7 Dec 2009

The fine art of collecting

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Now, that once more there is an interest in art, there are people who are looking at art either as a financial investment or as a collectible. To begin an art collection it is important to identify the motives behind it. One of the main reasons why people collect art is that they are passionate about it.

There are collectors who buy representative art from various periods or they focus on a specific school, style of painting, era or artist. Again, it is important to be clear whether the collection is going to be a private one or if it could be put on public display at a later date. It is also essential to realize that an art collection, unlike one comprising of smaller collectibles needs a lot of space, and special care in terms of lighting and maintenance.

Once you have identified the kind of collection that you are looking at building, you can begin by making a list of artists or works that you wish to acquire. In fact, there are some people who might begin collecting in a small way and then get so passionate about it that they decide to convert it into a more organized and larger collection. There are some people who prefer to collect only modern art or contemporary works, or old prints or only new media works. Sometimes, the choice of the collector is governed by considerations such as budget, available space, and time required to dedicate to such an activity.

Whatever the reason behind collecting, the process of buying art can be an exciting and rewarding one. However, there will be times, when one is forced to overlook personal tastes in favor of more intelligent choices, which would benefit the entire collection as a whole.

When one is collecting art, irrespective of the initial investment, the overall value of the collection is bound to go up with time. Therefore, it is important that you do the necessary research and take the time to build one that will be significant in terms of historical content and also its financial worth.

(Published in Financial Times)

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