Buying Fine Art

Determining the Value

Buying art is a very subjective decision. We fall in love with it or we don't. Sometimes we love it so much, we don't care what it costs. Before you purchase any work of art, however, you should ask yourself some specific questions. Is this what I want in my home or office? Do I want to see it day after day for years to come? Where will I hang it? Is it really worth the asking price to me?

Cost vs. Value
The first rule of thumb is to buy art that you love. Typically art does not "grow" on you. It should reflect the right personality too. But just because you love it, that doesn't mean that the price is right. Some basic research into the artist's background and stature are important aspects to consider.

The cost of a work of art is typically related to the experience of the artist and the popularity of other works in the marketplace. Newcomers cannot charge as much as those who have worked in their field for many years and have built a reputation. Artists, whose work has been included in museum collections, publications and so forth, who have orchestrated one-person shows, have demonstrated that there is respect within the art world for their work. They can command higher prices. The value of their work is perceived and subjective. The price, however, is set and usually firm.

An artist's education is also a factor. However, the academic record is more reflective of the artist's technical background and skills, not the artist's natural talent. Do not let an artist's educational record be a huge determining factor. Many artists with incredible talent have never had formal art education. Some have developed their skills as apprentices or within an art community, yet their work is outstanding and highly respected.

An artist's credibility is more reflected in the number of shows and the type of shows that have exhibited the work. New artists try to get into local and regional galleries. Emerging and established artists tend to mount one-person shows. This is an excellent opportunity for them to obain exposure and judge the response to their work.

But even all of this should be evaluated with the value a particular artist's work has for you and your company. So for this reason, let your passion for the work start the process. Love it immediately, or keep looking. While placement of original art is not as critical in the business environment as it would be in a home, it does have an aesthetic and emotional impact on the business, the facility and all visitors and employees.

More Considerations When Valuing Art

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