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5 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Major Piece of Art

Anni Irish  |  December 17, 2021

Thinking about buying your first piece of art? There are a few things to know before you buy to ensure you’ve got the best deal.

Nowadays buying art just isn’t for the ultra-wealthy. Many works of art are very affordable and there are lots of ways to go about purchasing art that will both grow your collection and serve as an investment for the future. Yes, the thought of buying work can sometimes be overwhelming. For starters, artwork can  be purchased from a variety of places including directly from the artist, an auction house, or directly from a gallery. So, where do you even begin? Whether you’re a seasoned collector or are brand new to the art-buying world, there are several tips to consider as you are growing your collection. Here’s a look at how to get started. 

Know Your Taste

Buying art can be an extremely intimate thing, so it’s vital that you’re in tune with what you like, and you’re buying something because you love it, not because it may grow in value over time. The best way to discover more about your personal state is to see as much work as you can. Go to gallery openings in your area, do a museum trip, attend an art fair. Seeing as much art as you can really help you develop your taste and also let you learn more about the kinds of work you are attracted to. This may also give you the chance to meet local artists firsthand and give you more insight into who they are, their work, and their artistic process. 

Research The Artist 

When you’re interested in making an art purchase, one of the first things you’ll want to do is research the artist. It’s important that you learn more about who they are as artists, what their studio practice is like, what exhibitions they have been in, etc. Looking at an artist’s website and social media is a great place to start. Their public profiles can help you get a better sense of the work they make, what their artistic background is like, what their own personal biography is, where they went to school, and more. Usually, an artist’s website will include images of their work, sometimes prices, as well as a C.V. and an artist statement. This can help you see their exhibition history, and their track record in museums and galleries. 

Consider The Medium And Your Space 

Artists work in a wide range of mediums ranging from painting, sculpture, textile, photography, installation, performance, and even sound. When you are interested in collecting a piece of art, these details will factor into how it will be displayed in your home, along with its resale value. 

For example, some works are more delicate than others and bringing it home isn’t as simple as just framing it and hanging it on your wall. Finding out about these details ahead of time can help you better care for your investment and be more knowledgeable about the art you are purchasing. 

Living With Your Art

Don’t be afraid to be bold with your choices, but also be discerning as well. The work of art you purchase is something you will have for perhaps several decades, or perhaps even a lifetime. Most works of art are not the kinds of things that can be picked up at auction one day and then flipped and sold for triple just a few years later. Art appreciation takes time, which is why it’s so important to ask yourself if the piece of art you’re interested in can work in your personal space long-term. 

Collecting art is extremely personal and is a passion for many people. Let that passion be your guide when it comes to growing your collection. Being aware of the kind of work you want, who the artist is, and researching the medium will help you become a more savvy collector and hopefully get you exactly what you want in the end. 


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