Busting Myths about Collecting Art
The pursuit of collecting fine art is rife with myths. Decades of heist films and newspaper headlines have constructed a version of the art world that is stranger than fiction; in reality however, things are different. Collecting art has evolved into a practise shared by people from different backgrounds, means and tastes. Here, we will sort through some myths, busting those that don't stand up to reality.
You Need a Formal Art Education to Collect Art
How we appreciate a work of art is subjective. As a visual medium, art opens itself to the viewer, revealing a value that not only comes not only from academia, but also from human experience. In this way, a formal art education is peripheral to collecting art. Just as we can appreciate a Ferrari without being an engineer, art can be enjoyed without a degree in art history.
It’s Probably a Fake and It’ll Probably Get Stolen
Fine art pops up in the mainstream media on three occasions: when a painting sells for a lot, is stolen or faked. As salacious as these headlines may be, they pertain rarely. Of course collecting art carries some risk, but this can be mitigated with simple precautions.
In terms of forgery, research the dealer or gallery to ensure they are reputable. To help ensure authenticity, we pair all purchases of original art with a history of provenance. In terms of theft, your best bet is fine art insurance and an adequate home security system.
Art Collecting is Only for the Very Wealthy
The art market is vast. At one extreme you have the Pablo Picassos who sells for hundreds of millions, while at the other end you have pictures in two dollars stores. In the middle is an exciting and diverse pool of artists. Building a worthwhile collection is less about spending and more about cultivating your unique passion for art.
Only Collect from Artists You’ve Heard Of
The artists we most commonly hear about are often the most expensive. Unable to access Van Gogh or Damien Hirst, people can be turned off by collecting art. Yet, uncovering emerging or little known artists is a thrill in and of itself. Championing these artists can end up enhancing a collector’s experience and doing public good; after all, even Van Gogh was once unknown.