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Forming an art collection
For the art collector, art and its appreciation is in many regards more than a way of life. It is part idea, part process and part belief, being both of an emotional nature and intellectual. For the most part, art is a visual language that we use to grasp the world around us, the beauty around us, relatively speaking of course, to explore new ideas, and ultimately to define our very sense of being and deeper yet, our sense of humanity.
Once we have become interested in collecting art, we are committed to this life changing process. We see our artworks as part of who we are or even, who we may aspire to be. Many people have felt this way, when they are deeply moved by a work of art, which really connects with them. One draw back however, may be the necessary leap of faith it takes to actually purchase an original work of art. Moreover, this is something that often times confounds new collectors.
Surely, one of the critical points in being or becoming an art collector require that one feels comfortable with purchasing art. Above all, it is important to feel comfortable with your instincts and what draws you to a specific work. You must remember that your feelings and interpretations of the work will grow, as the object becomes part of your home or office.
Many are the factors that affect the future value of works of art. Namely, an artist's reputation, how well he/she has been marketed to the public, any favorable critical reviews, prestigious museum showings, what art movement the artist belonged to, and the quality of the art, something that by definition is extremely subjective. All t these aspects are important, but the most important aspect usually is how history will judge the artist and artworks. Artworks that transcend the moment, and become part of mankind's visual history are sure to have a future relevance, and value.
Art is far more than something you use to beautify your home, it is in many regards a source of inspiration and thus, imagination. For many, collecting art is a stimulating adventure, fun and educational. The following should be noted however: Collectors who invest in art solely for profit often lose on the transaction. If profit is the only motive, it must be kept in mind that the value of the art object must appreciate fast enough to keep up with inflation, cover the cost inherent in keeping and protecting the item, such as insurance and maintenance, and earn what could be earned had the money been invested elsewhere. Having stated this, the following recommendations should be kept in mind when buying artworks.
Set up a minimum and maximum budget and establish priorities. You must decide how much you are willing to invest in art.
Invest in something you really like, something that moves your inner self. . If you do, it will not be a chore to spend the time it takes to learn the difference between the great art and ordinary art.
Invest in the best that you can afford. It is far better to buy one good work of art rather than two lesser quality ones.
Study and go out of your way to learn all you can. Fill yourself with art by visiting galleries, museums, and art auctions. Use more than your eyes when viewing art. Use your mind and emotions. What is the artist trying to say? How does the artwork make you feel? How old is the artwork? What is its size, shape, and condition? What is the background of the artist? If possible, take classes and attend seminars covering art appreciation or some other key topics. Read art books, art catalogs, and art magazines. These are all great art resources
Search and find an auctioneer or a dealer who is interested in what he/she is selling and not just interested in making a fast buck. Either should be willing to refer you to anything or anyone who will increase your knowledge in your area of interest. Moreover, an auctioneer or dealer should be interested in matching you with artwork instead of only making a sale.
Keep good records. Keep the bill of sale, provenance documents, and photographs of the artwork, newspaper or magazine articles about the artist or artwork and records of current market value. All your records should be kept in a safe place.
Also of great importance is a Consultation with your insurance agent to ensure that the artwork is properly insured.