pass) is the latest test of rich peoples’ appetites for large gatherings.