Monday, February 11, 2013

The Importance of Collectors and Patrons on Legacy

I implore you to collect and patronize the arts.  Not just because your financial support is so very needed but because it is the collectors and patrons who help shape the face of the future.  So many artworks and artists are lost to time.  A lot of art ends up in estate & garage sales, thrift stores, antique malls and flea markets, destroyed, dumpstered, or reappropriated by other artists for raw materials.  It is those works that are collected and preserved that go on to become part of art history later.  We have been fortunate to recover some more neglected and forgotten history later on, but just imagine if more of it had been better preserved and celebrated before it was lost and later rediscovered?  The entire face of art history and even the current state of the arts and its influences could be dramatically different.

And it's not just the permanent collections of major institutions that play an important role in this.  Private patronage is important.  Many prestigious permanent collections in institutions have been borne from remarkable private collections, and every one of those private collections started somewhere, with some first acquisition...  So don't belittle yourself for not being able to establish a world-renowned museum or fund a major exhibition but recognize that your patronage & support has value at whatever level you can offer and that everyone starts someplace.  Follow your own path, plant the seed, foster it and let it bloom.

In Trends: Young Female Collectors Buy, Support Women's Art in the recent Women's Caucus for Art Artlines newsletter, Jaimianne Amicucci wrote of the importance of young, female collectors shaping art trends, noting that "With the influence of women collectors, it is only natural to see an increase in women's art becoming more of a demand."  Let's face it, money speaks.  Collectors and patrons hold a lot of influence over what is created, celebrated and shown at all because they are buying, and galleries and artists are often moved out of business savvy and necessity to pursue what is selling versus what is not.  So, if you want to see a movement fostered and to help promote certain kinds of work, your pocketbook has power!  Buy art and help to fund & promote institutions that help to foster that discourse.  As Amicucci goes on to state, "We can only hope it continues to diversify the spectrum of collectors to reflect a multifaceted art market in the future."

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