Monograph’s guide on how to begin a collection

How do you go about starting an art collection? Here are a few tips to get you started…

1. Art School Degree Shows
Discovering new artists is exciting. You might latch on to the next best thing before anyone else. But if not, you’ll have fun meeting young artists and forming your own opinion about their work.

2. Measure up!
Make sure the work that looked fantastic in the large open gallery space will look just as good at home. Are your walls big enough for that piece which is the size of a bus shelter advertising hoarding? If not, you might just have to let it go!

3. Don’t collect to get rich. Buy what you like
Unlike many other investments, art has no intrinsic value. Prices reflect demand and artists go in and out of fashion. Follow the herd with a view to making a quick buck and you could be caught out by a shift in the market. So buy what you believe in.

4. Prepare before buying
Nobody likes to overpay and we all love a bargain. So do your research before buying. Review previous auction prices and the prices at which galleries are offering works for sale.

5. Photographs: vintage or non-vintage?
Vintage photographic prints are made shortly after the photograph was created. Non-vintage prints are made from the negative, but some time later (often many years later). A vintage print of a particular photograph will generally be more valuable than a non-vintage print.

6. Check the details of the work
If you buy a limited edition, check the edition size, the edition number of that particular copy and whether the work is signed, stamped or authenticated in some other way.

7. Documentation
Make sure you ask for and retain details of the work including certificates of authenticity and sales invoices.


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