The Associated Press gets out a reliable perennial to offer advice to new collectors–presumably attracted by the sense of buying at a bargain. The article features from state-of-the-art advice but tries to pitch it to the collector in the street, so to speak:
- “Art is not liquid, like gold or corn. It’s not quantifiable,” said Allan Schwartzman, an art adviser based in New York City and former curator of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. “Art as an investment is not a wise strategy for collecting.”
- Museums often have discussion groups for collectors, and it’s worth seeking out curators if you can. “They’re the ones who have the least financial interest and the broadest viewpoint,” Schwartzman said.
- The art market is fickle, so turning a profit shouldn’t be your driving concern in deciding what to buy. “It’s something you’re presumably going to be living with, so it’s important that you love it,” said Helen Allen, executive director of Ramsay Fairs, which runs the Affordable Art Fair in New York City. “It should be something that will keep your interest and grow with you.”
- Art fairs are ideal for seeing a variety of work in one place, but be wary of the tendency to make impulse buys. “One should avoid the souvenir syndrome,” Schwartzman said. The less formal, outdoor presentation of an art fair might not show the work in the same light that you’d see it in a gallery either, he said. Before you buy, do your homework on the piece you’re interested in. Ask the dealer who else is collecting the artist’s works, and where else the pieces are being exhibited. Also check if the artist has been written about in journals such as Art in America, Artnews and Artforum. The more established the artist, the more likely it is the work will maintain or grow in value.
Venture into the Art Market with Costs in Mind (BaltimoreSun.com)