Earlier this year, on a hot and steamy Sydney day, cosseted within the cool, hushed walls of the country’s newest fine art auction house in the well-heeled suburb of Woollahra were 25 exceptional works by the Australian artist Brett Whiteley. The paintings and sculptures had been gathered from various private collectors and many had not been on public display since they were acquired from the artist decades ago. It was one of the greatest assemblages of significant paintings by Whiteley to ever hit the market – prices for these works would be destined to break records for the artist. But there was a catch: there was no planned auction; the works are not actually for sale. That was never the intention of this particular auction house’s Whiteley exhibition.