As an avid art collector, James Smith subscribes to an old fashioned notion. For James Smith, art is about beauty and cultural communication, not about impressing aristocrats. There is an ongoing discussion in the art world about the aesthetic value of prints versus the historic virtue of originals. James Smith suggests that framing a high quality print of a famous painting that one loves is just as valid as the reasons for which a more business minded collector might have for acquiring an obscure and lackluster original.
James Smith admits that original art pieces have an aura, dimension and texture that cannot be duplicated in a print, no matter how high the quality. Nevertheless, James Smith does not feel these qualities always merit some of the exorbitant prices that are paid for many original pieces of art. The best way to begin collecting art is to acquire art that the collector enjoys. With time, says James Smith, and as a collector’s experience grows, so will his or her discernment and sophistication.
Ultimately, adds James Smith, the rule of thumb for art collection, as in life, is “Be true to yourself.” Visit local museums and galleries. Pore over available art on websites. In time, the right piece will present itself. James Smith suggests purchasing art that has a personal resonance, be it print or original. And once you find the right piece of art, says James Smith, pay it proper respect by finding a suitable frame.
The right frame, notes James Smith, will add a whole new dimension to collectible art. Some frames are simple mass produced mountings. Other frames are elaborate hand crafted constructions that can cost more than the art itself. James Smith knows firsthand the folly of underestimating the affect of a well-matched frame. Consider how the right frame sets off a family photograph on a person’s desk. In this same spirit, concludes James Smith, the right frame for collectible art creates a window around the piece that invites the viewer into the world of the painting.