Very large companies have the budget to invest in art and they can eschew young artists for the more established ones. These businesses have a reputation for collecting and are sought after by the most prestigious galleries. It would be a great job to be the curator. You would research auction prices, make purchase recommendations, establish a budget, and rotate pieces every so many months. I imagine that a degree in art history would be suitable if not some experience managing a gallery.
Small companies are starting to jump on the bandwagon. They have a different perspective on the concept and go for local artists as a kind of support for the community. When clients visit the premises, they are given information and a tour—just like the big guns do. The owners take great pride in their personal taste and don’t often delegate buying to staff. It is one of the advantages of being small.
Collecting art is all about making critical decisions so that the works chosen will grow in value. It is more and more about enjoying an aesthetic environment these days now that the art market has peaked. Even though prices have declined, famous artists who are “blue chip” cost a pretty penny. Now it is time to discover up and comers, those who will have a “name” in a few years. Getting a good collection may take a lot of legwork and a good deal of travel. The more you see, the more you learn. Read what famous collectors and museum curators say about the experience.
I visited one small boutique firm that had only contemporary art. Each office had a theme and at least three works that complemented one another in color palette and style. Ceramic and glass objects sat on the desk and credenza to round out the mood. It was a wonderful concept. Each office held a surprise or two. The office manager explained that art fairs and expos are loaded with a display of local talent. You can work directly with the artist on price and they will even deliver a painting or sculpture.
If you see art on the walls of an office, they are often prints and all alike. It is as if the owner or manager bought everything from one source. This is not my idea of a real collection. It should be about individuality and reek of hand-made. Price may well be an object, but if you are in tune with your local artist community and group shows, you will do well. I have never visited a city that didn’t have a plethora of fine artists.