No time for an art history degree . . .

An extremely dedicated and relatively young ER physician over breakfast expressed the notion “I want to buy art intelligently, but I don’t have time to earn an art history degree or to become an art appraiser.”

Do what every good art appraiser does, “cross consult” and pursue knowledge with focused dedication. 

  • Attend exhibitions and then arrange to meet with the curator who configured the exhibition to learn what determines the “best” artists and what constitutes their “best” work. Do this only after you have purchased the corresponding catalogue and read it thoroughly.
  • Join special interest groups adjunct to a museum focused on the art type you have chosen “Contemporary Art”, “Latin American Art”, “European Art”, “Decorative Arts”, “Fine Crafts”, for example. You can then learn from other members and through the lecturers they invite to address the groups. Take advantage of the trips these groups configure. Often these excursions include visits to highly impressive private collections in other cities, states and countries where you can gain insight from more established collectors who are eager to share their passion.
  • Identify the top dealers and establish relationships with those who are knowledgeable.  Lean on them initially, until you are ready to stand on your own. Purchase and read the books they recommend.

Corinne Cain

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