Art Collection: Tips on Starting a Contemporary Art Collection
Don’t be intimidated! Visit as many art galleries as you can and ask questions. If the gallery owner or staff is inaccessible or open to your questions, continue.
Get on the mailing list of the art galleries you love so you’ll be invited to openings, special events and lectures.
Take notes or journals and jot down the names of new artists who stop you, move you, inspire you, excite you. Keep in mind that buying art is a lot like “falling in love.”
Do your homework. Be sure to get a bio or CV and artist statement. What is their background, education? Where do they show? What collections do they have?
Subscribe to some of the major art magazines and blogs like Art in America, Art News, Art & Auction, Art Forum, Frieze and blogs like Gallery Hopper and Art Addict or sites like Art Log and ArtSlant.
Visit the International Art Exhibition for a chance to see the art galleries and genres that interest you the most. This is a great opportunity to see many of the latest works from galleries from around the world. Some of the best Exhibitions are the Affordable Art Fair, Red Dot, Scope, Pulse which have annual shows in New York, Miami, London and Basel.
The right relationship is everything. Like the one at your dealer. A good dealer will notify you, bid you at auction, and let you know when a great item or new work from your favorite artist becomes available. According to AADA: ”No great collection ever formed without a dealer.”
Join several art museums and find out when a guide or curator is on tour or attending a lecture by visiting a curator.
Attend an auction of your favorite genre of art at Christies or Sotheby’s or one of the other major auction houses.
Attend a local studio tour in your local town or city, such as TOAST in Tribeca or ArtEast in Dutchess County, New York.
When you make a purchase, be sure to get proper documentation from the gallery, including bill of sale, letters of authenticity, and artist statements and resumes.
Make sure the gallery determines whether it’s an original or limited edition artwork, and not a reproduction.
Ask to meet the artist. Artists regularly attend openings and other events and many of them enjoy sharing inspiration with collectors and art lovers.
Talk to your gallery about the proper framing, installation, and maintenance of your artwork. And be sure to insure your artwork if you spend $1000 or more.
If you need to crate, pack, and ship your art, be sure to get suggestions from the gallery. Not all shippers are reliable and knowledgeable about packaging and protecting art items.
Collecting art is an act of self-discovery. Take your time, but don’t be afraid to jump in and make your first acquisition. When you live with the art you love, you change your life. But be careful, because collecting art can be very tempting and addictive. Enjoy the adventure!