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STARTING A (VINTAGE) ART COLLECTION

I meet a lot of people who love and are moved by art but are not certain how to go about buying it, and collecting it. They visit galleries, flea markets, second hand shops, thrift shops, or look at what we buy for My French Maison, but are having a hard time making a choice.

As someone who shops for our online store and for her own home (I buy contemporary art from living artists, and vintage art as well), I always get a question - why is this painting in your collection? Why did you select this and not the other?

And inevitably - how do I start? I don't have a lot of money, or space. I don't know how,

I don't know what I like, what if I make mistake...



First of all, there are no rules (well, just a few little ones!). So here are my "five cents", or "cinq centimes", on the subject:

1 - Buy what you like, and trust your instincts - you cannot make a mistake. Collecting is a very personal activity, and if it makes you feel good, nobody else's opinion matters (unless they're your life partner, but that's another blog post!). If you are drawn to a piece of art, if it "speaks" to you, I say go for it!

2 - It doesn't need to be expensive - you can build a unique collection of affordable pieces that doesn't break the bank.

This was one those pieces that "called to me" from across the way. Is it the vibrant green, or the gold frame, or the charming lady in white robe? No matter, this painting "spoke to me" from the first moment I saw it

3 - Take your time. There is no pressure, collecting is an ongoing process. It is also an exciting and enjoyable process, that can take years and become a passion (or an addiction, depending who you talk to). Don't feel pressured to acquire many pieces all at once (unless you love them, of course!), but...

4 - If you see that perfect piece right in front of you, go for it! It's very likely that you will never see it again, and will always think of it as the one that got away...


Perfect and imperfect - these were found on one trip to a flea market, and somehow all the items harmonize beautifully

5 - Flaws can be good; buying vintage means being OK with little flaws and signs of time the piece usually comes with. Make peace with little imperfections that give your vintage find a little character. But - structural integrity is important. For example if a painting is stretched on a wooden frame which is in very poor condition, it may be very hard to have it repaired. If it has a huge cut right in the middle I would think twice... Same goes for dirt - if you're OK to live with it, it might not bother you. But if a painting could benefit from a good cleanup, consider your time and additional expense to bring it to a former splendor.


Above all - have fun! Shopping for vintage is an adventure. Keep your eyes open, and enjoy it!

Next up on our blog: Decorating with (Vintage) Art


The Vintage Art section in our shop can be found by following this link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/myfrenchmaison?section_id=25222042


(by Joanna)

Both painting and sculptures are on our radar when we go to antiquing

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