The Art Collector’s Library: Intro

Learning about becoming an art collector can seem elusive. It shouldn’t be.

The Art Collector’s Library is to help you build your art collector bookshelf. You can use Amazon to find the right book for you and then shop at your local bookstore in-person or at bookshop.org.

Building a library should be based on what you want to learn. This post is for brand new collectors. Once you get through these, you can choose amongst the subsequent posts for what suits you best.

A Year in the Art World by Matthew Israel
A Year in the Art World by Matthew Israel

An Introduction

This book is an excellent place to start if you are brand new to the art world. Israel gives an easy-to-read account that highlights vital people, places, and events that make it all happen. He covers one segment per chapter to provide a clear overview.

Learn about what drives artists and their work, who curates important galleries for museums, why art fairs have become important in the last decades, and why you should hope museums never close.

https://amzn.to/3AnEhZC

If you work for an art dealer, these are likely the three books they will give you to learn about the field. An art collector should understand the ecosystem they are joining, just as art gallery assistants want to learn what collectors desire.

Selling Contemporary Art How to Navigate the Evolving Market by Edward Winkleman
Selling Contemporary Art How to Navigate the Evolving Market by Edward Winkleman

Art’s Hot & Cold

This provides valuable insights into what the market is made of, how it works, and what kinds of artists are in demand.

Using a combination of anecdote-based essays and cold business statistics, author Edward Winkleman walks through how an artist’s resale value on the secondary market changes as they enter different phases of their career.

https://amzn.to/32olrFl

📕The $12 Million Stuffed Shark The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Donald N. Thompson
The $12 Million Stuffed Shark The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Donald N. Thompson

London and Global Stops

Thompson, an acclaimed museum director and art collector, presents a witty, wide-ranging account of contemporary art. He takes us around the world, beginning with a surprising meditation on Christian saints and the transformation of relics into commodities.

Thompson travels to Venice Biennale openings on the canals, inside Damien Hirst’s London studio, Beijing’s 798 Art District for a revelatory conversation with Zhang Xiaogang, and to Silicon Valley with Peter Thiel.

https://amzn.to/3AlN9yQ

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

The New Global Economy

A funny and insightful look at the contemporary art world from a writer whose eye was sharpened by a stint as a critic for The Economist.

The art world culture of the last twenty years has created an astonishingly rich, interconnected, internationalized, but also strangely hereditary system of artistic patronage.

We are accustomed to thinking of today’s artists as individuated creators who pursue their own projects with passion and drive. And yet, according to Sarah Thornton’s investigations, dominant patronage systems have always been intimately linked with individual creativity.

https://amzn.to/3Iu5flm