What’s the smartest way to spend $20,000 on art? Is it a bad idea to help a major customer avoid sales tax? How do I get an invitation to a Gallery Dinner? Each month in Ask an Art Advisor, our expert Wendy Goldsmith invites you to share your most pressing questions about navigating the art market – and she’ll draw on her decades of experience to answer them.
Do you have a request of your own? E-mail [email protected] and it may be answered in an upcoming article.
I never insured my art collection and now it has increased in value. I’m concerned about security and fear the premiums will be too high. When is the best time to insure your art and do you need to have it revalued when the prices for your artists are increasing?
If you have money to buy works of art, you should have money for insurance, because not having insurance is always a false economy. While theft is fairly rare (and unfortunately is usually an inside job), vandalism is not. Anything can happen – from a painting falling off a wall, to an animated guest splashing a glass of champagne against your favorite canvas, to a housekeeper polishing a Jeff Koons with Brillo-Pad. Even the smallest damage can significantly reduce the value of a work of art. And that’s after the work has already been delivered to your door, during which time the risk increases exponentially, even with the possibility of a total loss (we’ve all heard the story of forklifts going through a box in a warehouse). Is it really worth the risk?
But the trick is to get the most appropriate policy. If your works have a low price, it is usually common practice to still include them in a regular home policy. However, once your collection includes pieces with a higher “single item limit” (which may vary by insurance company), it is best to turn to specialist fine art insurers to obtain a standalone policy where the premiums for the species are actually very reasonable are of total they cover. Additionally, this policy can be used to enclose artworks in transit (once they have been notified of the details in advance) at literally a fraction of the cost that a specialist art shipping company would charge. They Also know exactly what criteria apply to a claim, already understand market nuances because of their expertiseand should the worst happen, make a rule the Claim completely seamless.
However, make sure you read the fine print and stick to your side of the bargain. Important, never under insured. If you haveNot has kept up with reasonable premiums, your insurer may not pay out at all. So yes, get your collection valued every year, especially with the accelerating market swings we’ve been seeing lately. Not getting a proper policy really is a false economy because there is no way of knowing when you are newly A purchased Picasso ceramic may fall to the floor, or your toddler may decide to put the finishing touches on your beloved Twombly. be wwithout correct Insurance, means in the end you pay anyway.
I’ve been collecting art on a modest budget for a few years (my pieces are all under $10,000), but I’ve recently received some inheritance money and my funds have expanded significantly. I’m worried that inflation will make the money lose value, so I want to invest. Should I increase my art collection or continue collecting at the current level and invest the additional money in the stock market?
Not. invest. in art. We only see them seductive Headlines for only a fraction of the numerous works of art sold each year without ever hearing about the losses. Whouses full of art cannot be moved without the owners wincing in pain. This market for “young” art is a relatively new Phenomenon, with results growing exponentially each sales season and a seemingly endless supply of cannon fodder for everyone to join. If I can still remember some of their names, I’d like to have a conversation about a lot of these artists in two or three years and see where exactly their values lie then.
That being said, there’s still a ton of talent out there, but the idea of making the right selection of artists and then gaining access to their pinnacles is thin to none. Nobody has a crystal ball, and neither does your stockbroker. If you simply want to invest, stocks also have much lower costs and commissions. You mention that your funds have expanded significantly, but I’m still not sure how far your revised budget can go, which will always be a factor in precisely structuring a collection. If you’re still attracted to this world, I would always start by buying the best example by an artist you can afford, not just a mediocre canvas with his signature on it. For now, I’d suggest one of modernism’s greats while everyone else focuses on something else. They don’t make any more of it. For fun, you can always add a young artist you really want to live with into the mix. As with the stock market, the golden rule is diversification. There’s more out there than just wet paint.
I’m new to collecting and have been working on building my relationship with gallerists for a while. There are a few I get along with, but I keep seeing other people posting online about those fancy gallery dinners I’m never invited to. What do I have to do to get a seat at the table?
It’s amazing how often this question is asked. So many people want art and the experiences (and to be seen) which is understandable, especially if your fortune was made in a less creative environment. And actually, thThese dinners can be wonderful, especially when you’re with like-minded people; Collectors, curators, gallery directors, artists, as well as the occasional movie star, where some of the most intriguing conversations can be had. TThe food and wine are usually not bad either! But from the galleryvieware these still business events, usually to thank the buyers for their support of the artist whose last exhibition that evening may have just opened and to keep their artists happy to show them their great support and them to allow an evening to celebrate their achievements, usually accompanied by the artist Friends and family. You may like the galleries and certainly enjoy your company, but someone has to foot the bill.
So, to get one of those coveted invites, the first rule of thumb would be to acquire a work from one of the artists in the gallery that you admire the most, and even purchase the artist’s work extensively. Or purchase a selection of artists through the gallery’s program and invitations will be numerous and swift.
But then Hauser & Wirth came along and changed the game exponentially. You realized some time ago that numerous collectors have the money to buy any work of art they have chosen but what they really want are experiences; they want what money can’t buy. So Hauser set out to build a simultaneous hospitality business to manage alongside his 16 (and counting) museum-quality galleries worldwide, including a jewel of a hotel in Scotland, her own island in Menorca, an arts center and a Artist residency in Somerset asuch as the fanciest pub in Mayfair, opening in time for Frieze. Word on the street is that new collectors buy works from their network of galleries just to gain access to a coveted invitation to one of the galleriessee dreamy events. It’s win win. genius.
What Wendy wants
- Each ring of Spinelli Kilcollin. Because the simplest designs are so often the best
- A Psychedelic Abstract by Ilana Savdiewhere color and texture collide.
- Origins skin care. Estée Lauder’s natural line, where every product is perfect.
Wendy Goldsmith is a former international director at Christie’s in New York and London who now runs London’s Goldsmith Art Advisory. You can also find her on Instagram @wendy_goldsmith.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news, insightful interviews and incisive critical statements that drive the conversation.