These 5 books about art collecting today should be mandatory reading for both new and experienced collectors.
1. Art Collecting Today by Doug Woodham
“Grounded in real-life stories, Art Collecting Today is the essential practical guide to today’s art market. A lightly regulated industry with more than sixty billion dollars of annual sales, the art market is often opaque and confusing to even the most experienced collectors. But whether a seasoned collector, an uninitiated newcomer, or an art-world insider, readers will learn within these pages how the art marketplace works in practice and how to navigate it smartly. Those who may have been put off by art-world practices will finally feel they have the knowledge needed to participate freely and fully, and collectors will be able to pursue their passion with more confidence.”
2. Collecting Art for Love, Money and More by Ethan Wagner
Offers advice on how to navigate the contemporary art world, from assessing sales information and dealing with galleries to discovering new talent and accessing the best work.
3. How to Collect Great Art on a Shoestring by David L. Gersh
“A how-to guide for new and experienced collectors, How to Collect Great Art on a Shoestring explores the unique opportunity to acquire one-of-a-kind works for $2000 or $3000 by hundreds of mostly forgotten yet startlingly good artists who are in the permanent collection of MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Met, and among many other museums.
“A veteran and avid collector, Gersh offers pro tips on how, what, and which artists to look for while providing unique insights, an invaluable perspective, and a dash of humor into the world of collecting great art.”
4. The Value of Art: Money, Power, Beauty by Michael Findlay
“What is art worth? How can a work by Pablo Picasso be sold for more than $100,000,000? This fascinating book explains the market for art–and art’s value for all of us. In straightforward prose that doesn’t mystify art or deny its special allure, prominent art dealer and market expert Michael Findlay offers a close up and personal view of almost a half century in the business of art. He engagingly explains art’s three kinds of value: commercial; social; and what he terms its essential value–the range of responses to art that we as individuals have depending on our culture, education, and life experience. Few avid collectors are immune to the thrill of rising market value, but Findlay argues that buying for investment alone is seldom smart. A genuine love of art and the ways it may enrich one’s social life also play important roles. Down-to-earth and with a touch of dry wit, he explains exactly how artworks are valued and reveals the workings of the art market.”
5. Breakfast at Sotheby’s: An A-Z of the Art World by Philip Hook
“Breakfast at Sotheby’s is an alphabetical guide to how people reach answers to such questions, and how in the process art is given a financial value. Based on Philip Hook’s thirty-five years’ experience of the art market, Breakfast at Sotheby’s explores the artist and his hinterland (including definitions for -isms, middle-brow artists, Gericault, and suicides), subject and style (from abstract art and banality through surrealism and war), wall-power,” provenance, and market weather.”