Art Collecting: Art as Investment

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Inspiration behind collectors’ motivations for art collecting range from esoteric and personal to economic with a highly analytical approach.

Some collectors are interested in shaping the direction of a particular type of art such as contemporary, folk, or decorative.

Other collectors develop a specific taste for certain imagery or a particular art from a certain period of time.

In their guide ‘How to Build an Art Collection on a $100,000 Budget’ Sotheby’s Article , art auction giant Sotheby’s offers a useful nugget for aspiring collectors.

Prints, multiples, by the world’s most brilliant artists is a wise and affordable way to cultivate a superb art collection with relatively little money.

Building relationships with gallery dealers, art consultants, artists auctions houses, and any other professional seriously selling quality art takes great amount of effort and time.

The more energy collectors put into building up their interpersonal cache among commercial art professionals, the more cultural capital they accrue which can be spent to acquire extremely rarified and desired art objects.

Why do art collectors need to build relationships with those selling art?

Serious art professionals charged with selling art by artists and estates create value by limiting access to their inventories.

In this realm of buying and selling art, collecting art, everything buyers know about purchasing is reversed.

Art is not sold like infinitely mass produced goods on department store shelves.

If you live in a small art market – maybe there are only one or two art galleries in town – your options change. It is likely local dealers in small art markets welcome any and all customers at prices much lower than art galleries dealing art in larger mainstream art markets with high visibility.

Aspiring art collectors who live in smaller markets can collect a great deal of art at low investment quickly. They can also build long distance relationships with art professionals selling work from art centers such as New York or Los Angeles.

Building these kinds of trusting relationships over long distances, however, may prove difficult unless you work through an art consultant or have tons of money behind you.

There is a difference between primary and secondary art dealers. Primary art dealers not only show a certain stable of artists, they help guide and protect their careers, or estates if the artist is deceased.

It is often quite easier to develop relationships with secondary art sellers. Secondary simply means they are selling work from collectors.

The work has been sold from a primary source such as a gallery dealer. It has changed hands at least once already.

Many secondary dealers work in multiples such as printmaking and photography because the work is so much more widely available and resold.

Before I leave you to begin your journey into the world of art collecting, I want to make a note about the preservation of art. Art is a great resource for society, not just collectors, and needs to be preserved.

Art is an financial investment as well. As a financial investment, it is also important of think in terms of preservation. Using frames, for example, with plexiglass which protects work from UV rays in sunlight is vitally important.

If you have build a collection of any decent quantity, you will need to think about storage. Art must be packed properly, and stored in climate controlled rooms.

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