What is a deceptively expensive hobby that even millionaires can’t afford?

Someone says backpacking, someone says building coral reef aquarium, even someone says drinking, but my answer to this question is Art Collection.

Yes, Art Collection is the most expensive hobby

What does it take to be an art collector?

The obvious and short answer would be – deep esthetic sense and deep pocket. It will do if you don’t know much about art but you can’t help without a huge upkeep cost – the post-purchase maintenance.

Let‘s find the answer why even millionaires can’t afford to cherish this most expensive hobby

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Technically speaking, if you only have the strong will of collecting art along with the huge money, you can be an art collector. Conversely, if you share an intense craving for and an in-depth understanding of art, still you may fail to become a collector of artworks without an ever-ready and fabulous amount of cash flow to squander on.

This claim may sound a bit no-brainer apparently.

But if you try to find the detailed answer to “What does it cost to be an art collector?”, you will find the stated claim to be a sensible argument. To get the answer straight and clear, you have to go deep on what art collection refers to.

What do you mean by art collection?

Collection of artworks doesn’t only mean buying a piece of painting, photograph, sculptures or any form art and taking it home. This is not as simple as that.

The fact is not only buying. There are more crucial factors for pre and post consideration related to buying a piece of artwork. If you are a novice you can end up buying any striking art piece you have come across.

But afterward, you may discover that the ecstatic artwork you have spent your hard-earned money on is simply a duplicate of the original.

The hassle is not over even if you are lucky and expert enough to buy the original one as it will require profession framing, shelling, and installing, unlike other mundane objects. Because any of the said post-purchase tasks may ruin your object if done by an amateur or someone who is less than a professional or expert in the said trade.

I know what it is going in your mind….

If you think that a few or several dealings of art acquisition will give you the necessary exposure to overcome the mentioned inconveniences and the post-purchase cost will get cut-down to from minimal to zero as days pass by. You are utterly mistaken to think so.

In reality, the more art acquisition, the more expenditure to face as maintenance cost.

What are the advanced costs of collecting art?

We can put art collectors into three categories – novice, serious, and veteran. The amateur or novice level is well covered in the previous section. Now, let us explore the expenses you have to afford as serious or veteran acquirer of art pieces.

The expense of Serous Art Collection

A serious collector of artworks stands for the art enthusiasts who have cultivated or shared an in-born zest for fine arts. And their level of gathering artworks has fairly crossed the stage of occasional purchase of a painting, photographs, carving, and more.

Novice buyers most often buy without a pre-plan, on the hit of the moment, or to present as a precious gift to someone special.

On the other hand, an art enthusiast who has developed a serious interest in art plan for buying art pieces of any format and type on a scale larger than the amateur one. Most often they visit galleries and bid at auction rather than picking one or two from an exhibition or gallery.

That is where comes the question of expenditure

Because now you have to think seriously about detecting the original artwork with the help of a professional and specialized art advisor to avoid any forgery.

Now you are buying many pieces at a time and obviously costlier pieces than the earlier stage. Moreover, framing, shelling, installing, storing, and conserving lots of pieces entail huge and varied expenditure.

More to add, you are now in the stage of thinking on shipping of your newly bought pieces home or shifting the works in your collection for exhibition wherever it is meant for. Cost of all these surely claims a dedicated amount intended only for this.

Now you have to go to an art insurance policy

You may not have a foundation or museum to store and preserve your collection but you must have a dedicated room, floor, or space in your home for this. Not unknown to you, art pieces require different lighting, setting, and a safe distance from flammables and combustibles.

The expense of a Veteran art collector

Veteran art collectors are the one who shares an intense passion for a certain genre, period, or individual and keep on collecting from wherever available. Their march on gathering continues so long they live.

Proof has it that many art enthusiasts have amassed so hugely a body of artworks that they are left with two choices – whether to donate all their collections to a foundation or they themselves found a museum if affordable. In this case, visitors find a common motif or interest that remains active in their lifelong search for various artistic creations.

Whether he is a passionate and wealthy collector of massive art acquisitions or gathered too much over a longer period to conserve in private space, their collections will end up being placed in a foundation or museum for storage or preservation for the generations to come.

In either form – foundation or museum – you have to maintain a body of staff that includes art historians, curators, caters, advisor, conservator, and art designer in addition to building a house to shift all your collections forever, you have to spend a lot of money on storing those in different commercial art storage house on monthly rent so long your trust is not ready for ultimate conservation.

So the collection of art necessarily entails a huge cost and the cost varies depending on level to level – Amateur, Serious, and Veteran. But types of expenditure are the same that includes recognizing the real art, post-purchase tasks up to installing, storing, crating, and conserving.

Disturbance or absence of any one of the single costing is enough to ruin the value of the cherished collection. So subtle and sensitive is the case that even the overall value of an art piece can be harmed in packaging if not done by an expert. Physical artworks fall easy prey to ruination, unlike digital artworks.

How costly may collection of art be?

You are reading this section of the article is witness to the fact that you have already known what the overwhelming costs of acquiring art are. The total amount of cost varies from level to level but any stage of collection calls for all the types of cost.

A single piece of artwork will cost you on framing, packaging, shipping, shelling, installing, and insuring. If the number of the collection is on the rise, costing of storing and preserving will add to the stated ones. Storing and preserving expenses will go higher with time and space whereas the insurance fees depend on the value of the collection.

Now I will break all the costing type separately for your better understanding so that you can make an informed choice before jumping into the allure of art. Because once you are in, there is scarcely a turning back.

Advisor or Art Historian: Whenever you are making a huge purchase from a gallery or auction, you must take the professional help of an art advisor who will give you a practical estimate of the value of the total body intended to buy. They will give you a clear estimate keeping the after acquiring considerations in mind. That kind of counseling will start at the pre-purchase stage and should cost you anywhere from $300 to $1000.

An art historian and art specialist can come out clearly whether the piece under consideration is real or fake. It will be no less than 10% of the total value of the art.

Shelling & Framing: Immediately after the purchase, you need the acquisition to be framed and shelling to set it on the wall or where it deems fit. Safe shelling should come from a professional in the trade. Only a specialized one can tell where to shell in the wall by-passing the internal piping and wiring and where to shell the object without affecting the value.

The record has it that amateur shelling and framing has ruined the value of the art piece over time as the DIY or non-professional shelling runs the risk of harming the artwork.

And professional framing and shelling should be available at $500 in NY.

Installing: if the art piece is something other than a painting or photograph, suppose a multi-media assemblage or sculpture; your after purchase cost will go far beyond framing and shelling. Now you have to install it somewhere in your house needing to refurbishing floor or wall.

Purchase in Auction: Bidding in auction or buying in discount from the gallery is a common practice of someone who has grown a serious incrimination in collecting art. In the case of an auction, you have to be prepared to pay an additional fee of 20-25% of the hammer price in the name of Buyer Premium.

Sales Tax is the other burden that you have to bear at purchase and this 8.875% of in New York State.

Commercial Storage: When your collection will reach around 100 pieces of art acquisitions, you will require a different home and a dedicated storage space. A house with specialized with proper security, temperature control, UV windows, special lighting, and more can be fit store-it-yourself option costing up to six figures.

But you can do the storage at lesser cost in the commercial fine art storage options in Manhattan or outside. In Manhattan, any fine art storage will charge from $10-$12.5/sq.ft a month. You opt for the cheaper storage facility outside the city but this will cost you a visiting fee for your own collection.

Art Insurance Policy: Any level of collection will surely require an insurance policy estimated over the total value of the art in possession. Random buyers often find their home insurance policy sufficiently back their occasional art purchase. Your insurance broker can only come out with an expert opinion whether your existing policy will do or not.

Don’t worry. Art insurance will surely not break your bank and it has its tremendous return too. Unlike all the other cost, insurance of your art possession will not vary with time and space. Insurance rate is directly related to the value and it is as low as 5 to 20 cents/$100.

Cost for Museum/Foundation: On top of the expense of building and making your art possessions preserve-ready, you have to maintain a huge staff if you go for a museum or foundation to store and conserve your life long collection.

Besides the management and labor cost, you need a curator, advisor, and conservator payable on a monthly or yearly basis. But collectors of this stature can go tax-free and enjoy Freeport shifting.

Cost at Sale and Exhibition: Until now, we have discussed only the cost an art collector pay at purchase and maintenance. But if you want to sell or organize any fair of your art acquisition for any purpose, you may need to shift that elsewhere.

And shifting involves de-installing, shipping, and transit insurance. Whether you are taking those to the auction house for sale or to a gallery for display, the said cost will add up.

How to Collect Digital artworks?

Being the age of digital technology, a new and unseen-before trend is now emerging among the new generation artists. Artists now a day are experimenting with new accessible technologies – computer, smartphone, tab, iPod and more.

Now artists don’t require buying paint, easel, canvas, and brush but the said devices are not that cheap or affordable for all. And they are reaching in their well-deserved status and value. Off late, a digital artwork hiked up to $16000. Not a cheap price at all but more affordable than the physical ones.

Digital arts – prints, photographs, drawings – are created in digital format by using digital graphics, imagery, and pixels. But the wonder and fun are that they can very likably assume hard formats like paper prints, canvas, and fabricated cloth pieces. And they claim a hefty price then.

The good news is that you can digitalize your physical art pieces to see, manage, and show from anywhere offline and online. You must take the help of software for that and it will not siphon off your wallet though. There is software for art collection monitoring and management at an affordable price.

Billionaire in the art collection

An in-depth analysis will show that none but organization with hugely-funded trust and wealthy individual has become a dedicated art collector. Let’s present an instance before you who can become a successful art collector.

Alice Walton, one of the top US female billionaire, is not only one of the richest women in the world but her collection of art is pretty rich too. She showed the utmost devotion and sincerity to improve the gross life standard of Arkansas and she founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She opened it in her home town of Arkansas.

In the same line, she has another equally charming hobby of collecting horses in her most exclusive Texas ranches. This is also something that tells of her passion for beauty and art.

There are a handful of other art collectors but none is without a huge fortune to get unlimited cash to buy the most expensive and precious art pieces of any type and format.

How do art purchase and art collection differ?

One thing is common between art purchase and art collection and that is buying. Whether it is occasional purchase or persistent buying for collection, you have to buy artwork.

Conversely, they differ in the objective and degree of liking art. The objective of an art collector is to collect pieces of art and preserve them. On top of that, an art collector mostly shares a passion that keeps him or her on the ever-lasting travel of collecting artworks.

But the fine line between a random buyer and persistent collector is the huge amount of ready cash. Why the cash is so urgent that is made clear by now.

Final Verdict

Tremendous collection of art is a passion-driven and money-backed pursuit of artworks around the globe. Besides contributing to the art world, a large body of art acquisition can tell you about a time-period more than a detailed history book can inform. It focuses on different artists, genres, and time. Sometimes, art pieces are more of communicating the message of one age to the later than merely being an aesthetic object.

All these make an art collector a well-respected person and an authority. A valued collection of large artworks contribute to determining the present trends, future standards, and thus the course of history.

Any art enthusiasts or someone with an intense passion for art should read the article to fathom the depth of pocket they should be endowed with to collect artworks. But the collection of art can be a great fortune as instances are frequent that art collector makes a huge amount of money by selling their acquisition to the foundation or museum.

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