The role of selling art in a gallery is often labeled by the title "Art Dealer." While there are no specific qualifications that mandate the knowledge, skills or abilities an art dealer must possess, there are some fundamental basics that someone interested in selling art in a gallery needs to consider when contemplating this type of career.
Consider a degree in fine arts, art history or art administration if you are interested in becoming an art dealer. While there are no minimum education requirements to be considered an art dealer, education in the arts is highly desirable. The art world is an extremely complex field. Knowing about the subject is imperative.
Understand how the art market functions. Stay current on the value, prices and market fluctuations of the artwork you are interested in obtaining or selling. A good art dealer controls the market. By increasing the demand for what you are showing, you increase your profit.
Know why people buy art. People generally do not buy art because they fall in love with it and must own it. People buy art because they believe in its value and worth. Many people buy art as an investment. Part of an art dealer's job is like that of an investment banker. You need to know when to advise your patrons to buy and when not to buy artwork.
Develop a contact list that includes artists and patrons alike. Reputation is very important in the art world. Developing a loyal base of clients and artists is beneficial for sales and also for referrals regarding both artists and other buyers.
Visit unknown artists and discover new talent. Visit the galleries of established artists. Find artists to exhibit as the main function of selling art.
Tips & Warnings
- Success in selling art in a gallery or in becoming an art dealer depends greatly upon reputation. This does not happen overnight and may take years of hard work and constant learning to achieve.
- Dealing art is a financially risky occupation. Keep in mind that the dealer gets paid last after the bills for upkeep, the cost of openings and after the artists get paid.