Tips to Follow While Buying or Selling Your American Art

Artwork is an important part of every culture and American culture is no exception. There is a unique vibe to American artwork. It is present in the work of disparate, famous American artist from John Singer Sargent to Jasper Johns to Grant Wood to Georgia O’Keefe to Jackson Pollock and many more. Different styles but an American feel. That American vibe makes collecting American artwork fun and, when figuring out the value of a piece you might be planning to buy or sell, challenging. American art auctions are full of valuable and impressive pieces. American art collectors are a savvy and eclectic bunch of people who have high standards. In this article we will look at some handy tips to follow when buying or selling your American art.


1. How is the Value of American Art Determined.

How is the Value of American Art Determined.


You should be aware of how the value of your artwork is determined. Be aware that there are certain factors that will determine what American art collectors will pay for your piece, or what you should be willing to pay if you are the collector. Artwork should first be authenticated. This can be easy with contemporary pieces when the artist is alive to authentic a piece. It is a trickier with older, historic pieces that have passed through many owners. Serious art collectors always insist on authentication. Value is also determined by who the artist was, the more famous the artist, the more the artwork is worth. The condition of the artwork, size and materials it is made of (ie. oil paintings are often more expensive than watercolors) help determine value. In some cases, the subject of painting or statue can add value. So can provenance (who it previously belonged to). In the end, the marketplace dictates the final value of piece of art.

2. Get American Art Appraised by an Expert.

Whether you are planning on selling American art online or you are at a gallery and spot a piece that you just have to have, it is a good idea to look for American art appraisers who can help you feel confident about the true value of the piece. A well-trained expert has detailed knowledge of American history and artwork that allows them to accurately determine the origins, age, and value of your artwork. They also understand the market and the legal details involved in selling one valuable piece or a whole collection. It is important to hire an expert to evaluate the artwork. Before hiring an appraiser check their educational and professional background and compare their prices with other experts.

3. Don’t pay sticker price.

When you go to a gallery browse and don’t be afraid to haggle. Most of the time the contract between the artist and gallery will allow the gallery to lower the price by a small percentage. Also, if you love a piece by particular artist but can’t afford it, consider asking to look at other pieces by the same artist. There might be a less expensive one that is in your budget. American painting buyers know a good deal when they come across one!

4. Go to American Art Auctions Prepared

If you go to American art auctions, do you homework. Study the auction catalog. Consider hiring an art expert to advise you at the auction. They are helpful in quickly determining how high you should be willing to bid. The pace at auctions can be fast and the bidding can be confusing at times. If in doubt, don’t get into the bidding. Just watch. Be wary of online auctions. They aren’t always as reliable when it comes to authenticity and provenance. American art collectors love auctions and they can be fun but it pays to be prepared.

5. Other Resources for American Art Collectors and Sellers.

Fifth, the internet is a valuable tool to use when buying or selling American art. It can almost be too valuable. You will get a lot of results. Some are top-tier, such a Sotheby’s auction house. Premier auction houses like Sotheby’s are pretty much guaranteed to have great art for sale and to get you a good price if you are selling with them online. The same for premiere art galleries. However, the Internet provides a place to connect with auction houses, galleries, American art appraisers, buyers and sellers of all types. Many artists are selling their art online. Many people are selling the artwork they own online. There are also other resources that can help you. There are books available at your local library, at bookstores, and on Amazon that provide comprehensive price lists for American art. There are also a variety of websites that will help you research the value of American artwork and find American art appraisers. Thanks to the internet it is easier than ever to buy and sell your American art.