by Barbara Able
(this article was originally featured in 365 Things To Do In Houston)
Passion… Not the first word that comes to mind when considering collecting art. Most serious collectors surveyed said they did it for the love of the genre and not financial reasons. Most started collecting early in life. “It is said that collecting is a disease; I think I had it from childhood,” said Ima Hogg in 1973. “In Austin, the streets were not paved and were covered with beautiful pebbles. When wet, they sparkled like jewels… pebbles and flowers formed my first collection.”
Dive In & Get Started
Obviously, the best way to learn any business is to get into that business. You may not want to jump in by opening a gallery, but you have a myriad of choices in Houston, the third-largest art market in the U.S. Do your homework. Talk to everyone and find out everything you can. Go to galleries and get on their mailing lists. Attend artists’ talks at galleries and museums. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has a vibrant docent group, so sign up for a tour.
Take Your Time & Have Fun
Finally, take your time building the collection. A good goal would be to have a certain number of pieces in five years. Then, after five years, you may want to change your direction or increase the amount you are willing to spend. Enjoy the process! Regular contact with artists, art dealers, and fellow collectors often lead to friendships with people of different personalities and backgrounds. Most collectors still own the first work of art they bought and can recall the circumstances of that purchase—such is the emotion associated with collecting. So, congratulations are in order. You are taking the first step on a lifelong journey that will enrich your home and your life. Follow a few basic guidelines, and you will be on your way to creating your collection.