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Wednesday, January 18

Grant’s guide to buying art

A client emailed me over the weekend to ask about recommended art sources.

It really got me thinking about this and where I like to go for my home. To me, art is a very personal experience. What I might suggest for a client might not precisely coincide with what they would pick for themselves. For larger projects, clients often bring in art consultants that source from galleries around the world. But where would I suggest that clients look for art that isn’t going to break the bank? Where could they casually search on a Sunday afternoon? I decided to make a list (I am a big list maker!) and the list kept getting longer and longer. So I thought I would share my list...

Where do you purchase art for your place? Do you have favorite sources? I would love to hear what you think and if you have any great suggestions.

Here is my short list (there are FAR too many fabulous sources (online and some in San Francisco and New York), so please don’t take it personally if I didn’t add you to my list). In no particular order, here we go…

20x200 (limited editions x low prices) + the internet = art for everyone
Founded by Jen Bekman in 2007 with two core goals: They want everyone to collect art, and that they want to enable an economy that allows more arts make a living by making art.

Walker Pickering

Christian Chaize

Craig Damrauer

Michelle Vaughan

UGallery A unique online gallery offering affordable art. You can search by price, colors and sizes.

Kimia Kline

Mark Elverson

Alexandra Henry

Jennifer Ament Last year when I designed the kitchen for the Elle Decor Concept house in New York, I worked with Seattle artist Jennifer Ament (who does limited edition linocut prints). I just love how her art worked perfectly for the space that I was designing with Chinese menus as the backdrop...

I found artist Sally King Benedict (who lives in Charleston, SC) around a year ago, and I have been trying to find a spot in one of my projects ever since. I just love her use of vibrant colors.

Samantha French- A New York artist who paints swimmers (underwater and above) based on her childhood memories of lakes of northern Minnesota.

Lost Art Salon- is a fine art collection comprised of over 5,000 works of rediscovered, historically significant and contemporary artists. It reflects the major styles and movements of the 20th Century. Every collection is researched, reconditioned and catalogued for art historical records at the Salon in San Francisco.

Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco- featuring established, mid-career and emerging artists whose work randes in media to include painting, photography, sculpture and museum quality prints.

Sherie’ Franssen

Alex Kanevsky

Marshall Crossman
Chelsea James

Walter Kulman Studio, Sausalito. Kuhlman was one the pioneers of the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism as well as a member of the "Sausalito Six" – a ground-breaking group of young painters exploring the newly emerging “abstract expressionism.” (the other five were: Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, George Stillman, John Hultberg, and James Budd Dixon).

(here is a grouping of monotypes that I am working on)

Paulson Bott Press specializes in limited edition intaglio prints. The press emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich tradition of fine art printmaking. Paulson Bott Press’s philosophy is to facilitate rather than direct an artist, creating an environment where artists can do their best work.

Amy Kaufman
Squeak Carnwath

Tauba Auerbach

Why not RENT to own? Check out art from Hang Art or SF Moma Rental Gallery. Its a great way to take a few pieces of art out on loan for a few months and see if you really want to commit to buy. A portion of your rental goes toward the purchase. Lots of great emerging artists.

Peter Dimick

Gail Ragains

Catherine Palmer

Anthony May

Now if all else fails and you can't find exactly what you are looking can always paint something of your own. This was something that I painted (I was inspired by Franz Kline). If you are not up for a project on your own, I am sure that many artists would love to work on a custom commission.


Jennifer C. Webb said...

great post. A big fan of Sally Benedict well as southern artists Amanda Talley (New Orleans) and Michelle Armas (Atlanta.) All three create work ideal for creative interiors

Paisley Curtain said...

This is a very eclectic mix of resources, I can bet it will satisfy a lot of people who are looking for places to buy art.
Just to mention "Art renewal center" they have a lot of art of old masters that can be purchased in various sizes on canvas. I have tried them, they are good. The website is

Karena said...

Grant I would also suggest attending local Artists Coalition Auctions. In Kansas City many of the members donate a work of art. The selections can be amazing and run from 200 - 2500 range, depending on the piece and artist.


Art by Karena

The Wandering Wahoo said...

Go to an art fair or festival! Each one has its own personality, and you can find a show not too far from you with artists whose work aligns with your taste and budget. (Want a sweetgrass basket from 2008 MacArthur Fellow Mary Jackson...find her at an art fair!) Most art fairs require the artist to be there in person (rather than his or her representative) so you can see the work, learn about the creative processes, and perhaps even commission something, too.

A Perfect Gray said...

wonderful round up. I'm a big fan of Lost Art Salon.

sofa said...

Grant’s guide to buying art
I'm quite pleased with the ifonrmation in this post.nice and useful!
thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Grant-

Great list!! I also like Crown Point Press in SF, Bonhams in SF for prints, the every other year Cantor Museum Treasure Market Sale at Stanford has great prints and originals, Durham Press for prints, Pace Prints in NYC, SF Artists Gallery/MOMA at Fort Mason. So sad Art Exchange went out of business last year as I'd purchased many a unique piece over the years - wish there was a good consignment option locally. I've always wanted to check out the SF art school sales events but never have as they are also supposed to be good.

Love your blog,

Anonymous said...

great post!

Dean Farris, Designer

Gwen Driscoll said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing so freely.

Ellie said...

Thanks for this post! I can't wait to take a look at these sites and galleries.

Alexandra Rae said...

Fabulous post! I bookmarked it under Art. I'll come back and share my favs tomorrow!

coupons said...

Grant’s guide to buying art
Great post! and incredible blog ! Very helpful post! I must say. Simple & interesting. Wonderful work!
thank you!

Unknown said...

Excellent list! I also like local SF artist Ian Kimmerly for abstract works:

And LA is launching the Affordable Art Fair today, which is a great way to get started on your collection (or add to your existing):

the designers muse said...

What great sources. Thanks.

Windlost said...

Hi Grant - an interesting post. It must be a beautiful and exciting and daunting challenge to have to buy art on demand, to work into a room. Luckily, I just collect for my own home. I was not sure how to start and began rifling through piles of old paintings on the floor at antique stores. I could not sort out my favorite style and didn't want to spend a lot before I figured out what I wanted to collect. I found two stunning oil paintings, which I bought for $50 apiece and brought them home - they are seascapes that have been appraised at about $900 each by American miniature landscape artist Al Barker. That started me on seascapes - I bought another - original - and then I started onto landscapes, all small sizes, less than 14" or so. I recently bought an antique impressionist scene of Paris for $2400, so my tastes are increasing! I am cut off now. Honestly though, once I figured out what look I was after, the secret was just visiting a LOT of art galleries.

I go to galleries in every city we visit, and stop in at local galleries often. I have two favorite galleries in Washington DC, both in Georgetown. They are Addison Ripley here:

and Susan Calloway, whose Georgetown gallery is amazing:

I also have a dealer in Mass that I bought two paintings from, from a photo only. It is so easy to buy art online (too easy).

Anyway, great resources. There are also big art sales that I plan to start attending, as I want a more serious collection as time goes on!

xo Terri

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite is that you painted something yourself. That is just brillant. What an amazing idea.

mbwife said...

Good list! I had a lot of the print sources, but loved seeing the artists you featured.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the list!

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Kimia Kline said...

Thanks for this great round up of resources, and for including my painting in the mix!

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