Frequently Asked Questions About Collecting Art
- Who is Curate30a and Vinings Gallery?
- Do I need any specialized knowledge or training in order to assemble a good collection of fine art?
- What kind of art is appropriate for a first time buyer?
- Exactly what is an “original print”?
- When buying an original print, is the size of an edition important? Is a low print number better than a high number?
- What does it mean when prints have letters, instead of numbers?
- How do I know if a particular artwork is right for my collection?
- Does the size of a piece of art bear any relation to its value?
- What makes some artworks more valuable and desirable than others’ even when they’re done by the same artist?
We specialize in limited edition graphics and originals by prominent as well as emerging artist. We are proud of our long term client relationships and our capacity to build private collections which have appreciated over the years.
We buy directly from the artist or their contracted representatives to insure absolute authenticity. We also frame to customer specifications providing only top-quality customized conservation framing.
Many of our collectors have taken advantage of our no interest financing to acquire certain works which they would not otherwise be able to afford.
No specialized knowledge or formal training is needed to build a good fine art collection. However, establishing a long-term relationship with an experienced art consultant, will help you develop your own expertise. You may also want to visit museums to become accustomed to viewing fine art, and you might try supplemental reading on your own. Gradually, you will discern work by different artist, and you will start to develop a sense of what you do and don’t like – and why.
First-time fine art buyers often do well buying original limited editions such as hand-signed and numbered lithographs or serigraphs. Though they are indeed, “originals,” they are often much less expensive than “unique” pieces such as and oil, watercolor, or pen and ink drawing.
A work of art may be termed an original print if the artist has personally created the model from which the master image (plate, screen, stone, woodblock, etc.) is made. Additionally, the artist selects the materials (paper, inks, etc.) to be used for printing, and his signature is the buyer’s assurance that he is completely satisfied with the finished art, and that it measures up to his intention in every way.
Size is not important because each print carries the artist signature, which is considered to be his seal of approval. When an edition is complete, the master plate is destroyed. This assures its originality. Each print of the edition is equally as valuable as the other. Thus, when you see a number that reads 100/250, that means it is the print numbered 100 in a total edition of 250. The artist usually signs and numbers each print in pencil, directly beneath the image.
From time to time you will see prints bearing the letters A.P. or E.A. These are abbreviations for “Artist Proof” (English) or “Epreuve d’artiste” (French). It is a tradition for artist to reserve these prints for themselves, which may be sold at a later date.
You may also see prints bearing the letters H.C., the French abbreviation for “Hors Commerce,” which translates not originally intended for sale.
Gradually you will develop a sense for what is right and not right for you. At first you may think that your collection lacks direction or cohesiveness, perhaps because you may be buying pieces by several different artists. Do not be overly concerned. Eventually you will see your collection emerge with a personal “stamp” distinctly your own.
No. When contemplating an art purchase, you should consider where it will be hung and how it will look. Remember bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, or more for your money in terms of value. It is far wiser to buy a piece of art that is tiny – and exquisite – instead of an inferior piece that covers more wall space.
There are many reasons why one piece of art is more valuable or desirable than another by the same artist. The artist may have developed an extraordinary new process; the artwork may represent a transition in the artist’s career, the demand for a specific piece may make it more valuable than others, or it may be part of a widely heralded series that is significant in the artist’s development. A skilled art consultant can help you identify important artworks which you should consider including in your collection.