What Makes Art Valuable?

What Makes Art Valuable? (Why Do We Value Art)

The value of art is more than just being creative, decorating a house, or the monetary value of materials used (like using gold, ivory, and rare paints).

Here are a few other reasons why we value art so much:

  • Historical Value: One of the most popular reasons we value art is that it can be a record of cultural history. Art is inextricably tied to the time and cultural context it was created in.
  • Religious Value: For religions around the world, artwork illustrates their beliefs (like portraying gods and goddesses in paintings or statues).
  • Symbolic Value: Art is uniquely suited to communicating ideas and, in some cases, distill complex concepts into symbols that can be understood across language barriers and cultures.
  • Personal Value: Art, especially today’s art, is often a deeply personal communication. When an artist creates art, they express their worldview, their culture, their stories, and their imagination with the world. The more you can relate to a piece of art, the more value you will give it.

What Makes Art More Valuable?

Here’s a list of some qualities that make art worth more money:

  • Artist: An artist’s popularity, backstory, and death will greatly influence the cost of a piece of art.
  • Materials: Generally speaking, canvas works are typically worth more than those on paper and paintings are often at higher values than sketches or a print.
  • Condition: An artwork’s physical condition is an important factor. Tears/rips, paint loss, cracking, water damage, fading, dirt, discoloration, and frame damage can all decrease the value of a piece of art.
  • Authenticity: Artwork that is created directly and personally by a particular artist is worth more than a copy (print) or imitation.
  • Provenance: A record of who the artwork belonged to can also be used as a guide to authenticity and quality. If a painting was once owned by a famous collector or came from an esteemed art gallery, the value of the artwork will greatly increase.
  • Historical Significance: First, the value of a piece will increase if it had any importance to art history in its genre (category). But world history also affects the value of the artwork since it’s often a reflection of cultural, political, economical, social, and military history.
  • Auctions: Just the sudden feeling of excitement bidders can have at an auction, especially if the auctioneer is skilled at making an auction exhilarating, can raise the price of a piece of art.

How Do You Know if Artwork Is Valuable?

If you’re really serious about knowing if a certain piece of art is valuable, find an art appraiser at a gallery, museum, or auction house (or just google “art appraiser near me“).

A certified art appraiser is trained to determine the authenticity and value of pieces of art. They work with other art experts to compare pieces and to find similarities and differences that make the artwork unique.

They’ll also look at the condition of the artwork for any physcial flaws.

If the artwork is authentic and in good condition, they’ll do an evaluation of the market. They’ll look at former sales by the same artist, works in the same genre, the climate of the market in general, and the current demand for the artist.

All of this will allow the appraiser to give you a professional opinion of what the artwork is worth.

What Is the Most Valuable Piece of Art?

On November 15, 2017, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting named “Salvator Mundi” was sold for $450,312,500.

This painting was made in approximately 1490-1500 and was auctioned at Christie’s (a renowned British auction house).

Although you might not be able to buy the original painting, you can buy prints and reproductions of Salvator Mundi on Etsy.

So, go ahead and buy art (my favorite place to find art to invest in is Saatchi Art) and HAVE FUN shopping!