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Appraising Art: Three Ways In Which Your Art Is Valued For Sale And Why It Matters

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Art has a fluctuating way of being valued. There are a lot of factors that go into appraising art, and it is not a science but a marketing and subjective process. Here are three ways in which art is valued and appraised for sale, and why it should matter to you as an artist when you are trying to promote your art for sale.

Fame and Demand

If you have a modicum of fame, and some of your art is in demand, then you can command a higher price for your art. However, an art appraiser would have had to hear about you and your work in order to appraise it higher at auction or to appraise it higher for insurance purposes. This may be difficult because some appraisers are more familiar with the dead greats in art than the living contemporaries. For this reason, you might want to get legal documents to certify your art as original, uncopied and belonging to you so that any art appraiser that crosses paths with your work can research you and get a better idea of how to value your works.


Art is always subjective. Unless a viewer is an art critic with a truly objective eye (and that is nearly impossible because art is a personal emotive and expressive media), you will find art appraisals all over the map. The valuation of a single piece of your work could have four different amounts from four different appraisers simply because of the way the appraisers see your work, interpret it through their own personal lenses and feel that a particular work would do at an auction if sold or resold. This means that sometimes you may have to find out what appeals to appraisers and cater your style to them to sell some works at a higher prices. This may seem like a sell-out, but if you like the work as much as the appraisers, then you will still be producing things of which you are proud to call yours.

Objectivity and Ultimate Gain

Objectivity of appraisers often borders on how good your work is, how it appeals to viewers, and what the ultimate monetary gain would be if the work could be sold at a certain price. While the overall focus is not about money when evaluating your work for sale or insurance purposes, it still has to be a factor. You may find appraisers who are completely "left brain" and use only objectivity and gain as the approach for evaluating art, and that may be beneficial in some instances. However, these appraisers may value your art at a lower price if you have not obtained a regional or national level of fame, so you may have to work really hard to get these appraisers to up the value of your work.

For more information, contact Wardell Appraisals or a similar company.