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Collecting vs. Buying Art — What Constitutes an Art Collection?



 

 

Collecting vs. Buying Art — What Constitutes an Art Collection?

Link: https://medium.com/@inna_13021/collecting-vs-buying-art-what-constitutes-an-art-collection-d6c273669c47

Despite the popular belief, assembling an array or random art pieces does not automatically constitute an art collection. Bringing together a few contemporary abstract paintings, a couple of post-war prints and a Mexican antique masque still doesn’t mean that you have a collection on your hands. Though artistic in its nature, this accumulation of art objects represents merely a group of wonderfully diverse pieces acquired by an enthusiastic art buyer.

Unlike simple art assemblages, art collections are well-planned projects, established when collectors submerge themselves deep into the subject of their interest and spend years and years looking for very particular art pieces that can bring the entire narrative together.

So what is that fine line that separates regular art buyers from art collectors?

Every art buyer looking to turn himself or herself into an art collector has to overcome two obstacles. First, they have to select a central theme of their collection. Second, they have to be able to research the subject matter and then evaluate and decide which artwork to buy to turn their bulk of artworks into a comprehensive, curated story.

 

 

 

 

How to Organize the Art Collection

Just like an art exhibition, every good collection has a beginning, a middle and an end. Collections can be organized in many different ways: by date, by artist, by style or by location. The artworks can be arranged chronologically or by their dimensions. An abstract art collector, for instance, can separate his pieces by topic and dedicate one part of the collection to geometric abstraction, other to "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;" target="_blank">lyrical abstraction and third to Abstract expressionism.

Certain collectors, however, have a more eclectic taste. Their art collections gather a variety of pieces that represent seemingly irreconcilable styles, genres, and artists, but a skillful art collector can combine even such a mixture of works into a comprehensive and cohesive narrative. At times, collector’s taste and preferences can come together to form a collection that speaks more about its owner than anything else. By looking at such collections, viewers can learn about the "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;" target="_blank">collectors’ personality, preferences, travels, and the way they experienced art.

What makes great collectors great is their ability to select separate works of art and arrange them in such a way, that they amplify our understanding of a certain art genre, artist or art in general. In a superior art collection, everything has its place. Nothing is random or chaotic, and every art piece relates to one another. That’s what makes an art collection value span far beyond the value of its individual parts.

 

 

Impact of an Outstanding Art Collection

Needless to say, good collections are in high demand. As a holistic body of work, private art collections are of interest to museums, funds and major institutions. At times, museums will pay multimillion-dollar prices for an outstanding collection of works.

In 1984, American art collector "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;" target="_blank">Sam Wagstaff sold his collection of photographs for about $4.5M to J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles where it became the cornerstone of the Museum’s newly formed Department of Photographs.

And when collectors run out of space to store their valuable possessions, they may even decide to open a private art museum and share their art with the public. An extensive collection of avant-garde paintings by an American businessman and art lover Solomon R. Guggenheim, for instance, is available to the visitors of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, while the artworks gathered by his niece, are on view at Peggy Guggenheim Museum, one of the most visited art venues in Venice, Italy.

In-depth art collections can make a tremendous contribution to the art world in general. Like an adult game of show and tell, a well-researched and organized collection can tell more about the artist, the genre or the art period it focuses on than any history book ever could. And that’s what makes art collectors respected as an art authority who determines not only current trends but also future standards and the course of art history.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

To stay up to date and learn more about the art world, get inspired by amazing works, receive art insights and discounts at our gallery — sign up for our bi-weekly Newsletter "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat;" target="_blank">here.

 

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