The Business of Art: Markets, Auctions, Appraisals, Galleries: Collecting Art

An introduction to resources for the buying and selling, the pricing and valuing of art.


Collecting can be defined simply as the act of assembling a group of objects. Motives for collecting can range from passionate involvement with particular objects to complete disinterest. At one end of the scale are those who collect out of a genuine love of works of art; at the other are those who are motivated by a wish for status or by greed and the desire for financial gain. In the 20th century some major collections have been built out of a wish to avoid paying tax by using the vagaries of the fiscal system and tax concessions granted to purchasers of works of art. Fashion and taste play significant roles in the formation of collections. In every period there are certain types of objects, styles or artists who are at the forefront of fashions in collecting and whose work will command the greatest attention and the highest prices.

History of Collecting

Contemporary Collecting

Collection Management