- Written by Dr. Lori Verderame Dr. Lori Verderame
When embarking on a new phase of life, like marriage, completing a degree, or moving to a new home, many people chronicle the experience with the purchase of an object.
When looking for an investment object that is both fun and smart, art and antiques are a good idea.
For the novice collector or seasoned art and antiques lover who wants to jump into the market, I’ll share my insider tips on starting an art collection. I’ve compiled a buying guide to help you find, understand, and collect the best examples of fine art and antiques.
First, learn as much as you can about art and antiques in places where you are not tempted to buy art or antiques. Visit museums, historical societies, libraries, and other places where fine art and antiques are on display or are discussed academically and socially but are not available for sale.
You should learn about the various types of media (e.g., pastels, watercolors, bronzes, oils on canvas, etc.), art movements throughout history (e.g., Surrealism, Impressionism, Contemporary Realism, etc.), and diverse subject matter (e.g., still lifes, seascapes, portraits, abstractions, etc.) so you have a good idea of what sparks your interest.
This method will prevent you from buying just because the opportunity presents itself.
Don’t think about buying a work of art or antique piece until you establish a budget. Have a budget in mind, settle on it, and stick to it. Do not waiver and don’t convince yourself to overspend because you fell in love with a piece. No matter what, you will be happy with your collecting progress only if you stick to your budget.
Slow down and forget life’s distractions when you are considering an art or antique purchase. Even if you are only buying a small, reasonably priced piece, it is a good idea to take it slow. Don’t feel rushed in the process of adding to your collection.
This work of art or antique object will become a part of your home life for years to come. Learn to look at the work of art or antique piece for more than just a few minutes. If you still like it after much deliberation, then that is the piece for you.
Don’t let a pushy dealer, encouraging friend, or other “background noise” distract you or rush you into making a purchase. Take a minute and just stand there and quietly look at the work of art or antique object. Think about what you see and try to figure out what you like about the piece. Consider it, ponder it, and don’t rush it.
Consider the basics, starting with black and white. Don’t be taken in by an artwork’s color or an antique’s various forms and ornamental details.
Some people who sell art or antiques will try to get you to like a particular work based solely on its colors or how it may fit into your home’s color scheme. This is a trap. Don’t worry about being matchy-matchy.
Be concerned with the piece for its own sake and your interest in it. Remember, a big part of buying something good is learning to recognize quality pieces. I want you to buy something you like that is also of high quality and worth the money.
Appraisers, curators, and art historians know the best-quality work is always the best choice for a collection. It will hold its value long term. Collecting quality art and antiques is always a good investment.
Celebrity appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame is an author and award-winning TV personality who stars on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island, Discovery’s Auction Kings, and FOX Business’ Strange Inheritance. With a Ph.D. from Penn State University, Dr. Lori offers appraisals, keynote speeches, and live appraisal events to worldwide audiences. Visit www.drloriv.com or call (888) 431-1010.