The Real Costs of Collecting Art

Artsy Magazine:  What It Really Costs to Be a Mega Art Collector

It’s no secret that purchasing art requires deep pockets. What people often don’t consider, however, is just how much it costs to maintain a collection once it’s been amassed. There’s no hard and fast formula for figuring out how much one should expect to spend on the myriad associated costs, but experts cite figures from between 1% and 2% of the overall value of a collection to as high as 15% to 20%. The variation is due to the wide range of services—shipping, installation, insurance, security, appraisals, storage, and conservation—that may or may not be required of a particular collection.

Of course, the more you acquire, the more you’ll likely spend in upkeep, but maintenance is not solely a function of the collection’s worth.

“It’s much easier to look at the total number of items rather than the overall value,” explains Simon Hornby, CEO of Crozier Fine Arts, a logistics and storage company. “The only thing the value affects is the insurance. The rest of it is based really on space and time, so a dollar figure can be a misnomer for how you look at this.”

Here’s what a beginner, serious, and veteran collector might expect to pay in ancillary expenses.

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David R. Wheeler - Contributing Editor

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