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Collecting Art And Artwork

Aug 17, 2007
There are many reasons why people start collecting paintings and prints. For some, it is simply because they like a particular piece and buy it to hang in their home. Quite often, they haven't intentionally begun collecting artwork, it just happens and their collection grows as and when they see another painting or print that they fall in love with and buy. They may prefer a particular type of painting, such as oil on canvas or subject matter, such as landscapes. However, this type of collection is often extremely varied in styles as well as artists. The collection may have little real monetary value and it is unlikely to increase but it is priceless to the owner as it gives them so much enjoyment from looking at the pieces.

Casual art collectors tend not to go looking for specific artwork and often find it while out looking for something completely different. Paintings and prints are sold in a variety of places from garage sales to malls to antique shops to auctions. The most important point to remember if you fall into this category of collector is to buy what appeals to you and you will have years of enjoyment from your artwork purchases.

At the other end of the scale are the serious artwork collectors. Their collections are likely to contain extremely valuable paintings and prints. Some of the pieces may have been handed down through the family and be irreplaceable. Valuing this type of artwork is often difficult, especially if it is by an artist who is not particularly well known. However, if the collection contains a piece from a renowned artist, it could be worth an extremely large sum of money. The value of this type of painting is likely to increase over the years, which makes them a good investment, too.

Paintings that are allegedly by a famous artist need to be tested to ensure that they are not fakes. The sums of money that could be changing hands mean that the provenance of the painting needs to be verified. There are numerous points that evaluators look for to check a painting's authenticity, including type of canvas, age of the materials and artists' signatures. Once these criteria have been met, the painting can then become extremely desirable for a number of serious art collectors and the final price could be way beyond any initial estimate. This is especially the case when a painting is sold at auction. If two or more bidders want the piece to add to their collection, the only limit on the price it might fetch is the size of their wallets.

Prints are usually far less valuable than original paintings but this does not lessen their appeal. It may take some time to build up a decent sized collection of rare prints, but the collection will certainly grow in value. At an art auction, there are normally a variety of prints but seldom very rare prints, especially maps. Original prints do not often survive the passage of time very well, but when one turns up at auction, its authenticity should be tested thoroughly.
About the Author
Claude R. Bourgoin is an author for and an art investor he can be here for moreart
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