It’s easy to walk into a gallery and swoon at the sight of a work of art, but making the decision to buy it is complex. We asked an art consultant, a conservator, an attorney and an adjuster for the important issues to consider before making such a big purchase.
Question 1: Is it True Love or an Infatuation?
Even experienced collectors have made mistakes, so it’s a good idea to take a little time to ponder your reaction. You may want to consider how it fits into your existing collection; how and where you would display it; and if your gut tells you that the price is in keeping with the value of this particular artwork.
Annelien Bruins of Tang Art Advisory offers her clients a professional’s perspective without revealing her personal responses to the work of art.
“My job is to give them my professional opinion on the quality of the work they are considering buying. For example, an artist may have a number of works available but there may be only one or two that I think are worth buying—because the composition is better, the technique is better applied, it is more representative of the artist’s work, and the price is more appropriate.”
She recommends a "test run" with a work of art as a hedge against buyer’s remorse. Many galleries will allow you to take a work of art home for a few weeks. This is a good option before a major purchase. It will give you a chance to experience the work and determine if it’s true love or a passing fancy.