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Article: How to Collect Art

How to Collect Art - Tappan

How to Collect Art


Art is Personal

As the saying goes, “Buy with your eyes, not with your ears.” When you start looking for works, trust what you’re drawn to most. Don’t buy it because you think you should. Every collection should be unique and personal.

Tappan Collective
Artwork by Tappan Artist Ethan Caflisch in the home of collector Eva Chen.
Photo Credit: Chris Mottalini for Architectural Digest.
Artwork by Tappan Artist Ali Beletic in the home of collector Alyssa Coscarelli aka @alyssainthecity.


Start Getting Involved

Go to gallery openings and fairs. The more you see, the easier it will become to work out what you like.

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Photos from recent openings and events at Tappan's Los Angeles location. Sign Up to get on the list


Feel comfortable asking questions about artists and their work

When it comes to art, there is no wrong interpretation of the work. Spend time learning about the artists you’re investing in. If you’re serious about the work and you can’t find what you’re looking for online, reach out to their gallery and ask to set up a studio visit.

Read our In the Studio series in our Journal to get familiar with how different artists speak about their work.

Tappan Collective  Mike McMullen
Artist Mike McMullen was interviewed by his wife and fellow artist Cheryl Humphreys on his studio practice. Read interview here.
Satsuki Shibuya studio
Artist Satsuki Shibuya talks with Tappan on how her gift of synesthesia informs her practice.  Read interview here.


Document your purchase

The more information you have on the context of your purchase, the better. In years to come, the history of where the work has been, the book from the show it was a part of, or the note the artist wrote you will all increase its value.


Ask yourself, “Why am I drawn to this piece?”

Does it make you see life differently? Does it inspire you? Do you like the artist’s technique? As you continue to ask yourself why you’ve purchased the art you have, you will not only learn about yourself, but also become more thoughtful in your future purchases.

Abstract Painting
Astri Styrkestad Haukaas in studio. See more work by Astri.


Go to a trusted source

At Tappan, we take pride in making it easier to get access to great art. Our collectors trust our curation. We choose artists who have a strong, dedicated practice so that our collectors can enjoy watching their careers evolve and grow. Our complimentary art advisors can help you find the perfect piece for a space and help you discover your collecting style for years to come.

Connect with our complimentary art advisors now


Just Do It

Once you start buying art, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and then you’ll begin to see what direction you want to take your collection in. Great collections are well thought-out, but first and foremost, you’ve got to develop your taste.

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Eva Chen | Collector Profile - Tappan

Eva Chen | Collector Profile

As the Director of Fashion and Shopping Partnerships at Instagram and the author of several empowering children’s books, it’s clear that Eva Chen has a stellar sense of style and optimistic poin...

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In the Studio | Jaimie Milner - Tappan
In the Studio

In the Studio | Jaimie Milner

Jaimie Milner is a photographer based in Los Angeles who brings contemporary black life into focus by photographing men unguarded in moments of their life. Built on the want to create a change ...

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