Tips for Starting an Art Collection


Tips for Starting an Art Collection

Excerpts from an Interview with Andrew Witkin, Artist, Collector and Director of the Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston

Visual art and design and architecture are becoming much more central in American culture

Mette Aamodt: Do you have any advice for new collectors or collectors in general?


Andrew Witkin:  The most important thing is to look and to wait and to spend time thinking, looking, feeling. People who say, “I want to collect,” and then come in and buy something immediately sometimes have buyer’s remorse. It’s probably not buyer’s remorse, but they’ll outgrow it quicker than if you spend time with it. Patience is probably my best advice. There are plenty of opportunities. Don’t get caught up in the hype. I mean, visual art and design and architecture are becoming much more central in American culture. But at the same time, if you look at the business section versus the arts section and you tally how many articles about the art world that are in the business section versus the art section, it’s a little depressing to me because there’s a lot of talk about art as investment.


Mette Aamodt: That was a follow-up question I was going to ask. What do you think? There are certainly people out there that are looking for ways to invest.


Andrew Witkin: Right, because they’re reading about it. They’re looking and they’re seeing the dollar signs just increase with contemporary art. The contemporary art that you see at auction, which is what they’re really talking about most of the time, is quite speculative. Just like you wouldn’t go into the stock market without knowledge and do speculative investing, I wouldn’t recommend it.


Mette Aamodt: Good analogy.


Andrew Witkin: It doesn’t seem very smart. You have very savvy people with a lot of knowledge who are manipulating the market, too. You have people who have a very good sense of how to promote and how to get press involved and how to get the right names. Buzz you can build. Increased buzz when you have a market that’s really burgeoning is something that people listen to. But is buzz something that you listen to when you’re investing?


For more information about the Barbara Krakow Gallery or any of the artists they represent visit


Photo: Barbara Krakow and Andrew Witkin

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