Buying art at auction can be a daunting prospect, but if you follow some simple rules and have a little knowledge of the art market and what to look out for, it can be a very rewarding experience. This blog will give you some tips on how to buy art in an auction room.
Art is a speculative investment, which means it is not like buying shares in a company whose value is based on its profits and assets. Instead, the value of art is determined by how much someone else wants to pay for it at some point in the future. The price is not as predictable as with shares, which makes buying art on the secondary market quite exciting.
This blog will focus on the auction room experience rather than buying from galleries or directly from artists. Buying from galleries can be just as enjoyable but has its own set of pitfalls and challenges that we’ll cover in another blog.
The Art of Auction: A blog about buying art at auction. This is a business that is largely hidden from the public eye and it’s not very well understood by the general public. The blog was written by an auctioneer as he learned his trade and I think it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to know more about the process of buying art at auction. The blog looks at different aspects of the business including how auctions are managed, what happens in the preparation for an auction, the technicalities of how auctions work, how buyers buy etc.
Also there is an interview with Christie’s Chief Auctioneer Oliver Barker who talks about how he got into the business and what his job entails. There are also links to resources on some of the topics covered in more detail elsewhere on this site such as shipping art and buying art online.
Auction houses are constantly discovering new methods of selling. They are adopting new technologies and techniques to increase efficiency, service, and profitability.
One thing that’s constant: the auction sale is the most special moment in any sale of art. The tension and excitement of the sale room is unlike anything else in the art world. It’s a unique mix of controlled frenzy, where both buyer and seller are under pressure to outsmart each other—but not to cheat one another.
Auctions are exciting for all sorts of reasons. That’s what we hope this blog will be about: examining the methods and theories behind auctions, discussing real-life experiences, and learning from other people’s stories.
**The post appear on various blog sites which include but not limited to:
Day after day, month after month, year after year, I go to auction. One of the great pleasures of my job is that I get to see so many wonderful paintings by great artists. I’m often asked how best to purchase art at auction. So here are a few observations and suggestions.
But before I begin, let me just say this: if you are shopping for a masterpiece by a great artist, you probably should not buy it at auction.
Why? Because auction houses don’t usually have the resources to do all the research required to know whether an artist’s work is genuine or fake (as was the case with this Leonardo), and because they don’t always have all the information they need about provenance (is there evidence that the painting is what it is claimed to be?). Furthermore (though this isn’t true in every case), auction houses take a cut of the sale price. So when you buy a painting at auction, you’re paying more than it’s worth.
The advantage of buying at auction is that you can often get great art for less than what it would cost elsewhere; you might save hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re lucky enough to find a bargain. And if you know what to look for, it can be fun to
In this blog we hope to provide an insight into the art auction, both for those new to it, or thinking about making a purchase, and also for those who want an insight into how they might sell their own work at auction.
As experts in the field, with years of experience in the art market, we can offer you a unique insight into this exciting world. Whether you are looking to buy some original artwork for your own collection, or whether you are looking at the possibility of selling your own work, we hope that this blog will be useful to you.’
Art 21 is a weekly television show that focuses on the art market. It has been airing since 2004 and is broadcast by PBS. The program is presented by art critic and historian, Matt Hackett. He introduces viewers to both established and emerging artists, primarily but not exclusively in painting and sculpture. He also frequently discusses auctions, galleries and the general business of art.
The show was co-founded by Rick Smolan, who also co-authored a book with Hackett entitled “The World from Here” (2006). Bob Grimm serves as the CEO of the Art21 Corporation, based in New York City. Amy Davin serves as the executive producer.