How You Can Invest In Art

Copyright Trevor Richards 1998, All Rights Reserved

Art comes in many forms, but it is Paintings and Prints that we are going to explore here.

The main reason being that they are most commonly used in the art world as a form of currency.

Investments in art should be made with a view to the long term like other sound investments, Land, Houses, Shares, Shops, Warehouses, Businesses and the like.

You could be lucky and turn over a quick dollar as art, like the share market, is prone to fluctuations. However, it is more than likely, that like Blue Chip shares on the stock market you need to be patient and stick around for the long term gain.

Modern art tends to change like fashion – it comes and goes and for this reason it will be traditional art that most of this information relates to. Traditional art is much more staid and appeals to every generation.

Why collect art?

For centuries an original painting has been seen as being prestigious…..and even today it is still very much the case. Art works are sold around the world, sometimes for millions of dollars, just because these works are seen as something of great beauty and also an item of immense investment value.

Your purchase of an original painting means that no one else will have a work of art exactly like yours. It is a one off, which makes it something special and very valuable. Every artist puts something of themselves into each painting that they create. It is this love and joy that they conceive that makes art such a “living” object ….This is what makes your painting distinguished.

Your art collection will show your taste in art. It will show your friends your discernment and in many ways will tell a story about your inner feelings that may not always be readily seen by others.

One major advantage that an art collection has over other collectable items like stamps and coins is that you can admire your investment every day …Because it can hang on the wall of your home or office where it is able to be seen by not only you, but by family and friends.

Print making began in the 15th century. The 16th century was dominated by the works of Durer, whilst the 17th century by Rembrandt and the 18th century saw fine prints made by Reynolds, Gainsborough and Goya. Great 19th century printmakers included Monet, Degas and Whistler.

The 20th century brought a wider and freer use of printmaking techniques try artists including Matisse, Picasso and David Hockney.

Limited Edition Prints by Rembrandt and Picasso sell today for $100,000 to $600,000, whilst other artists such as Whistler, Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec fetch higher prices each time they come up for auction.

Comparisons of costs of Originals and Prints

An original oil painting by say d’Arcy Doyle, John Bradley or Sidney Nolan could cost $25,000 to $250,000. A newly released limited Edition Print can be purchased framed ready to hang for a few hundred dollars.

However a Limited Edition Print that has been sold out for a few years can easily fetch a few thousand dollars.

Meanwhile an Open Edition Print can be purchased from $6.00 to $42.00 and it is only the cost of the frame that increases the price to $100.00 plus. As you can see, Limited Edition Prints are very special.

Now you can tell others of the difference been an Open Edition and a Limited Edition Print…..they are worlds apart. But as more people discover the investment valves of a Limited Edition Print so, more people buy them which makes the market increase, thus adding value to your investment.