People often get caught up in the need to purchase a work of art by a particular artist. The question posed is:
Our answer has been, and always will be, the same – No! Never buy a work of art just for the artist. If the artist in question is one whose work you would like to own, make sure that the work in question is one you like. Every artist has/had different styles and periods and you need to determine which work is the right one for you and your collection. You also need to realize that within any artist’s body of work, prices will vary not only by size, but also by period (when the work was created), quality, condition and subject matter. As a rule of thumb the earlier works, from a particular period of any specific artist, featuring their signature (most popular) subject matter, will often be the most expensive. But remember that, like everything else, there are exceptions to this rule.
Always buy a work that appeals to you, or as some people say ..."speaks to you." There is nothing worse than realizing, a few weeks after your purchase, that you got caught up in the need to get a work by a particular artist and that you actually `hate` the work in question. Remember, that depending on where you purchased the piece, this could be an expensive lesson.
As we always say, do your research and find a knowledgeable individual to guide you. But in the end, make sure that, regardless of its cost, you acquire something that will bring you great pleasure and hopefully years of enjoyment.
If you have any questions concerning this topic, please E-mail us and we will be happy to answer them.
Howard L. Rehs
© Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York –May 2001 & December 2008
Updates: The gallery has the pleasure of announcing that it will now be representing the Contemporary Impressionist artist Sally Swatland. Sally made her name, in the art world, as a portrait artist; however, her love has always been painting scenes of children on the beach: It was somewhat of an accident that I thought about painting children at the beach. I had studied figure and landscape painting at the Art Students League and I was somewhat searching for a subject that interested me. While I was pregnant with my first child, one day I went to the beach with my mother and took some photos of children playing in puddles. I went home and painted a small painting and showed it to some people. The response was very encouraging. They liked the feeling of the painting. I painted a few more that summer. The gallery will be working with Sally, on an exclusive basis, to market her warm, soft and colorful images of childhood.
Virtual Exhibitions: We promised a follow-up to our previous Antonio Jacobsen exhibition entitled The Later Works with one that features the artist’s early works. This month we have added the following exhibition for your enjoyment: Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921) – The Early Years. This online exhibition features 18 wonderful examples of the artist’s work executed between 1877 and 1899. The introduction to this exhibition, featured in the 1988 catalog we published for a corresponding exhibition at the gallery, was written by the late Harold Sniffen, Curator Emeritus, The Mariners’ Museum. The direct link to this exhibition is as follows:
Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921) – The Early Years
Art Market Update: This month we have two interesting bits of news for you:
1. In the Sunday, April 22, 2001, edition of the New York Post - Gary Drevitch wrote an article titled: Art Works for your Wall and your Wallet; here is how it begins: So you used last week’s stock market rally to lock up some profits, and now you’re looking for alternatives to equity investing. One often overlooked option is art. You could discover the next Picasso, and make a bundle in the process. That’s what happened to the late Victor Ganz. In 1946, he purchased a Picasso painting for $7,000. In 1997, that painting sold for $48.4 million. That’s a gain of 691,328 percent. Just try to find a stock that’s done so well.
As we have always stated… if you buy the right works, from the right dealers, you will be well rewarded in the future.
2. I am sure you never realized that even those television appraisal shows are not all they appear to be. Did you know that some of the items that appear to be ‘great finds’ on those televised antique shows are actually staged? Case in point: On March 15th of this year, as reported in the Maine Antique Digest, May 2001 edition, a 13 count indictment was handed up in the US District Court in Pennsylvania charging Russ Pritchard III and George Juno - militaria dealers who frequently appeared on the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow – with six counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, three counts of a false statement ancillary to a court proceeding, and one count of tampering with a witness. To keep it brief, these two dealers, it is believed, took merchandise that they owned and had people bring them to the show to be ‘discovered’. They would fly the supposed owners in and go over a story they created - some vague history of the item to be presented on television. Then, during the show, Juno & Pritchard would make ‘the discovery’. They supposedly did this to increase their reputation as expert appraisers and bring more business their way… this seems to have worked. It appears that Pritchard was asked to appraise a group of artifacts belonging to descendants of Major General George E. Pickett V. The group was appraised at $87,000 and was purchased by Pritchard for $88,000. That same year he sold the items to the City of Harrisburg for $880,000. The descendants of Major General Pickett sued Pritchard - the case was settled out of court.
Like they always say: don’t believe everything, or everyone, you see on TV.