Quick Tips for First-Time Art Buyers

If you have never acquired a work of art before, there are a number of important things you should consider before making that decisive purchase. Remember that art collecting – on any level – requires research, patience and is a process that can easily turn emotional. However, taking practical measures before, during, and after each purchase will help you build a collection that makes you proud, and contribute to possibly creating a sustainable portfolio for future investment. Whatever your goal may be in your art venture, do not neglect these steps.


Keep Certificates of Authenticity

When you purchase a work of art, the Certificate of Authenticity is crucial to prove that the work is indeed authentic. The document will come in handy when you need to insure the work. Plus, you never know when in the future your art collection may grow to a point that you decide to donate or sell certain pieces. The loss of the certificates may cause great trouble in the future. This is why we recommend that art collectors keep important documents for their art collection safely.


Focus on Quality, rather than Quantity

Buying art can be quite addictive once you really get into it. However, the best thing is to not get too over-zealous. Take your time between buying works, you might find that what you bought six months ago is no longer to your tastes. Also, remember that even if you really love work, it is always better to buy work that is in good condition – having to restore work in poor condition can drive up the cost of it significantly.


Weigh Your Risks

With any form of investment, higher returns are often tagged to higher risks. You may see or hear of other collectors buying young emerging artists and making a good profit reselling them later – and it’s tempting to follow suit. However, we strongly recommend that art should not be purchased for pure investment. You need to like the artwork, be willing to live with the piece, and believe in the artist’s career. If you’re completely new to the field, it’s better to buy something a bit more conservative and collect the tried and tested favorites.


Taking Care of Your Art Collection

If you have already started your art collection, or just bought your first work – that’s great! However, it is important to make sure your new work is stored properly to ensure the longevity of the item. The best person to probably ask is the person who sold you the work, which could be the artist or the gallery. If the work is one that is slightly older, you could also approach a conservator that specializes in that particular medium, as they would be able to advise you on how to restore it and maintain the condition. You should always invest in proper framing: works on paper should not be placed in direct sunlight, use UV-protective plexiglass where possible and make sure that works are mounted on acid-free paper.


Working with an Art Consultant

Are you short on time or still unsure what artwork to select and need further guidance? Don’t fret, working with an art consultant is a very convenient option. An art consultant can quickly find a wide variety of artworks based on your requirements and budget, but they will also help you make a more informed purchase. Having a basic understanding of your requirement will save time for both you and the consultant.


There is no shortcut to connoisseurship and it does take time, energy, and money. Talking to artists, other collectors, curators, and art advisors will increase the pace of learning and help you discover the true joy of art!

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