HOW TO BUY A WORK OF ART....and not get taken.
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HOW TO BUY A WORK OF ART....and not get taken.



Professional tips on how to buy a work of art and not get ripped off!

Professional tips on how to buy a work of art and not get ripped off!



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HOW TO BUY A WORK OF ART....and not get taken.  HOW TO BUY A WORK OF ART....and not get taken. Presentation Transcript

  • HOW TO BUY A WORK OF ART ……And Not Get Taken! Dr Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh
  • So, you want to buy a work of art. Great, now ask yourself this simple question, Why? • Are you buying it to decorate your home? • Are you buying it as an investment? • Are you looking for a piece that will become an heirloom? Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog" sold for $58.4 million!
  • If you only want something to decorate your home and do not care about it lasting as an heirloom or increasing in value, then you are in luck. This is very easy. 1. pick a budget and stick to it. 2. look online for the artist’s work to see if it is listed somewhere else for less money. 3. Ask the seller if they would be willing to take a slightly lower price. 4. Decide if you are willing to accept a reproduction (print) at a lower price or if you really must have an original. 5. buy it and enjoy!
  • Now let’s assume that you want a piece of art as an investment or heirloom. Here is where it all gets a little tricky. 1. First, decide whether you trust the dealer. When buying a piece of artwork that you want to increase in value, it is good to buy from reputable sources or directly from the artist. 2. BEWARE THE, “TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE” DEAL. THERE ARE LOTS OF FRAUDS OUT THERE! Even the best collectors can be fooled. Peggy Guggenheim bought the painting (above), believing it to be part of Fernand Léger's "Contraste de Formes” paintings. It has recently been proven to be a fake, due to WWII bomb dust on the canvas. The painting was said to have been made around 1913 well before WWII.
  • DO YOUR RESEARCH! 1. Research the artist. Where has this artist shown his work? Is he easily found on the internet? If not, that is a red flag. 2. Can you find this artist’s work for lesser prices at other online sites? 3. Ask the dealer if he is willing to give it to you for a discount. 4. Ask the dealer if he has other works of art by that artist that you could see. There’s almost always something more in the back room. You can almost always haggle a little with dealers and no price is set in stone.
  • Try to contact the artist personally…..assuming it is a living artist. 1. Sometimes contacting an artist personally can help you to secure the best prices. Also, you can hear directly from the artist about her process and ideas. Furthermore, you can get on the artist’s personal mailing list and be privy to future events/sales of her work. 2. Keep in mind, that if an artist has a relationship with a gallery, they ethically cannot undermine their gallery's prices and may have to share their sales with the gallery. painter Pat Passlof
  • Buying in person 1. If you are in physical proximity to the piece you are contemplating purchasing, try to get the dealer to let you handle it. If it is a painting, look on the back. 2. Examine how well it has been framed and if the canvas was stretched evenly. 3. Look for notes from the artist on the back or stickers indicating earlier sales prices. 4. Ask if you can examine it in the sunlight to see its true colors. 5. Look for cracking or other poor craftsmanship signals. Approach galleries at off-peak hours for the best personal service.
  • If you are buying online, contact the sales agent and ask lots of questions. 1. Ask if there are any additional photos of the work, particularly installation photos. This will help you see how it might fit in your home. 2. Ask if they will ship it for free. 3. Ask if they will frame it at a discount. 4. Ask if they know the artist or if it is just a clearing house for artwork. 5. If you don’t feel you are getting good personal service, shop somewhere else.
  • Provenance 1. The provenance is all the paperwork that follows a painting. Ask for this information. The dealer should be able to provide you with information relating to other shows the work has been in, as well as past sales, media coverage of the artist or artwork, etc. Gather as much as you can. 2. If you do buy the artwork, keep all your receipts and paperwork in case you want to sell it later. Diana and Actaeon by Titian has a full provenance covering its passage through several owners and four countries since it was painted for Philip II of Spain in the 1550s. Source: Wikipedia
  • If you are buying a rather expensive work of art, don’t be afraid to ask for an appraisal. 1. You might have to pay for it yourself, but it can give you piece of mind and authenticate the work. There is also a chance that it has already been appraised, in which case the dealer can provide you with the certificate of appraisal. 2. Do your research! This da vinci painting was recently discovered. It could appraise for millions and millions! Source: The Telegraph.
  • Establish a budget, but be realistic. Artwork is not cheap, especially artwork by established artists that increases in value and will stand the test of time. Keep in mind that galleries keep 50% of the asking price and framing costs are also quite high. Most artists are not getting rich off their art, but do want a profit. With that said, there is a lot of great artwork out there and you should be able to find something within almost any budget. Just do your research. “A Good Day’s Work” Bruce Black
  • FINALLY, BUY WHAT YOU LIKE, BUT LISTEN TO THE PROFESSIONALS. 1. Buy what you personally enjoy and would want in your home. This way, you are almost guaranteed to have a happy buying process and to enjoy the work for a long time to come. 2. However, listen to the what the professionals have to say about a particular style or artist. Visit museums to see the best examples of that style. Visit lots of galleries and talk to the owners. Read about the history of the styles you enjoy. Then buy what you like and take it home! “Falling Apart” Bruce Black
  • If you enjoyed this slide show, please “like” it on social media and visit the personal website of artist and teacher Bruce Black at