Art collectors make it possible for artists to make a living by creating and selling unique art pieces. They are essential to the support of artists and the circulation of an artist’s talents.
Unfortunately, “stealing” art, taking advantage of artists, or profiting from their hard work is all too common.
If you are a collector or aspiring art collector, how can you ensure that you do so ethically?
Tips for Collecting Art Ethically
The “starving artist” image is all too common, no thanks to unethically sourced art that collectors display proudly (yet paid very little for), is sold for a significant profit, or is altogether copied and sold for little more than pennies.
The last thing you want to do is become part of the problem. So if you’re looking for a new piece to add to your collection, keep these tips in mind.
Pay the Artists Fairly
If you’re buying a piece directly from an artist or a gallery, be willing to pay the asking price. Only the artist knows the time, energy, and emotion put into the piece, so only they can price it accordingly. It is not a time to haggle. Respect the effort and beauty in the work. If it’s not worth that price to you, then it probably isn’t the piece for you.
Additionally, if we put the artwork on display for events, consider providing an artist fee and don’t diminish the piece’s value by insisting that visibility will suffice.
When the time comes that you choose to trade or sell your piece, consider giving the artist a share of the profit of that resale.
Entrust Creative Freedom to the Institutions You Support
If you donate to a museum or independent art space, show them respect by allowing them to choose which collections they’ll include in their exhibits. Don’t feel entitled to making those decisions because of your monetary contributions.
Don't Capitalize on the Starving Artist Stigma
Don’t ask for discounts or free artwork for galleries, as it can put the artist in a position where they feel like they have to accept so their art can get some visibility. If they offer to provide it for a discount or free, you also want to be wary. It might be understood that their art will get a better place in the exhibit because of their generosity which wouldn’t be fair to other artists.
Don't Collect for the Status
Buying art or supporting an institution to improve your public image is unethical. Support what you love because you love it and believe in it. Otherwise, you are again profiting from artists’ hard work and creative endeavors.
Creating Art Collections that Support Artists
Artists put their heart and soul into their work. They inspire, entertain, and beautify our world with their creativity and hard work.
Let’s support our artists by buying ethically and collecting responsibly.
At Art For Your Cause, we’ve created an online community and e-commerce shop where you can do just that. Support artists, give back to your community, and enjoy unique pieces from around the world.