How to Start a Fine Art Collection for Your Child

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Start ’em young! We hear this phrase in all manner of reference to habits or activities best started in childhood. Whether it’s learning a second language or eating that dreaded spinach, setting up good investments in health and culture will positively affect a child’s maturity and development. Collecting art is no exception! Starting a fine art collection for your kids is not only a great way to encourage their interest in arts and culture, but also set them up for a potentially lucrative financial investment. If you’re new to art collecting, check out our article Art Newbie: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Artwork.

Here are the Lofty ABCs of building a collection for the tiny tikes in your family.

 

A is for Attention

banner1 Images (From Left to Right): Gregory S. Bruno, Desserts, 2015, Karel Appel, Homme, 1969, After Tom Everhart, Squeeze the Day – Wednesday

Pay attention to the things your child is interested in. This can be as simple as his or her favorite colors, particular shapes, toys, TV shows, films, sports, or even food. Take your kids to local galleries or museums and flip through art books to get a sense of what they’re drawn to. Your child’s collection is also a visual history of memories and if it speaks to their unique tastes, they will feel even more bonded to it as they age. Look for artists whose work speaks to your child’s interests, but who also have respectable CVs. These can be found either by request to the representing gallery or on the artist’s website. If the artist is alive and local, reach out about a studio visit to meet the artist and learn about their process, as well as see other works. If your child is old enough to participate in such a visit, they will feel even more personally invested in the work and get a first-hand experience with the artist who produced it. Knowledge is power and that’s a great lesson to learn at any age.

 

B is for Budget

banner2 Image Left: LeRoy Neiman, Florida Gators Image Right: LeRoy Neiman, The DiMaggio Cut, 1998

Setting aside a monthly or yearly budget for your child’s art collection establishes a schedule of savings and investment that teaches financial responsibility and places importance on planning regular art acquisitions. Sharing the details with your child makes them more aware of the money allocated for purchases and will provide an easy transition when you feel ready to give them access to the account. Creating artist wish lists and noting market prices help organize acquisition priorities and give your child something to look forward to when their budget builds enough to buy a long-awaited piece.

 

C is for Curating

Image: Eyvind Earle, Prince Phillip, study for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”, 1950

A collection isn’t meant to stay stored in inventory, collecting dust and age. If you have the space, don’t hide it away! Curate your child’s collection in areas they spend time in. This could be a gallery wall of prints and paintings in their bedroom or a large scale installation in a stairwell or even various works in a common room, such as a den. If you have a backyard, install a land art sculpture (no sharp edges!). However you choose to install the collection, your child will see first-hand how it grows and changes in the environment they live. Curating the art to tell stories – color or theme or shape, for example – provides a fun exercise for your child’s imagination and sense of history. It also teaches them the value and importance of art as something to learn from and enjoy in an intimate space.

 

Feature Image: Eyvind Earle, Castle, study for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”, ca. 1950s