Fine art may be an investment, but it’s one with an obvious difference from stocks or bonds. A work of art’s value is based in part on the aesthetic pleasure it gives to the viewer, so savvy collectors know they shouldn’t just buy artwork because it seems like it will appreciate in value, but because they like it. The idea of buying fine art and starting one’s own collection may seem intimidating, but there are some guidelines to follow to buy with confidence.
Start with what you like—The best way to start collecting is to begin with artwork that appeals to you. If your initial budget is low, begin by purchasing prints, which are usually less expensive than original artworks, or by purchasing from auctions. Look around at various galleries and art sites to get a sense of what is out there—this is easy to do without even leaving home, thanks to the internet—and do some research on the artists, periods, or styles you like.
Business or pleasure?—Know your primary purpose for buying fine art. If you are buying with the idea of reselling at a profit later on, know that it can take time for artwork to appreciate, so make sure you will enjoy what you’re buying while you own it. In addition, the value of artwork can fluctuate as certain styles go in and out of fashion. If you view your growing collection as an investment portfolio, it should be diversified in different styles and types of art. You don’t need to consider this factor as much if you are purchasing primarily for your own enjoyment.
Authentication—Original artwork and limited edition prints should come with certificates of authenticity that describe the artwork and verify that what you are purchasing is the artwork in question. Reputable dealers will routinely offer such confirmation. Such dealers, whether they are auction houses or galleries, will also be happy to answer any questions you might have about a particular piece of art as you contemplate purchase.
Getting it home—Buying your fine art is just the first step. Once you have it, make sure you take good care of your print or original to preserve its value. Keep your artwork out of direct sunlight, and do not use any cleaning products on its surface. Artwork doesn’t actually require much care—just running a soft duster over it occasionally is enough to keep it looking beautiful.
If the idea of collecting fine art appeals to you, it is easier than ever to get started. AuctionKing.com offers collectors a constantly updated inventory of fine art prints and originals. You can bid from the comfort of your own home in real time and take advantage of the opportunity to find your next treasured artwork at below-market prices.