Advice On Collecting Art: Don’t Buy What You Love


Art Collecting Today is an essential practical guide to today's art market. It is an elegant, amusing and perceptive guide to a market that is (often) long on hocus-pocus and short on transparency. Composed in a concise and intuitive manner, the book covers topics on such evaluations; how to buy, and sell art while avoiding costly mistakes and time-consuming roadblocks; and how collectors can be taken advantage of, and the actions they should take to protect themselves.

A little 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.

The author, Doug Woodham, is trained economist and previously President of the Americas for Christie’s. Art is more than just an asset class, which is why the auction veteran argues that the well-worn advice to 'buy what you love' can lead to a loss of investment based on infatuation, as he says:

Before acquiring something that is financially meaningful, collectors should seek input from those with more knowledge and experience. 

The author also takes it upon himself to explain how to make more effective purchases by understanding how and when galleries or auctions offer a better deal. In addition, a practical explanation of how the world looks like from inside the art market, offering readers an enlightening behind-the-curtains experience. Art  Collecting Today is an insightful book compiled with the help of an extensive list of collectors, gallerist, lawyers, art advisors, and auctioneers. 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.

Read Melanie Gerlis' review in the Financial Times, and more in The Economist