How to Buy Art

Choosing and purchasing artwork can be intimidating to someone who isn't familiar with art galleries, auctions or artists. Whether you are interested in starting a valuable collection or simply looking for a piece that would look great in your home, learning what you can about the art world will help you make a decision. Before spending any money, follow these steps that will show you how to buy art.


  1. Image titled Buy Art Step 1
    Peruse the markets and art galleries. If you begin at art fairs, you will learn to what you are drawn and the galleries that carry those artists. Art fairs will give you a starting point so that you can narrow your gallery search down and save a lot of time visiting ones that don't feature what you want
  2. Image titled Buy Art Step 2
    Visit the galleries more than once. Shopping for art can be compared to shopping for any other large purchase. Go back to the galleries that have the pieces that interest you and take note of the prices they want because, if you are visiting local art galleries, they will most likely carry the similar pieces by the same artist and you can get the best deal.
  3. Image titled Buy Art Step 3
    Familiarize yourself with the dealers. Once you've pared the list of galleries down to a few ones that you like, don't be afraid to talk to the dealers and ask others about them. This will give you an idea of who you like and who is most trusted by getting opinions and learning of past experiences.
  4. Image titled Buy Art Step 4
    Develop a relationship with trusted dealers. There is immense value in being a valued customer. When shopping for art, nurse a rapport with gallery owners so that they will make you aware of the best values and the newest pieces coming into the gallery before other buyers.
  5. Image titled Buy Art Step 5
    Negotiate the purchase price. Artwork can be expensive, and the prices are very often negotiable. After you have compared values at a few art galleries, you will have a good idea what a piece is worth and can make an offer that you and the dealer will both feel is fair.
  6. Image titled Buy Art Step 6
    Know about your payment options. Inexperienced buyers often believe that they have to walk in and pay for the piece in full, up front. This isn't the case, and you should find out what your payment options are as well as the dealer's return and exchange policies.


  • Start your art collection with some contemporary photography which is less expensive than paintings and will introduce you to the art world with less risk.
  • Seize an opportunity to meet the artist at an opening to give you a deeper appreciation of a piece you purchase by him.
  • Clear your mind before you shop for new art. In order to embrace all the various styles of art, let go of your preconceived notions of what good artwork should or should not be. You may have been influenced by art that was chosen by others in homes where you have lived, and in order to buy art that reflects your taste, you need to start fresh.
  • Check sales records for an artist in whom you are interested to see if the value of her work has appreciated or depreciated.

Article Info

Categories: Exhibited Arts