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What To Ask When Buying An Oil Painting For Your Home?

Buying a painting for your home is one of the most personal decisions you can make. It’s an investment in both time and money, but it will also be something that will tie your heart to your living space. So what should you keep in mind when buying? Be sure to ask these questions before making any final decisions on buying an artwork:

  • Should I buy it as an investment?

Buy something you love. That first purchase should be motivated by a strong desire for something rather than market speculation. It is important to follow your curiosity and understand your own intentions – if you are at the early stages of art collecting, it might be equally useful to look around and figure out what you like and respond to on your own! Because the work will most likely be displayed in your home, make sure it is something you are happy to live with. Remember that the first pieces you purchase do not have to define your collection for the rest of your life.

  • Who should I talk to?

If you see a work you like in a commercial gallery, go to the front desk and ask for a follow-up: the team will be happy to help, directing you to the right person. Depending on the size of the gallery and team, specific staff members will be in charge of specific artists. They can also help you navigate art fairs and gallery shows, which can be overwhelming. Galleries, like collectors, collaborate with art advisors, so it may be worthwhile to seek one out.

  •  How do I find out more about the artist?

If the artist is represented by a gallery, the gallery will have full biographical information on the artist available on their website, including a CV, exhibition history, and selected press. Before making a commitment, use social media to become acquainted with their work. 

  • Are there other available works?

According to Christian Siekmeier, owner of Berlin’s Exile gallery, the work that has already piqued your interest is the one to pursue. If the work has already been sold, it may be worthwhile to inquire about other works by the artist from a similar time period or from a larger body of work. This can be an excellent way to learn about the artist’s process and may even lead to an unexpected discovery.

  • Is the work unique or an edition?

The value of a work can vary greatly depending on whether it is a one-of-a-kind or limited edition. Editions of photography and sculpture are most commonly available. An edition can be a great way to purchase a work by an artist whose price point would otherwise be out of your price range. It is advisable to ensure that the work was conceived by the artist as such. For example, if I were to purchase a print, I would prefer that the artist create works specifically for the medium, rather than a print of a work that is otherwise unique. 

  • Can I pay in instalments?

Paying in installments has become very common, so don’t be afraid to discuss this with your gallerist. When purchasing your first piece, spreading payments over a year or so can be a good option.

  • Are there additional costs?

Be prepared to incur costs in addition to the purchase price. Shipping and taxes are usually not included in the cost of the work itself. It is always worth speaking with the gallerist to see if there is anything that can be worked into the deal. While this is not always possible, making a small concession to include transportation in the sales price could mean the difference between being able to afford the work and not.

The Marshall Gallery 2

By Dru Bloomfield –, CC BY 2.0,

Are You Looking for Contemporary Art to Complement Your Home?

The Marshall Gallery, located in Scottsdale’s Historic Arts District, has been the center of contemporary art since its founding in 1998. Boasting a collection of paintings, sculptures, and exquisite glass pieces, the gallery hosts several exhibitions each year plus a biennial glass invitational that attracts top-notch talent. Here you will find exceptional art presented in an open and relaxed gallery space, which is perfect for browsing the ever-changing collection. Explore on your own, or allow our expert art consultants to offer complimentary assistance to find the perfect addition to your own collection. Looking for the perfect piece of art to complement your home’s decor? Visit us in person or browse our online art store!