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Book Review: The Art of Buying Art by Alan Bamberger

By in Art And Culture


The Art of buying Art is the perfect book if you are thinking about becoming a collector and are wondering where to start, or if you’re simply curious to understand how collecting art works. It deals with how to go about selecting art, budgeting, where to look, economics in the art world, reputations, how to spot damage and restoration issues, and how to deal with the complexities of the art world.

The Art of buying Art

Perhaps you’ve already started out as a collector and are curious how others do it – this book is full of guidance and tips for those already collecting art but looking to improve their business. Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a collector, but are put off by the idea that it’s only for the extremely wealthy? Bamberger also deals with how this doesn’t always have to be the case. If you are serious about discovering more about the art of collecting, this book is a great place to begin.

The Art of Buying Art is a detailed 284 pages. The book is divided in four parts: Define, Select, Research and Buy. To get an idea of what’s covered in each of these sections, why not view the chapter descriptions on Amazon’s ‘look inside’ feature, which also gives you an idea of the style of writing.

The most up to date edition is a 2007 paperback 2nd edition, although it doesn’t look like there’s a Kindle edition just yet.

For each part of the book, Bamberger explains the different elements of collecting clearly and without any confusing jargon. It is aimed at the novice collector, so perhaps very experienced collectors would find it a little basic on advice.  Saying that, you don’t even have to be a budding collector to get use from this book – it’s also really helpful for artists. There is often said to be a bit of a divide (particularly in the online sales world), between buyer and artist, and this book may just help artists understand their audience. Definitely worth a read!


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