This may come as a surprise but the opacity of the art market is not just confusing for art collectors, it’s also confusing for emerging art advisors. Annelien Bruins, CEO and Senior Art Advisor of Tang Art Advisory, shares her expertise on how to become an art advisor and the role they play.
What does an art advisor do?
An art advisor advises emerging and experienced art collectors on all matters related to the acquisition, sale and management of their art collections. In a market as opaque as the art market, art advisors provide value by acting as their clients’ advocate. By providing market research and art expertise, art advisors save their clients money and time, and reduce their transactional risk.
How do you begin a career in this field?
There is no clear career path for art advisors, or in fact any profession in the art world. Many successful dealers, gallery owners and art advisors started at the bottom and worked their way up over many years, gaining invaluable experience in the process. Others had successful careers outside of the art world and decided to make a living out of their passion for art. We are hoping that our Art Advisory 101 program will make it easier for the next generation of art advisors to get their feet on the ground.
I am looking to become an art advisor, what education is required?
Technically speaking, no education is required. Anyone can call themselves an art advisor and start a business. There really is no substitute for developing an eye for art and viewing art as often as you can. That said, of course it will be helpful to you to have had some form of education on art, whether you studied a particular period in art history or participated in an art business program.
How can I set myself apart as a professional, best-in-class art advisor?
It starts, of course, with your knowledge of and eye for art. You simply have to be good at what you do. But in an unregulated market like the art market, it’s possible to distinguish yourself by how you conduct your business. You set yourself apart by following best practice guidelines: transparency on remuneration, avoidance of conflict of interest and complete independence from auction houses and galleries.
How can you distinguish between a novice and an experienced art advisor?
There is of course no substitute for experience. The longer you do something, the better you become at doing it. That said, we feel that we can make it easier for emerging art advisors like yourself to enter the market and set up your business. Rather than you having to learn the ropes for yourself over the course of years, we save you that time by providing art advisory essentials in the Art Advisory 101 program.