Buying and Collecting Fine Art

8 Things to Look for When Buying and Collecting Fine Art

Buying fine art is an exhilarating and thrilling event, regardless if it’s your first or hundredth piece. No matter how much experience you have, there is always a lot to consider when making a purchase. This is even more so when a significant amount of money is involved.

From novices to specialists, there’s still plenty to learn when it comes to collecting fine art the smart way. Spend less time stressing and more time relishing in the process. Whether you enjoy exploring galleries in person or shopping for art online, here are some of the top suggestions and things to look for when buying fine art.

1. Know What You Like

After you’ve decided to begin your art collection, it’s easy to become swept up in the excitement of the hunt, the enthusiasm surrounding up-and-coming artists, and of course the opinions everyone around you feels entitled to share! Avoid being swayed into buying a piece purely on the basis of recommendations, price, or trendiness. Instead, consider the type of art you enjoy. What makes you feel connected to a piece? What elements do you enjoy looking at?

If there’s a piece that’s different from anything else you own, it could be the start of a new collection and well worth the investment.  However, this should never drive you to purchase something you don’t genuinely like. If you aren’t sure what style of art excites you, visit galleries and browse online collections to get a sense of what to start looking for.

buying fine art

2. Don’t Buy on a Whim

A lot of beginner art buyers make the mistake of buying the first piece they fall in love with and is in their price range. You may end up purchasing art without considering where you’ll place it in your home. Finding art that you feel an instant connection to is an incredible feeling, but don’t get so caught up in romanticizing the experience that you forget about the logistics.

Ask yourself if the piece is physically compatible with the space in which you plan to display it. Do the colors and materials complement your interior design scheme? The only thing worse than passing up a piece you love is giving up the money to purchase it and letting it collect dust in storage!

3. Set a Detailed Budget

Budgeting is always a smart idea, regardless of what you’re purchasing, but it’s especially critical when it comes to art. Particularly if an emotional attachment to a piece tempts you to spend more than you can afford. Adhering to a strict price point is the safest bet.

Budgeting is even more important when you consider the additional expenses and hidden fees associated with purchasing art. These costs include packing, shipping, insurance, and installation. All of these must be factored into your budgeting process.

4. Do Your Due Diligence

You will need to conduct a little market research on the fine art industry before buying your first piece. If you’re an intermediate-level art collector, don’t forget that you have to stay up to date – one round of research isn’t enough. This step is crucial to protecting yourself from being taken advantage of by disingenuous sellers.

Start by looking through auction catalogs, gallery websites, and any books on art collecting you can find. Don’t be afraid to ask collectors you look up to for advice. Research and compare pricing between all the different artists and galleries. Check out what other collectors are buying at art fairs. Fine art can be an investment, so be sure to make it a smart one!

5. Research The Art and Artist

If you’ve formed a strong connection to a piece, it’s all too tempting to make the decision to buy it without doing your research first. Regardless of who or where you purchase from, always conduct research on the item as well as the seller, if they are unfamiliar to you. Ask questions about the piece’s history, condition, and authenticity.

If you’re purchasing artwork online, the gallery or seller should be able to give condition reports and certificates of authenticity upon request. Always do your due diligence and research the seller’s terms and conditions. That way, you won’t be caught off guard by any insurance or ownership concerns.

6. Look For Quality and Originality

When collecting fine art, you should always be sure you’re getting top quality when paying top dollar. It’s crucial to verify that the item is constructed using high-quality materials. Poorly made materials will deteriorate and depreciate over time.

Additionally, always ensure that the artist’s style is unique. You don’t want to accidentally end up with what is essentially a knockoff. This can be incorporated into your background research but is also something you’ll develop as you gain more experience. Observe their other work and decide whether their style has matured sufficiently, or if you would be better off waiting for future pieces.

Things to Look for When Buying and Collecting Fine Art

7. Never Rush a Buy

Remember that good things take time. You shouldn’t make a purchase because you feel as though you’ll lose the piece if you don’t purchase it right this instant. Never allow anyone to pressure you into buying, whether it’s a seller or anyone else offering advice. In fact, if anyone does pressure you, that should be a red flag.

Sometimes a piece will be sold fast, and you may feel as though you missed out. However, when it comes to buying fine art – especially if you’re just getting your feet wet in it – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure about a piece of art, consider why you’re unsure and whether you’ll still want to look at it and be proud to have it on display in five or ten years.

8.Purchasing Fine Artwork

Before beginning or adding to your fine art collection, it’s important to consider certain factors. Always take a quality over quantity approach, do your research, and never let anyone pressure you into making a hasty decision. A great art collection requires a lot of thought and purchasing pieces with intention – so don’t let anyone rush your perfection!

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