Building an Art Collection Like a Pro


It’s easy to fall in love with numerous pieces across a variety of eras, mediums, subjects and price points.

But building an art collection can sometimes be confusing and intimidating. How do you decide which direction to take? How do you navigate between online sites, traditional auction houses, and brick-and-mortar galleries? Should you seek “expert” advice and from whom?

There is no one answer to these questions. Building an art collection is a personal journey, and the best way to approach it is to follow your own taste and instincts. That said, there are a few general principles that can help you get started on the right foot.

Firstly, take your time. Building an art collection is not a race, and there is no need to rush. Take the time to explore different artists and styles, and learn as much as you can about the art world. This will not only help you make better choices, but it will also make the entire art collecting process more enjoyable.

Secondly, be patient. Good art doesn’t come cheap, so you will need to be prepared to spend some money. However, it is important to remember that art appreciation is not about financial investment; it’s about finding pieces that speak to you on a personal level. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to start small, and don’t be discouraged if your first few purchases don’t turn out to be masterpieces.

Finally, trust your gut. When it comes down to it, only you can decide what belong in your collection. So if you see a piece of art that you love, don’t second-guess yourself – go for it! Building an art collection should be a fun and rewarding experience, so make sure to enjoy the ride.

Panel Discussion: Josh Baer, Lisa Dolby Chadwick, Tom O’Connor and Jennifer Biederbeck

Four experienced panelists, including Josh Baer, founder of The Baer Faxt; Tom O’Connor, a private art advisor; Lisa Dolby Chadwick, founder of the Dolby Chadwick Gallery; and Jennifer Biederbeck, the Head of Sotheby’s San Francisco Office, will share strategies for emerging and experienced buyers.

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Josh Baer

Josh Baer is the determining factor that elevates and differentiates The Baer Faxt from other art industry newsletters.
In contrast to traditional journalism in which reporters look within the art world as outsiders to gather and disseminate vital information with little comprehension, Josh Baer is a renowned art expert who compiles art world data personally.  He has a unique position...

Meet the Expert

Tom O'Connor

Tom O’Connor has been an art advisor for over twenty five years. In that time he has helped hundreds of corporations and individuals to acquire unique and interesting art collections. He is adept at addressing large scale and campus wide projects. Tom specializes in sourcing and commissioning monumental paintings, sculpture and artwork in other media. Originally from New York, Tom returns...

Meet the Expert

Lisa Dolby Chadwick

Established by Lisa Dolby Chadwick in San Francisco in 1997, the Dolby Chadwick Gallery represents an international roster of emerging and mid-career artists working in traditional and hybrid media, including oil painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and photography. The gallery seeks to exhibit articulate, visceral and provocative new work, and to support its artists in the development of...

Meet the Expert

Jennifer Biederbeck

Jennifer Biederbeck currently serves as Head of Sotheby’s San Francisco Office. In this role she negotiates auction sales, private sales, and appraisals for Northern California buyers and sellers of art. She also oversees corporate support and outreach to art-related regional institutions. Ms. Biederbeck joined Sotheby’s in 1988 as a Cataloguer in Sotheby’s New York Jewelry...

Meet the Expert