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Art collecting for beginners: Where to start exploring your love of art

Nov 14, 2011, 8:57 a.m.

Art collecting is an enriching and potentially lucrative hobby for active adults. The field of art encompasses a wide range of styles, categories and objects, including sculpture, paintings, photography, collage and even found art and environmentally friendly recycled artistic projects.

Art collecting need not be expensive or even time-consuming and can be approached in a number of different ways, depending on personal tastes and interests. Acquiring artworks that evoke an emotional response and connection with the collector can make any art collection a success regardless of its financial worth. Here are five tips for collecting art for fun and profit.

Acquire a knowledge base

Classes in art appreciation and art history may be offered free of charge through local universities or community colleges. By learning more about different types of art and the qualities present in enduring works of recognized value, prospective art collectors can develop the skills and knowledge that will serve as the basis for their future purchases.

Manage expenditures

It's usually wise for beginning art collectors to budget carefully in order to avoid financial difficulties. By planning a budget and sticking to it even when presented with tempting opportunities to purchase desired pieces, aspiring art collectors can avoid financial problems and shortfalls. In some cases, it may be possible to save up for certain highly desirable pieces or to pay for them over time, allowing collectors to obtain the pieces they want without creating financial problems for the future.

Be selective

The best art collections are composed of pieces that share certain characteristics in common. For example, antique postcards, pop art pieces or impressionist works might be the focus of a particular collection. By choosing the various elements of the collection with an eye toward the integrity of the whole, it is possible to create an exquisite art collection even on a small budget. You can also begin one themed collection in a spare bedroom and build on another theme in the kitchen.

Catch a rising star

Most famous names in the art world were starving artists at some point during their careers. By purchasing paintings, photographs or sculptures from these artists, collectors will have a unique collection and can potentially get a valuable work at a bargain price.

Cater to personal tastes

By collecting works of art that they personally enjoy and admire, novice art collectors can ensure that they are acquiring pieces that will have personal value even if they never achieve financial value. This can ensure the success of this hobby and create a unique and personal collection regardless of the potential monetary rewards to be gained later on.

Acquiring the knowledge and background in art appreciation and art history to be a successful collector can be challenging, but it is well worth the extra effort in the resulting quality of the art collection produced. By purchasing wisely and remaining current with the latest trends and movements in the art world, older adults can stay active and engaged and enjoy the aesthetic and financial advantages of this engaging hobby.

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