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Art as an Investment


Nick Cave sings, “People often talk about being scared of change.  But for me I'm more afraid of things staying the same.  'Cause the game is never won by standing in any one place for too long” [i] 


Art has had an upward trend for over many years and forecasters do not see it relenting since original, meaningful art is rare, one of a kind and therefore it can often set its own price. 


Client requests may change and the “game” Nick Cave refers to in reference to the art world is being able to find what a client is looking for.  Current trends for abstract art have just begun and will stay healthy for many years to come.  Conceptual Art had a trend that my brother and I did not follow because we could not see the longevity of it nor the meaningfulness of the artworks and our personal taste in this manner paid off since we did not invest in conceptual art and now it is harder to sell. 


Staying in tune with client needs and bringing in new clients is a hallmark of any good business.  For art galleries this means staying in tune with what artists are creating and making sure clients and other interested parties are made aware of what we think is a good piece of art, why we think it is a good piece of art and how good an investment we think the purchase of said art would be. 


Investment returns of upward of 25% over the course of 5 years are not unheard of.[ii]


There are many ways art can serve your investment needs and be a growth oriented part of your financial portfolio.

Buying Art as an Investment

Part One Art Prints


Collectors rarely see themselves as having only one choice when selecting art, no matter how "unique" that art happens to be. Not only are they cost-conscious, but they almost always compare work from artist to artist and gallery to gallery before they buy. The more comparing they do, the better they get at collecting, assessing quality, determining fairness in selling prices, and getting the best bangs for their bucks. This is what good collecting is all about and what you're up against when it comes to pricing your art.


There are several different types of

Art Prints:


“Original” print


Print techniques in combination


Planographic Printing








Offset lithography or offset or photo-mechanical print












Please visit the drop down menu at the top of this page to read more about each of these processes.







Buying Art as an Investment 

Part Two:  Original Art


Original Art is what most people think of when they want to purchase an artwork.  Originals do have a more agressive price point and can appreciate considerably, but if purchased for too much at the onset, an original may not produce the return on investment that an art print might.


Original Art can be found in many different types of materials:


Oils on Canvas


Mixed Media


Pencil on Paper


Watercolor on Paper


Acrylic on Canvas


Casein on Paper


Charcoal on Paper


Sculptural forms may use metals, clays, ceramics, found objects, resins and more


Time based media as found in areas like video art.


There has been a large increase in material diversity for original art works and so the traditional forms of production have been seen to be less saleable; however since conceptual art is now losing its vogue and abstract art is beginning to surge in popularity the marketabiity of traditional materials will also surge in price points.


 This topic will be explored further on our website in future.


Buying Art as an Investment

Part Three:  Archival Considerations


Whether you are thinking of buying an art print or an origianl piece of art the archival considerations should be foremeost on your mind.  How a piece of art is connstructed, created and prepared for display can impact the longevity of the piece and hence its value in the marketplace.  many artists do not consider the legacy of their artworks and so lower their resale value even though their original price points may be high.


Utilizing conservation minded galleriest like my brother and I is your first line of defense against purchasing a work of art that may degrade in qulaity over time.  Acid based matts, non UV reflective glass and toxic chemicals in frames and paints can not only cause a piece of art to change in appearance over time but may also cause unhealthy air quality as they degrade.  Cleaning artworks also needs to be addressed and understood as a part of the responsibility of ownership.  


When a piece of art is created and prepared with an archival approach, then the artwork can be kept in its original state far into the future as well as be a healthy addition to any space.  


This topic will be explored further on our website in future.


[i] Nick Cave from “Jesus of the Moon”


[ii] Wall Street Journal April 4 2013

Galaudet Gallery

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