Collecting art has been a passion of wealthy individuals and families for centuries but there are many different levels at which you can enter the art market. Interesting collections can be curated on lesser budgets with emerging artists or with less familiar names but from an investment perspective this can be higher risk.More »
Acquiring the bigger names, where artists have a proven track record on the secondary market, is a safer bet but requires deeper pockets. Whatever your strategy discovering, acquiring, and living with works of art can bring enormous joy and gratification.
Our Art Advisory service will guide you through the art market, developing an acquisition strategy that reflects your vision and budget.« Less
We monitor the market continuously and can provide you with the latest reports by specialist arts economists. If you are looking to borrow against internationally marketable artworks of high value or use art as collateral to create liquidity in order to add to your collection or for other investment purposes, we can put you in touch with the best financial advisors with whom we collaborate.
What affects value?
Here are some things to consider when collecting art:
PROFILE OF THE ARTIST such as exhibition history or representation in public collections.
RARITY will increase value, a known deceased artist with a small output is likely to be desirable.
AUTHENTICITY It goes without saying that authenticity is of paramount importance but in addition some artists require specialist authentication by a designated expert who holds an established catalogue raisonne (official record of the artist’s output).
FASHION is a big factor and it is often hard to predict where it will go next. Post War and Contemporary is currently the most popular collecting sector but there are also more focussed trends within it for example artwork by young black female artists is currently desirable.More »
TRACK RECORD previous prices achieved on the primary and most importantly the secondary (resale) market are great indicators.
BIDDING WAR at auction can falsely inflate prices.
CONDITION / RESTORATION good original condition is always preferable.
PROVENANCE it is important to track the history of an artworks and good provenance will enhance the value. Important past owners or the inclusion of painting in a significant collection, even the fact that an artwork has been passed down through generations of the same family and is fresh to the market.
SIZE generally affects value but not always, contemporary artists will particularly price their work based on the size of the canvas, older paintings with the benefit of the perspective of time may be judged more frequently on whether they are a good example of the artist’s work.
TECHNIQUE / MEDIUM oil paintings by a particular artist tend to be more expensive than works on paper or prints by the same hand.
EDITIONS in terms of signed limited edition prints and sculpture, the small the edition the better.
QUALITY can be subjective but the more art that you see, the easier it becomes to make a judgement on quality.
MARKET TRENDS in the 1980s strong prices were achieved for Impressionist paintings, in the 1990s Post War took the lead, in the noughties we saw the surge for popularity for Contemporary and now watching NFT market.« Less
Buy from reputable gallery or use an art consultant.
If buying at auction look carefully at the catalogue description and know the terminology “after Warhol”, “school of Warhol” “follower of Warhol”. Read the T&C’s and remember to account for buyers’ premium 25% on top of the hammer price.
If buying contemporary, take a look at the artist’s biography, exhibition history and if the artist is in any public collections or has an international standing.
If buying older pieces look at the artist’s track record studying past prices on secondary market. Make sure you are comparing like for like in terms of size, medium, condition and provenance.
So what to buy?
Firstly, buy what you love and feel passionately about.
It helps to identify a period or genre and to read up about that particular area because the market is so broad. Then you might decide to collect one artist or artists from a particular artistic movement or a particular geographical area.
Once you have decided upon your area, take some time to observe and research the market.
Consider our check list before settling on a particular painting.
Art is an emotional and subjective subject and unless investment is your primary focus it is likely to be an emotional decision but you can still make sure it is an informed emotional response.
*Data from 2022 published in 2023 art market report
Global art sales increased by 3% year-on-year by value to an estimated $67.8 billion, bringing the art market in 2022 higher than its pre-pandemic level in 2019.
The high end of the market continued to be the driver of growth in 2022. Sales in the public auction sector dipped with works priced at over $10 million being the only segment to increase in value.More »
The dealer sector grew by 7% to $37.2 billion, and sales for those operating at the higher end were significantly better than their peers in the lowest tiers.
The US retained its premier position in the global ranks, with its share of sales by value standing at 45% of the market. The UK moved back into second place with 18% of sales, and China’s share decreased to 17%, as it fell back into third position. France maintained its position as the fourth-largest art market worldwide with a stable share of 7%.« Less
Collectors continue to favour the Post-War and Contemporary sector which represents 54% for the market by value, followed by Modern (22%) and Impressionist and Post Impressionist (18%).
As exhibitions, auctions, and fairs all ran on fuller schedules post pandemic and collectors began to re-engage with live events and sales, both dealers and auction houses reported a further reduction in their share of e-commerce in 2022.More »
Online-only sales fell to $11.0 billion, a decline of 17% from the 2021 peak but still 85% higher than in 2019. Online sales accounted for 16% of the total value of the art market’s 2022 turnover.
After reaching a peak in 2021 of $2.9 billion, sales of art-related NFTs on platforms outside the art market fell to just under $1.5 billion, a decline of 49% year-on-year but still representing values that were over 70 times the size of the market in 2020 ($20 million). This fall in sales for the art segment was significantly worse than the performance of NFTs generally. However, it continues to be an area to watch as bigger companies invest in building their capabilities to specially handle digital assets.« Less
Outlook for the Market
The report reveals the general outlook for the market to be positive. At the end of 2022, looking forward to 2023, 45% of dealers expected an improvement in sales, including 10% predicting a significant improvement.
In the auction sector, just under half of respondents were optimistic for an improvement in sales in 2023, although 24% predicted a downturn. Confirming the ongoing importance of digital sales in this sector, 60% expected their online sales to increase.More »
Surveys of HNW collectors by Arts Economics conducted in collaboration with UBS, showed that collectors were spending more in 2022 than they had prior to the pandemic, including a greater share at the high end of the art market. HNW collectors remained optimistic about the global art market in 2023, with a majority of 77% positive about its outlook, and only 6% pessimistic. The surveys also indicated strong spending plans for this year, with a majority (55%) planning to buy art in 2023, including 65% in the US.« Less