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Fine Art/Can a painting have great value if not by a listed artist and....

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Question
I'm interested in buying a painting and the artist is not listed, but I love the painting and will probably buy it anyway. I'm curious though, if a piece of work is done very well, but I can't find any information on them online...could it still have great value or just decoration type value? How would one research a piece of art that might not be listed online or in Davenports, but by someone who still is known?

Also, I love art and would like to buy and sell. I'd like to sell the art I have collected at auction, but I don't really have provenance for it. I tend to get things online, estate sales, etc. It seems like many auction houses don't want to give you the time of day, even if these artists are well known and valuable. Would it be in my best interest to use someone to authenticate my art prior to bringing it to auction or is there another way to get in the doors of these big auction houses? I have sold some art with Bonhams in California, but they tend to only want California art. I have not contacted their other departments yet though with the latest I'd like to sell. Thanks for any thoughts on these subjects and thank you very much for your time.

Answer
Stephanie,
98.5% of the stuff in frames, on canvases, on paper is, how should I say it, "beauty in the eye of the beholder", but of little monetary value.  Troll online auction sites, you can find lots of it.  This is not to say you cannot find wonderfully fun artwork, stuff that catches your eye, that would look terrific in a certain corner.  

Best bet is to find a nearby art dealer who carries the type/style of artwork you wish to collect.  Put your trust in someone who has a long history in dealing, who has seen many thousands of artworks, and is reasonably well educated in the field.  You will be paid back for any premium you feel you may be paying this person.  

And the standard maxim about art always applies..."Buy what you love."

Good luck.
Stu

Fine Art

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Stuart Cartwright

Expertise

American Fine Art Paintings.
Oils, Watercolors, Sketches. Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century. Hudson River School, Pennsylvania Academy, Cape Ann artists, Ash Can, Woodstock, Florida Indian River, American Impressionists, etc. I can provide some background about artists and perhaps a rough appraisal or guidance towards obtaining a value. I am acquainted with many of the best American art dealers and auction houses. Original works only, I do not follow the print market. I do NOT field questions about prints.

Important to know
I am not expert in European art. I encourage you to send questions on European artists to other experts on this service. NO PRINTS:I encourage you to seek help on prints elsewhere. Two sites come to mind: www.artoftheprint.com and www.philaprintshop.com

Experience

I have been collecting original American Fine Art for over 20 years. I have curated art shows, and I have served as a dealer, providing appraisals and guidance for the last 8 years.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts Master of Business Administration

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