Shaping an Art Collection: Sources for Acquisition into, and Removal of Art Objects from, a Collection

with an emphasis on American Representational Art


There are several types of sources available to a collectors for acquisition into, and removal of art objects from, a collection. Objects may be acquired via sources such as:

- dealers without storefronts. Many advanced collectors are also dealers, often holding their inventory in their homes. Motives for this practice may include tax considerations. See Private Art Dealers Association for list.

- auction houses, which can also have departments dedicated to private transactions

- galleries. These are dealers, artist organizations and other enterprises that have storefronts in commercial buildings. See Art Dealers Association of America, Fine Art Dealers Association, and the National Antique & Art Dealers Association for lists. Also see the Collector's Guide to Working With Art Dealers published by Art Dealers Association of America.

- individual artists. (Artists may sell direct from their studios.)

- events including art fairs, festivals, special sales and expos held by colleges and universities, museums, entrepreneurs, artist organizations and other groups. (From Resource Library see Sources of Articles and Essays Indexed by State within the United States plus the Art Museum, Gallery and Art Center index and Academies, Associations, Ateliers and Societies index for leads. Also see TFAO's Individual States Art History Project and Art Clubs.)

- transactions among individual collectors. (An excellent way to meet collectors is to join member councils at museums.)

- persons owning artworks who have received important - yet freely given - services. (These persons may in turn give freely from their collection in appreciation of services given without expectation of payment.)

- estate sales.

- bartering. (see Bartering for Paintings by Sarah Beserra)


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Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

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