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Collector’s Corner: Documenting and Insuring Collections

Once an item is purchased for the collection, a record of the purchase should be thoroughly documented and filed including any receipts, artist biography and letters of

Once an item is purchased for the collection, a record of the purchase should be thoroughly documented and filed including any receipts, artist biography and letters of authenticity. There is software available to assist in the organization of record keeping of collections.

 

It is always a good idea to photograph all sides of the item and keep prints of the photographs in the file. These photographs will also document the condition of the item incase changes occur. Important information to record about the item includes the artist, title, date, medium and size. As with any hand-made object, distinguishing marks or imperfections can help identify the object. Having all this information organized will assist in securing the proper insurance whether included in a home-owner’s policy or a fine-arts policy.

 

Keeping up with the artist’s career and current market value will be helpful in maintaining current insurance value and provide an asking price should the item need to be sold. Obtaining an appraisal via the artist or an appraiser would be preferred to document the item’s current market value. But monitoring auction house websites and other websites like artnet.com are good sources for watching the art market as well. And, signing up for gallery and artist mailing lists is a great way to keep informed of an artist’s career advancements.

authenticity. There is software available to assist in the organization of record keeping of collections.

 

It is always a good idea to photograph all sides of the item and keep prints of the photographs in the file. These photographs will also document the condition of the item incase changes occur. Important information to record about the item includes the artist, title, date, medium and size. As with any hand-made object, distinguishing marks or imperfections can help identify the object. Having all this information organized will assist in securing the proper insurance whether included in a home-owner’s policy or a fine-arts policy.

 

Keeping up with the artist’s career and current market value will be helpful in maintaining current insurance value and provide an asking price should the item need to be sold. Obtaining an appraisal via the artist or an appraiser would be preferred to document the item’s current market value. But monitoring auction house websites and other websites like artnet.com are good sources for watching the art market as well. And, signing up for gallery and artist mailing lists is a great way to keep informed of an artist’s career advancements.

Protecting An Art Collection

As with any investment, there are certain responsibilities that must be taken to care for the collection. An art collector must understand the importance of record keeping and insurance coverage. Environmental control, installation, handling and even cleaning are all very important aspects for the proper maintenance of an art collection. Logically, these issues if left unattended can de-value an art collection.

Over the next couple weeks, learn about documenting and insuring collections, protecting collections from hazards, details on framing and archival materials and even how to handle works of art! Stay tuned!

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Collecting Opportunities

Art collectors need not over look the ability to discover the up-and-coming talents of an artist exhibiting work at art fairs and even student exhibitions. Quite a few of these exhibiting artists have developed a talent comparable to those with established reputations. These works of art can be affordable now and grow in value as the artist’s career excels. Especially at air fairs, collectors have the opportunity to meet the artist and listen to them speak about their work and development. A personal encounter with an artist increases the emotional reward of collecting their work.

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: About Prints

When considering purchases, quality verses quantity should be a concern in goal setting. Prints can be an affordable addition but close attention should be paid to the type of print. Etchings, lithographs and monotypes are fine art prints that the artist creates utilizing traditional printing techniques. These are closely monitored for quality and include fewer prints in an edition. Typically fine art prints are signed across the bottom with a numbering system that indicates the number of the print and the total number of prints in that edition.

Traditionally, four-color lithography enabled artists to reproduce imagery of their work. Today, digital technology has allowed many artists to use a digital image of a painting and have digital and giclee prints produced for mass marketing. Digital prints can be on a variety of surfaces including canvas and high quality papers; however, the investment value can be sacrificed if the number of prints in the edition is over 500 and the paper quality is low. A letter of authenticity should accompany a four-color lithograph, digital or giclee reproduction along with the signature on the print.

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Goal Setting for Collecting

Knowledge will assist in determining the direction an art collection should take. A well-established collection first and foremost should be in accordance with personal taste; nevertheless, an art collection can focus on a specific medium, style, genre, etc. A collection of figure drawings will have more value as a collection since there is a cohesive subject matter and medium. A collection that features realism as an artistic style could possibly consist of a major painting or two and a mix of smaller renderings in varying sizes. Establishing certain criteria for collecting will benefit the collection as much as understanding art.