Every art collector should have some rules that they follow when buying art. If you don’t have rules, you have a much higher chance of paying (let’s face it) a lot of money for something you end up regretting. Having some internal rules will help avoid that issue. It won’t eliminate it, of course, but it will help. Keep in mind, you will likely not have the same taste in art over time. Eventually, that piece that you bought will seem old, tired, or just not up to your standards. Don’t be afraid of this! You should expect and even embrace it. After all, how cool would it be to have enough art that you can rearrange everything so you can have your own private exhibitions.
So, here are my rules for buying art. You should come up with your own rules, which honestly may not look anything like my rules.
- I buy art because I want to own art. I do not expect to ever sell any art I buy. This is not a financial investment.
- I want to support the artist and the gallery where I buy art. In order to do that, I want to meet and talk to the people involved. If I don’t like the artist or the gallery, I will not buy from them. While this isn’t a monetary investment, it is a social investment. I don’t want to invest in companies or people I don’t like.
- I will always buy original art. I do not buy giclee, prints, posters, or reproductions.
- I will look at something three times before I consider buying it. If I love it after seeing it for the third time, there is a good possibility that I will be happy with it for a long time.
- I will not haggle with an artist or a gallery.
- I will trust my feelings on the art in question. As Dr. David Holcombe says “There is no one gold standard for art.” If I love a piece, it does not matter if everyone else thinks little of it. The fact that I love it is enough.
- I will make sure that my wife will accept any art that I buy. After all, she has to live with it, too.
- I will not allow my rules to hamstring me in finding, buying, and enjoying a piece.
I highly encourage everyone who is interested in collecting art to come up with their own rules.