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MuseumSpot > Collecting Art

Collecting Art

So, you want to be an art collector? For a beginner, it can be an intimidating concept. Do you need to be a millionaire? Have a degree in art history? Possess impeccable taste?

None of the above. Art collectors come from all economic classes. Some are trained art scholars, while others teach themselves by reading and visiting galleries or museums. What they share is the desire to make an investment in something that will give them joy and aesthetic pleasure.

Marcia Weber is the owner of Marcia Weber Art Objects, Inc., a gallery that collects and sells works created by self-taught artists. She suggests that beginning collectors see as many works of art as possible.

"Using the Internet to research where to go physically to see intriguing art is an efficient way to collect," Weber said. "But it should not be a substitute for also seeing actual examples of works of art in order to develop an informed opinion. No visual image will ever be as wonderful as the actual work of art."

Educating Yourself

Begin with the down-to-earth, no-nonsense advice given by The Art Lady. She demystifies the world of contemporary art collecting in a series of informative articles and suggests great places to view art on the Web.




To find out what differentiates a collector from an art lover, check out What Makes an Art Collection? A Collector?. "The Responsible Collector" at ArtAdvice.com outlines the three basic areas important to collectors: documentation, biographical information and provenance.

Learn from the experiences of people who became collectors in this article from Business Week.

Art-collecting.com sums it up in How to Collect Art, listing 10 things to remember when starting a collection. They suggest simple steps like visiting as many art galleries as you can, talking to other collectors and reading books on artists and collecting.

The Internet can help you follow those steps. About Art History features Art History 101, artist bios and arts and culture news. You'll learn art lingo like "gesture drawing" and "armature." About Art Technology deals with buying and collecting art. You can explore the ins and outs of collecting, determine the value of your piece or find a piece to add to your collection.

Take a look at "Art History 101" at 4art.com to discover what you like. The site also has information on museums, galleries, publications and current trends. At World Wide Arts Resources, you'll find artists, museums, galleries, art education, chats, forums and much more.

Resources for Collecting

"Once a new collector is familiar with various artists' works, the Internet is an ideal way to locate various works and eventually to consider purchases," Weber said.

Beginning collectors need to form a trusting relationship with vendors they patronize. Weber advises online shoppers to look for a 100% satisfaction agreement and acceptable return policy. Galleries should also be willing to provide detailed information about each work of art.

Here are some starting points:

  • 4ArtSales.com
    Offers information on auctions and galleries, buying and bidding online, and buying and selling art for profit.

  • ArtQuest
    This listing service connects collectors and sellers via e-mail. "Just Browsing" will show you some of what's available.

  • icollector
    Introduces you to the world of art auctions. They cover a number of categories, including Ceramics and Glass, Modern and Contemporary Art, and Pictures and Prints.

  • Artcyclopedia.com
    This fine art search engine will link you to museum quality art on the Internet.

  • Artstar.com
    Includes an online magazine, exhibitions, shopping, searchable contents of "Who's Who in American Art" and more.

  • iTheo.com
    Showcases emerging artists and their work.




   --- J. Walker

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