How to buy Art

Thoughtfully curated collection. Check.

I was flipping through the most recent Allure Magazine on the flight to Shanghai and I stumbled upon an article called “How to Buy Art”. I was fascinated to read the interview with Courtney H. Pettit, a modern and contemporary art consultant and the co-director of Pettit Art Partners in Manhattan, and get her take on things to pay attention to. Here are some highlights from the interview.

What are you drawn to? (no pun intended) Courtney opens up with the importance of identifying your specific taste before you start a collection. Figure out your taste by seeing new exhibitions at galleries and browsing different museum’s permanent collections. Notice what strikes your interest. If you’re gravitating towards a variety of styles, narrow it down to which medium you’d rather live with day in and day out.

Choose accordingly. Make sure you have a general idea of where you’d like to hang your new piece. A large wall needs a large piece to make it feel complete.

Set a budget. Good to know that when it comes to original art, paintings are usually most expensive, then photographs and lithographs and prints. Fallen in love with a painting that’s out of your price range? Don’t be afraid to ask if the artist has a more affordable version in a different medium.

Love it or leave it. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure you absolutely love it. If you’re considering purchasing a piece as an investment specifically, there are factors that can help you assess whether artwork will hold or increase value. Ask the gallery where the artist has exhibited previously and if any prestigious museums or collections hold his/her work.

Buy wisely. Can’t hurt to ask if a discount is possible. If the artist is just gaining momentum, the price is most likely non-negotiable.

Hopefully you find these quick tips to be helpful when starting your own collection! Have a lovely weekend! 

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