Collector’r Perspective


On November 4, 2017, VAA members and guests got a unique insight into personal tastes, experiences and opinions regarding the collecting of artworks from three experienced collectors. Moderated by VAA Vice President, Erik Hagen, the panel consisted of Chris Higham, Professor Donna Tennant and Henry Hunt.

When looking for new artwork, some of the things that go into the decision making process:

  • Looking for originality and uniqueness.
  • Knowing the backstory can help the artwork transcend the skill.
  • A piece of work does not have to mean anything,
  • It is possible to like the art but not the artist.
  • Look for the positive aspects imbued in the work.
  • Does the artist have control of the context.
  • Choose art for yourself – not to impress someone else. Art work can be like family.

In asked how a collector would find new artwork, some of the ways are:

  • You have to go and see a lot of mediocre artwork to find a diamond in the rough.
  • Part of the education process is discovering what you like and don’t like.
  • You must go out and see what’s out there.
  • Go to art studios and the galleries you are drawn to.
  • You’re not going to find the right gallery if you don’t go to openings and become a part of the art community.

Other points made by our collector panel:

  • Price can be a deal breaker. Some artist may have an over-inflated idea of their artwork’s worth.
  • You must ask yourself “Can I afford it?”
  • Have the artwork appraised by a third party.
  • Take photos of the work as a record.