In Art Is For All: A Brief Look At Art Collecting Through The Ages, personal property valuation expert witness and owner of Thomas Charles Editions of Phoenix, AZ, Lisa A. Barnes, writes on how art is valued:
Conventional wisdom has it that all areas of art collecting can occasionally suffer eclipses but eventually return to favor. From the collector’s point of view, the theoretical solution has always been simply to buy “good art,” works that will transcend the whims of fashion and stand the tests of time. This lead us to the inevitable questions; what makes art good, and who gets to decide? It is probably safe to say that technical achievement in art will always be valued, and will always be rediscovered. Beyond that, there is only educated opinion – and it is constantly changing.
There are simply no eternal verities in art. A Rembrandt may be worth more than a Murillo, yet prices for works by Old Masters, however rare their appearance on the market, have lagged behind Contemporary American artists and the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. During the 1980’s, a Jackson Pollock sold for more than a Rembrandt or a Leonardo Da Vinci. In 1986, a single Jasper Johns, “Out the Window,” painted in 1959, sold for $3.63 million, the exact same amount as Da Vinci’s “Lamb,” one of two authenticated works still in private hands. It was private buyers that changed the rules…
In selecting art for your personal enjoyment, choose it because you love it. Love it simply for the pleasure and enjoyment it brings to your heart. If it sings to you, buy it, take it home and cherish it!