Top tips for building an art collection

art collection

Thinking of starting an art collection but don’t know how to begin? Read on for our five top tips for building a great art collection for your home.

Think first, act later

Before buying any kind of art, it is important to establish what kind of art you like. If you like to style your house through themes, think about the theme you would like for each room. It also helps to think about where you want to showcase your art in each room, and what picture hanging hardware you may require. For example, if you love a painting but don’t have room to hang it up, think about how you can incorporate this into your home.

Form a theme

Each collection starts with that one first purchase. It could be a sentimental one, something that locks in a memory that is personal to you. Alternatively, you might want to create a more specific energy, like pieces with colour and class that make a statement. The theme might not come together all at once. Once you start, you can start to think about ‘fitting in’ other or similar works. Remember, the theme could be anything. You might want to begin collecting works by the same artist, collective or movement. You might intend to start collecting a certain type of art or medium (e.g. oils, or watercolours). As another option, you may aim to build up an art collection of portraits, landscapes, or street scenes. This is a personal choice. You can mix and match periods and styles of artwork too.

Quality not quantity

It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter how many pieces of art you have in your collection, it is about what you do with them. Take your time between buying works, because it could be the case that something you bought six months ago is no longer to your tastes. Also, be mindful of the condition of the piece when you buy it. Having to restore a piece that is in poor condition can increase the financial costs in the long-term significantly.

Set a budget

Some pieces of art are known for being expensive, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. Setting a budget will help for you to manage your expectations of what you want your collection to be. Start by thinking of what you want to spend, and that will make the browsing process less stressful for you. Print editions tend to be among the most accessible art mediums for new collectors, with prices ranging from the low hundreds of pounds up into the millions. Pieces that you both love and can afford are much better than pushing yourself to get more expensive pieces that will affect your finances in the future.

Enjoy your art

Your journey with an artwork does not end with the purchase of the art itself. If you have spent a lot of money on a piece, it is important that you protect your investment. This can be done through framing, making sure it doesn’t have exposure to sunlight or any source of moisture.
Be sure to keep any documentation related to your piece, if you wish to sell it someday in the future. People like to know the history and provenance of a work, particularly if the artist is – or becomes – highly sought-after.

Starting an art collection, whether it is alone or with a partner, should be an enjoyable experience. It should be something that captures your essence or tone, and in a lot of cases doesn’t need to break the bank. Don’t get a piece because you think you should. Remember, you will be living with it every day – so make sure it’s something that is easy on the eyes!

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