Art Valuation: How Condition Can Affect an Artworks Value


Experts offer a look at what every art collector should know about damage, appraisal and conservation in the world of fine and decorative arts.

Art valuations are tricky business. Even experienced experts can have a hard time agreeing on a fair price for a work of art. There are many factors that contribute to an artwork's value, including its size, medium, age and condition. In this talk with Gordon Lewis and Erica Hartman, we'll take a closer look at the role that "condition" plays in art valuation.

Cracks, Tears and Holes When it Comes to Art Valuation

Small cracks, tears, or holes may not seem like a big deal, but they can significantly affect an artwork's value. These types of damage are often classified as "restoration needs," which means that the damage should be repaired by a professional restorer before the piece can be sold or insured for its full value. In some cases, damage may be so extensive that it is considered "conservation needs," which generally refers to damage that requires intervention by a professional conservator.

Artwork Fading and Discoloration

Fading and discoloration can also affect an artwork's value, particularly if the piece is a photograph or print. Fading is caused by overexposure to light and is irreversible. Once a piece has begun to fade, there is no way to stop the process. Discoloration, on the other hand, is often caused by pollutants in the air and can usually be cleaned. However, depending on the severity of the discoloration, cleaning may not be possible or may reduce the value of the piece.

To sum things up, condition is just one of many factors that can affect an artwork's value but it is definitely a significant one. If you're thinking about buying or selling a work of art, make sure you're taking its condition into account so you can get the best possible price.

Gordon Lewis and Erica Hartman Sharing Their Experience

The panel discussion presents the factors that affect art valuation, including the substantive issues and influence of condition.

Our experts bring with them a wealth of knowledge to share. With forty years’ experience in conservation and restoration, Gordon Lewis has had the pleasure of conserving works by some of the world’s most significant artists. Further, Erica Hartman is the President of Hartman & Company.

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Gordon Lewis

With forty years’ experience in conservation and restoration, Mr. Lewis has had the pleasure of conserving works by some of the world’s most significant artists including Peter Paul Rubins, Rembrandt, Frau Angelico, Gilbert Stewart, Salvador Dali, Picasso, Amsel Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Rembrandt and Caravaggio among others. As a consultant to the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China, Mr....

Meet the Expert

Erica Hartman

Erica Hartman, MBA, AAA is the President of Hartman & Company, a Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America, and a Senior Accredited Member of the American Society of Appraisers with specialties in prints and Post-War Fine Art. The firm also provides marketing and sales consultations to individual and corporate collectors and curatorial services to community-based...

Meet the Expert