Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

3 Reasons Framed Art is a Good Entry into Collecting

Lot 1177 Autumnal Landscape at Sunset by William Charles Baker: This piece has so many bright colors that would make it really stand out from a wall. It’s also large enough to make a real statement to any decor.

Whenever I have my hands really into staging a furniture and decorative arts auction in the Marlborough preview and auction rooms, I am always thrilled to find how effective hanging the artwork at the end of the process can be in tying the whole look of the room together. One day there are barren walls around some furniture, and the next day well balanced, inviting and richly decorated rooms emerge. That’s the reason why, when I moved into my freshman dorm room, one of the first things I did was go out and buy colorful posters for my walls. Every time I’ve settled into a new place, it doesn’t feel like mine until my walls are awash with color, pattern, and design.

As the years have passed, my tastes have moved from posters to a variety of different prints, paintings, and photographs. Although I never considered myself a collector, I realized just the other day while gazing around my home, that I am, and that I am a collector of framed art. And as collections do, my collection started with a few pieces here and there that didn’t necessarily relate to each other, but over time has grown to an eclectic, well-integrated group of wall art that brings me joy whenever I return home at the end of a long day. With that in mind, I thought I would go into why I think framed art is a great entry into collecting.

1) Doesn’t Take Up Floor Space

I live in a rather small Boston apartment – it fits about all the furniture that it can right now. I’m typically not drawn towards more furniture simply because it wouldn’t be a practical choice. What I do have in spades is wall space! I have a variety of different-sized framed items on my walls in my hallway, kitchen, living room, and bedroom. They add texture, color and design without compromising my precious floor layout.

Lot 1077 Seven Sheet Music Covers: Le Petit Trottin by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: This group of graphic prints from a recognizable artist, would make a nice little collage hung together, or they could be scattered about a house to add some cohesion to your entire aesthetic.

 

2) Easy to Color Coordinate and Ties a Room’s Look Together

My first auction purchase was a pair of 19th century etchings. They were cute and small and of European cityscapes. Being black ink on white(ish) paper made them a choice that would work in almost any setting. I’ve since grown my collection, but have typically stayed in this neutral black and white color scheme. Black and white photographs, prints, drawings, and graphic posters. I’ve also added punches of red (thank you to my Bette Middler 1972 touring poster) to add some color. Any and all color schemes you are interested in incorporating into your home can easily be found in framed works.

3) Framed Art Is Easy to Move

I’ve moved a number of times in the last couple of years. Moving is pretty terrible and while I can’t move my sofa by myself (thank you friends!), I can move all of my framed art quite easily and without needing too much packing material. It lays flat, so I am able to fit everything in my small VW in one trip. Once I’ve moved into a new place, it also gives me a great sense of accomplishment to get everything up on the walls in new and exciting ways, allowing me not only to get acquainted with the new space but to get to know the art in a new way as well. It’s an easy way I can welcome myself into my new home.

Lot 1130 Study of a Cat by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen: This sweet little drawing of a cat ticks both my cat lover box and super portable box.

Lot 1233 Still Life with Peanuts by John Clinton Spencer: I find this whimsical still life so charming. It’s small and I could easily see hung up in a kitchen, a bar, or a den.

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