Art Collector Wingmen: The 7 Experts You’ll Need on Your Team When You Get Serious about Collecting
Creating a Serious Art Collection
Anyone with a passion for art and some discretionary funds can buy a few collectables for their home. It’s a lovely idea and we hope everyone enjoys art as an integral part of life. But collecting is much more than hanging a painting over your sofa. It’s a leap into the heart of the art world, a strange and wonderful junction where love, taste and commerce meet. When you are ready to get serious about collecting, it’s smart to consult professionals who will help you navigate the complex process of creating and nurturing your collection.
Here are the seven experts you should tap when you get serious about art: Art Title Provider, Art Consultant, Art Conservator, Art Insurance Expert, Art Attorney, Art Logistics Professional and a Collection Manager.
Provenance, Pedigree and a Paper Trail
You wouldn’t think of buying a home without a thorough title check. Smart art collectors check the provenance (history) of any work prior to purchase. Buying and selling art “in good faith” is not enough as laws regarding legitimate ownership vary around the world. The stories about recovered Nazi plunder, the repatriation of looted relics and long missing works stolen from museums are fascinating, but you will not want to be a featured player in any of these dramas.
Serious collectors protect themselves from buying works with a suspect history by employing the help of an Art Title Provider. In addition to the history of ownership, you may discover facts that enhance the value of your new acquisition, from inclusion in museum retrospectives to use in the set decoration of a film. A good provenance is a pedigree that appreciates with time. After you fall in love with a painting (sculpture, print, mixed media work, etc.) check the provenance to make sure the love will endure.
The Vision Thing and Collecting
When it’s time to move from casual art buying to serious collecting, you’ll want to develop a coherent vision for your collection and a strategy to get you there. An Art Consultant will advise you about when, where and what to buy in order to make your dream a reality, with knowledge about current pricing and a big picture perspective on when it’s best to sell as well as what to buy as your collection matures. An experienced art consultant knows his or her way around the art auction houses, galleries, private sales, online art sites and art fairs. These critical advisors help collectors see which objects are mere infatuations and what you’ll want in you collection long-term.
Healthcare for Your Art Collection
A professional Art Conservator is a key member of any art collector’s team. They provide preventive care —suggesting how to avoid damage from light, mold and other hazards —and they may restore or preserve a treasured work that has been damaged due to an accident or neglect. Museums rely on art conservators to protect their investments and so should you.
Natural and Unnatural Disasters
Everyone in the New York art scene took note when Hurricane Sandy sent floodwaters into galleries and art storage warehouses in 2012, making Art Insurance a serious consideration for all collectors. An expert in Art Insurance will ensure that you have the appropriate kind and amount of insurance to protect your investment. Smoke damage, fire, a leak from a neighbor’s loft and other less theatrical disasters are more likely than Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown lifting a painting from your wall, but theft and fraud are disturbing realities. Smart collectors carry insurance against disasters.
An Art Attorney should be consulted on all your transactions to safeguard your best interests —both when you are buying art and when you are selling, too. A serious art collection may also figure in estate planning. An experienced art attorney will have recommendations that suit your personal and family needs.
Whether you are moving, reframing and rehanging, rotating what you display in your home, redoing lighting, loaning works to a show or simply putting art into storage, you’ll want to consult an expert in Art Logistics. The right professional input can make the difference between a smooth transition and unnecessary and expensive missteps.
Management —Is there an App for That?
As you build your collection, organizing and cataloging the documentation becomes a serious endeavor. Between provenance, insurance valuations, purchase agreements and expenses, there’s a great deal to archive. For some collectors, a Collection Management Software Program will help keep everything organized. Other collectors may require a Collection Manager to input information and to assess and organize the important records. In addition, a collection manager may help research artists included in your collection.
It Takes a Village of Experts
All art collecting starts with LOVE but it takes expert input to create a memorable and cohesive collection. Relying on professionals doesn’t diminish your collector’s vision —it enhances your opportunities and your knowledge of the art world. When you are serious about following your passion to acquire art, it’s time to connect with the pros.