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Jones Fine Art Newsletter
January, 2011

Art Values

Money and value is always a significant topic when art purchases are being considered. Customers always ask, "How is art valued?" "Will its value go up?"

We always feel it is important to keep in mind that over 90% of all art will probably never increase in price. That doesn't mean each work isn't valuable for our lives and our general well being.

Art is not valued by accountants and it never has a set formula. Curators, researchers, social scientists, scholars and dealers all have input into the pricing mix. There is a basic concept in art circles that quality will always rise to the top. While that is generally true it sometimes takes a while. For example, we sold significant works by regional impressionist Paul Sawyier (1865-1917) for under $10,000 in the early to mid-80's. Books and exhibitions have provided a broader understanding of his work so that today comparable works are six to eight times that amount. Likewise, every institution and significant collection of modern works must have a major Andy Warhol from the 60's. That has pushed many of his works over the $1,000,000 price level.

While no one can foretell the future, if you are interested in potential future gains, there are several points to consider:

Do you want to live with the work? (Things you love seem to appreciate.)

How does it compare to other works by the same artist?

Is the artist in any books or other publications? Any planned?

Is the artist in any museum or major collection?

What is the provenance of the work?

Research and education are your greatest tools.

We continue to have great respect for the Russian Impressionists whose work we support. Bob Garren continues to bring back great works. There is still a significant amount of research underway on the artists and we've recently reviewed some working copy for a new book that is underway.

© 2011 Jones Fine Art