Collection Factors - One Way to Make Your Collection More Valuable

People always ask me what makes one painting more valuable than another, and the simple answer would be "Collection Factors."  "Collection Factors" are components that contribute to the overall value of a piece of art and in turn, your collection.

  • The Artist
  • Quality
  • Supply and Demand
  • Provenance
  • Auction records
  • Awards
  • Shows the artist participates in
  • Price
  • Historical Significance
  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Gallery Representation
  • Literature: books, magazines, etc.
  • Museum Collections the artist is a part of
  • Museum Exhibitions the work has been included in
  • Time Period
  • Subject Matter
  • Frame
  • Emotional investment or personal background to the work
  • Bullet Holes:  See Dennis Hopper's Warhol Painting
The list can go on, so we can add them as we go.  I think Dennis Hopper's bullet holes is a terrific example of how "Collection Factors" can be dynamic. If there are any you would like to add, please do so in the comments!

I'm not going to say that original artwork is a sure-fire investment; however, is there potential for your collection to appreciate in value?  Absolutely.  There's also just as good a chance you will lose money.  No one wants to hear that, but I think there are ways to minimize that risk.  Original art can be a fantastic asset when you apply a well-rounded strategy in acquiring works for your collection.  We've all heard the old adage, "Buy what you love."  However, if you're going to spend $10,000 on a work of art, are you going to 'buy what you love' or are you going to consider all the variables that make it worth $10,000?  The answer:  you're going to consider all the factors that make it worth $10,000 AND buy what you love.

There's a ton of reasons people collect art, and usually as an asset or investment ranks near the bottom.  It doesn't mean it can't be a good reason, and it shouldn't be considered.  We all know that cars are the worst investment ever, but we still think about the resale value before we purchase something, so when we do sell it or trade it in, we can get 'something' for it.  Just think about Collection Factors next time you're considering acquiring a new piece of artwork, and ask questions about them when you're visiting with your dealer.  If anything, you'll sound even more knowledgeable than you already are.


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