How to Start Collecting Art

Beautiful Florence painting by Michael Flohr with the Ponte Vecchio and cityscape
Beautiful Florence painting by Michael Flohr with the Ponte Vecchio and cityscape
“Beautiful Florence” by Michael Flohr, limited edition giclee on canvas

Great news! Curating your own art collection does not require a professional education as an art expert. Collecting fine art is possible for anyone interested in enhancing the beauty of their interior (or exterior) spaces. Whether you are interested in working on a collection to display in your home or office, or you are looking for outdoor sculptural works to elevate your property’s curb appeal, art has something to offer everyone.okm

Some may find the art world intimidating, but following a few simple steps can make how to start an art collection a much smoother process. Any day is a great day to discover new art; let’s get started!

A Great Day to Discover giclee print of Fabio Napoleoni’s cute animal characters on a boat on the ocean with stylized waves
 “A Great Day to Discover” by Fabio Napoleoni, giclee on paper

1. Set Your Goals

There are a few key questions to consider when starting your art collection. What do you want to accomplish? Is creating a beautiful, cohesive, or eclectic display of pieces the ultimate goal?

It is also essential to determine where the art collection will be displayed — home, office, or another space.

Once the basic questions of collecting fine art are determined, a scope of artwork needs to be set. Will the pieces be a certain single medium or a combination of media? Should there be paintings, fine art prints, sculptures, or photography included in the collection? Any specific artists that should be included in the collection should also be noted.

The sizes of the pieces desired will also need to be determined. Will the collection encompass a wall, a room, or an entire home or office?

Once these preliminary planning questions (size, scope, media, featured artists) have been answered, the collecting can move to the next step in curating — researching the artists and their art.

2. Conduct Research

Now it’s time to find out a bit more about collecting fine art and fine art prints. Perhaps you want to focus some of the collection on landscape paintings or abstract topics, you can delve into a subject by reading and searching for pieces online or in books. Visiting local galleries, meeting local artists, or attending gallery openings is another great way to learn more about your favorite subjects and media.

Are there local art fairs or other art events in your area? If so, this is a wonderful way to learn more about artists and pieces. Ask questions, read biographies and attend exhibitions. Gain valuable knowledge by increasing your network of art-minded friends by attending events and seeking resources locally and online.

3. Set A Budget

Setting a budget for your collection will help you to see the long-term goals you have for your collection. Decorating with art can be done without overspending! At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we offer convenient financing options for your art purchases thanks to our partnership with Wells Fargo, making it easier than ever to start acquiring your favorite artists’ pieces.

Remember that quality over quantity should be foremost in your fine art collecting approach and budget considerations. Take time to add pieces to your collection and ensure you are able to add value to your collection step-by-step.

4. Buy Your First Piece

Once the budget has been set and an idea of what artwork will be the right addition to the collection has been finalized, it’s time to choose your first piece!

Online galleries make fine art collecting from the comfort of home convenient. You can expect to find clearly-listed prices or info on how to request quotes, easy access to a wide variety of artworks, and, in the case of our online gallery at Marcus Ashley Gallery, the opportunity to meet with an art consultant virtually to help you with your orders. Online purchases let you browse through all of your favorite artwork, take your time choosing the right pieces, buy your favorite original art, and have it delivered to your doorstep.

Colorful bronze Frogman sculpture with a gold frog perched on blue wildflowers with a blue pattina and ladybug accents
“Forget Me Not” by Frogman (Tim Cotterill), bronze 11.75 ”x 7.75”x3” sculpture

5. Expand Over Time

Once you have started collecting fine art, the itch may be hard to stop! Research the next piece you are interested in adding to your collection or meet with one of our virtual art consultants to help you select your next treasure.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with our art professionals today, or connect with us in person at one of our upcoming events in South Lake Tahoe.