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Building an Art Collection



Tuesday 17th May


9:30 am to 11:00 am

at Morton’s Club,  Mayfair.

Price Member (please login) Free 
Price Non-Member £50.00

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Tuesday 17th May 2016

9:30 am to 11:00 am



Morton’s Club, 28 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 6EN



There is a big difference between buying art and collecting art. Buying art is more of a random activity based on likes, preferences or attractions at any given moment, while collecting art is more of a purposeful directed long term commitment. In both cases, you buy what you like, but if your goal is to collect art and do it right, you have to master two additional skills. The first is being able to effectively research, evaluate and decide whether or not to buy whatever works of art attract you. The second is being able to choose each individual work in such a way as to form a meaningful grouping aka a collection.

If you’re like most people, you know how to buy art on a piece-by-piece basis, but may not be all that accomplished at formulating a plan for making multiple acquisitions over time, or in other words, building a collection. You can find art you like just about anywhere you look and in a seemingly endless array of subject matters, mediums and price ranges, but sifting through it all in a systematic manner can be overwhelming and even intimidating. So how do decide where to focus and what direction to go in? How do you relate one purchase to the next? How do you organize or group your art together in ways that make sense? How do you present it? And most importantly, how do you do all these things well? This is what collecting is all about; it’s the ultimate case of controlled purposeful buying.



Nicolas de Oliveira is a curator, writer and academic who has published numerous books on Installation art and individual artists’ monographs. He is Course Leader of the Masters Programme Curating the Contemporary at London Metropolitan University in partnership with Whitechapel Gallery. He was the co-founder of the Museum of Installation and has run several independent galleries curating a wide range of exhibitions, as well as running an independent imprint, the Mulberry Tree Press. His languages include Portuguese, German, Spanish and English.