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Starting an art collection

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Starting an art collection

Looking for art? Don't know where to start? Peter Gregory, president of Boundless Gallery, gives us the scoop on how to start an art collection.

Q: What do you think is the foundation to buying art?
A:
You have to decide why you're collecting. Personally, I believe I should buy things I like and make me feel good. I don't believe I will ever sell them.

Q: How do you decide on a budget?
A:
It really depends on what your means are. If you're making a million dollars it's going to be higher than the rest of us! However, one thing that we're finding is that there is good art at every price range.

Q: How does pricing work? What's inexpensive?
A:
Drawings are a lot cheaper than paintings. Furniture and sculpture is more expensive than paintings. And if you invest in and collect pottery, it's just plain cheaper than any other media.

Q: Is art a good investment?
A:
That's the dream that we all have. We think we'll see an artist who'll go on to be famous. And we're going to buy and it'll be worth lots, and the grandkids will have it.

Q: And is that realistic?
A:
Let me put it this way. We've all seen big art shows and the “big” families who collect. Of the big families who donate artwork, their collections are outstanding. Only a percentage are masterworks. At times I wonder, of the pieces collected, how many did they buy that are worthless or gauche? It could be in the thousands.

Q: How do you know you've seen enough pieces before you buy?
A:
It isn't unusual for people to look at 500 pieces of art. It's almost expected. I did personally. How can you figure out what you're going to love unless you see enough? You need to see as much as you can.

Q: What art form sells the most?
A:
There are many more paintings purchased than any other form of art, because people have more wall space. It isn't that paintings are better, but they're easier to put up in our houses.

Q: What should one avoid when buying art?
A:
I think you should avoid buying with the thought that you'll profit.

Q: How much should buying from a pedigreed artist come into your purchases?
A:
When you're buying art, you're buying the career of the artist. Artists in the big leagues are in museums, in fine big-city galleries, and private shows. The price they can command is huge, say, $50,000 to $100,000 for a painting. An artist that's not as well known, his or her painting costs $1,000. Yet when it's hanging on your wall, you might derive the same enjoyment from it.

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Accessories

Starting an art collection