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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shopping for Art made eas(ier) by Blair Douglas

Hans Wegner "Shell" chair from Wyeth, found on

"The Sledding Hill" by Joseph O. Holmes found on

There are a range of types of art patrons. We know the connoisseur, the collector, the decorator, the art lover, the novice... the clueless filler of barren wall space. If you find yourself nestled somewhere between the expert connoisseur and the utterly clueless, you may be realizing a glimmer of desire to invest in art, but not a great idea of how to go about it. It is, after all, a daunting task. Doing it the right way (avoiding finding a piece of actual garbage nailed above your dining table) takes some research, advisement, and precious time spent browsing. The good news is: the pursuit of purchasing art has gotten a whole lot more convenient.

The art world's answer to the realization that the young art patron's first "art shopping" stop is the internet, is a new and flourishing online art market. We use it because it is the fastest, easiest way to figure out what we like, how much it costs, and how far we have to go to get it. Try the veteran for high end antiques, mid-century furniture, eclectic objet d'art and, most recently, fine art from some of the most prestigious art dealers. You can find limited edition photographs and works on paper on one of my personal favorites, The easy to navigate websites of are where to find prints by big name artists and works by lesser known emerging artists. I could have filled my walls 100 times over with the treasures found on! Museum websites are a great place to order prints of little known masterpieces- just find a fantastic frame! And, if you are confident you have a great eye, you'll be surprised by what you can find on ebay. Really!

Many auction houses have online bidding features which allow you to bid live with those present at the auction. Try Heritage, Christie's house sales, Doyle's, and Shannon's Fine Art Auctioneers for fine art, antique furniture and jewelry. Buying art and antiques this way guarantees a unique purchase. It is my favorite way to shop!

Often times, however, nothing compares to finding an old treasure in a vintage store, getting something meaningful on your travels, or stumbling into an amazing off-the-beaten path gallery. Let the online art world simply be one of many ways you fill your life with the beautiful things you love! The best little secret? The best reason to buy is because YOU can't live without it, no matter where it comes from!

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