Dealing with art is an upscale affair, and most players in this market―gallery owners, visual arts organizations, corporate and private collectors, artists―seldom function without the assistance of a qualified art consultant. For buyers, a qualified adviser not only helps to get the right artwork as per your taste, but also helps you through the buying, insurance, valuation process, and more. If you are an artist, the assistance of a consultant may help you project your work at the right place in the right manner, and also guide you in terms of creating and incorporating ideas that are in vogue among buyers as per the latest trend.
How to Choose an Art Consultant
First off, determine why you need the services of a consultant, or to be more specific, what are the goals you wish to achieve with a professional assistance as this. A qualified and worth-hiring consultant will come with loads of experience, education, and perhaps will be a private collector, as well. This business is all about contacts and long-term relationships with the dominant rulers of the market, and an art adviser knows his way well through the otherwise high-flown and complicated process. The expertise is a result of years of education, experience at working in art galleries, auctions houses, and working for private dealers. In other words, these professionals know the rules of the game, inside out.
You’re going to be dealing with art, and mind you, understanding art is not an overnight process. Therefore, be prepared to go through the following points to brace yourself for this task.
1. Ask for Referrals
If you’ve been there in the market for some time, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to seek a few referrals. Visit art galleries and auction houses, or speak to some museum professionals, and you are sure to find some referrals, perhaps even meet them in person! You can also start by visiting or browsing through the Association of Professional Art Advisors and the Art Dealers Association of America to get some authentic referrals. Why we say so is because not everyone who claims to be an art consultant is actually an art consultant! You have to be wary of the fake imitations.
2. Use the World Wide Web
After you have got some names and referrals, it would be better to know more about the consultant(s) through their website, blogs, and other sources. Add them in your social network. Subscribe for their newsletter. Check their credentials and affiliations. Or, if possible, follow them on Twitter! All this would also tell you of the type of art they specialize in. Yes, not all consultants would be suitable for your need. While some would have their specialization is modern and contemporary artwork, others would be well-versed with the French Renaissance art. To ensure that you hire the right person, it is crucial for you to do your homework, which is discussed in the next point.