Frequently Asked Questions

I'm an artist. How do I get a gallery?

This is probably the most commonly-asked question an art dealer hears. First, be sure that you have a coherent, consistently good body of work that you want to impose on the world. The work should be worth showing. Try to be sure that millions of other artists are not doing the exact same thing, that your work reflects your own artistic personality, and is original and distinctive. Then, take slides or excellent quality photographs of your work. My advice to artists is always to start locally. Approach your local frame shop, libraries, and college museums with slides. Once you've had some local exhibitions under your belt, it is easier to gradually increase your range. Here is a list of web sites with further information (see artists resource bookmarks)

Aunt Bessie died and left me a painting. What now? 

There are several new sites that do appraisals for a modest fee. If you cannot read the artist's signature on the work, and have absolutely no idea what you have, these sites can help.. They are: www,,,,

Do your research. Who did the painting? Are they listed? Take a photo of the painting and, take it to your local museum or art history department. Can they help you with the artist's name? If you get this information, look the painter up in books in the local library and make a photocopy of the artist's biography. Perhaps a curator from your local museum knows the name of a dealer who specializes in work from the region and period of the painting. Get an appraisal from her. Send a copy of the biography and photograph to Sotheby's or Christie's or a local auction house for an appraisal. When you have this information, either put the painting up at auction, give it to the dealer for resale, give it to a museum for a tax deduction, or enjoy it yourself.

Aunt Bessie was an artist. She died and left me with 100 paintings. Now what?

I always recommend that you visit your local university art history department and try to hook up with an art history student who might be interested in researching Bessie's career. These budding art historians are always looking for an undiscovered, deceased artist to bring to the market in an effort to make their name. Lastly, contact a lawyer involved with the art market to appraise the estate.

I saw a painting I liked in a local gallery. Should I ask for a discount?

Sure, everyone else does - Why not you?. The Art Lady's law of the discount - "Prices of art never go down. Discounts on art go up" Whether or not you'll get it is another question. Good situations for discounts include - if the artist is not selling well (obviously), if the dealer feels you might be an ongoing client he wants to cultivate, or if there the dealer has had the piece in inventory for a while and his cost was low. There are situations where a the dealer cannot consider a discount such as if he's gotten the piece on consignment from a collector and has little negotiating room, or if the artist is selling out. It never hurts to ask.