BFA approaches collecting as an education, in which you are given the knowledge and support to buy art based less on its speculative value than on its abiding ability to give you pleasure, at a fair and reasonable price.
Purchase of Art
It starts with a consultation to explore your taste and budget, as well as whether you are buying art as an individual or a corporation, as a one-time purchase or as part of a collection, and as a new or as an experienced collector. Together, we determine the right process for exploring and decision making. This might be a survey of art on line to figure out where your taste leads; guided visits to particular galleries and studios; guidance on making those visits on your own; etc. While I charge $200 per hour, an additional benefit of working with me is that I can act as an intermediary in which I am given a “dealer’s discount” that I then split with you…equal to certainly a portion if not all of my services.
Thanks to 20 years as a gallery director and owner, and my service as President of the NYC branch of Art Table’s– the main women’s organization for curators, dealers and other non-artist women in the art field – I have extensive contacts in the art sales world; and a reputation for being down-to-earth. While I charge $200 per hour, an additional benefit of working with me is that I can act as an intermediary in which I am given a “dealer’s discount” that I then split with you which is applied toward my fee. Most importantly, I do not work for the gallery or artist; and since I earn my money on an hourly basis, I have no incentive to drive you to buy a particular piece of art, the most expensive art your budget allows, or from a particular gallery. I work for you, without pretensions.
You may want more services than art acquisition alone, especially if your aim is to create a collection. I am able to help you every step of the way. I do this mainly through referrals to professionals, in whom I have confidence based on several decades of working together.
Showing off the art to the best advantage requires tasteful decision making about frames. Proper framing is all the more important for works on paper due to degradation caused by light. I usually work with CityFrame, but can recommend others if so preferred.
Shipping and Storage
Getting the work safely from the dealer or artist to your house, or moving it from one location to another, or storing it for a time can be easy if you pick it up yourself. But regular shippers can’t take the proper precautions, so I usually work with either Atelier 4 or Fine Art Services & Transport.
PS—Do not store art for a long period of time under the bed, in a self-storage unit, or any other place where there is no climate control.
Most people can install a small piece of art, but need help if the piece is heavy or uniquely shaped. I can advise on placement and refer you to an experienced installer who can assure that the work is safely mounted and situated. I have a number of professional installers who generally do this work on a freelance basis.
Cataloguing and Photography
No one wants to spend the money on cataloguing. Down the road, this is an important investment – for gifting, insurance, legacies, appraisals, resales, etc. I work exclusively with ArtFile – who I find to be exceptionally reliable and personable.
PS—Professional photographs are necessary should you choose to sell your art at some point. We use two different photographers – one who is less expensive and another who achieves the specific standards called for by dealers and auction houses.
At some point, for example in connection with a move or a sale, you may need an appraisal. I rely on Marion Art and Evie Joselow, who (I know from having done appraisals) are reputable, reliable, reasonably priced, and (importantly) certified appraisers.
Auction houses are always an option. But if you don’t get the price you want, the work has been exposed as non-sellable. As another option, I can on a consultant basis advise on and help network to the appropriate dealer to work with.
Stuff happens. Including inquisitive children, water damage, light damage if not framed properly, house cleaning accidents, and most commonly, the artist used paint or material that deteriorates or changes. Each media needs a specialized technique to repair it to its original glory. I work with a ceramic, paper, photography, painting and sculpture specialists – too many to highlight any of them.