Basics Of Buying Art: Whether You’re A Pro Or Not


Buying and collecting art intelligently can be done by anyone. That’s right, anyone. You do not need to have
experience in collecting art, previous knowledge about the art business, or even a degree in art history. The
truth is, all you’ll need is love for and appreciation of fine art; plus a yearning to collect; lastly,
willingness to learn some simple techniques that would help you evaluate any kind of artwork coming
from any period of history, whomever the artist is and whatever his or her nationality is.

Anything Goes

Although you might read some specific suggestions and recommendations describing specific works of art, you
should take note that there is really no right or wrong kind of art and that there’s no right or wrong method to collect or buy art.

Everyone has the freedom to collect whatever it is that they feel like collecting and buy whatever pieces they feel like buying. It doesn’t really matter whenever and wherever you feel like purchasing art, for whatever reason, and for how much you feel like spending on the purchase. As a result, the following tips are not for everyone but are typically designed for those who want to spend their money wisely on worth-it pieces.

If you happen to be one of those people, then here are some tips on how you can be a better art collector.

Four Way

Questions On Buying Art

If the time comes that you see a piece that you want, whether it be a painting, sculpture, or a print, there
are generally four questions that you should ask yourself to start your decision-making.

Who’s The Artist?

To answer this, you have 2 reliable sources: spoken and written information. Spoken info usually comes
from the artist himself, the gallery exhibiting the piece, or the dealer. It can also come from other collectors,
friends, family, and other people that are familiar with the art or the artist is considered. On the
other hand, written info could come in a number of forms like artist career resumes, gallery exhibit
catalogues, art reference books and exhibition reviews. How Important Is It?

This could be answered by simply looking at as many possible pieces done by the artist. Try to be familiar
with the range of the artists’ art and see where that particular piece falls. You can start by asking the
seller to show you a number of pieces done by the artist, whether original, in print, or in photographs.
Also, try to see works from all periods of the artist’s career; doing this can teach you a lot about the
artwork and the artist at hand.

Where Has It Been?

Third, it’s also important to know where that particular piece of art has been. This is done by
accumulating all incidental information about the piece. It’s similar to making a biography of the
piece, from its birth, which is the artists’ completion of it, up until the present day.

This can be helpful since good provenance and documentation can increase an artwork’s desirability,
collectability, and market value. Having a good provenance in the art world is analogous to having
a good pedigree in the pet world. For example, if a painting was exhibited at a notable and important art
show, then it is more collectible than a similar painting that wasn’t; just the same with awards and prizes.

Is The Price Fair?

For this question, it doesn’t really matter what the piece’s value may be in the future, since nobody can
really answer that. What you should want to know is whether the piece is fairly priced today or not. This
is a very important question because just like other services or goods, art can sometimes come overpriced.