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Courses and Groups

Line of people with looking towards the sea

Skegness International 2009, Suitcases, Plovdiv drama theatre, Bulgaria.

Courtsey of John Byford.

Group of people listening to someone speaking

Architecture Week 2005, Official Launch Renew Rooms Liverpool

Photo: Pauline Neild


If you are looking to gain a better insight of the art world, in general, and keen on getting expert advice on how to buy and collect contemporary art and craft, why not sign up for a course?

Not only will you gain more knowledge, but a course may give you that push to buy your first piece of art.  It could even give you that extra bit of confidence to buy more adventurous artworks by artists you may not have considered before.

Attending a course is also a great way to meet like-minded people who share your interest in the visual arts.

A key time to attend a course is in the run up to key calendar events such as the art fair season in October. This way you can use your new knowledge and insights to their best advantage by visiting an array of galleries from around the world all at one time.

Which organisations offer art buying courses?

The below organisations offer courses, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Whitechapel Gallery, in East London, runs a course titled 'Collecting Contemporary Art',  which provides an overview of the visual arts from the 1960s to the present and gives participants the opportunity to meet leading collectors, artist and gallerists.
  • Sotheby's Institution of Art offers many courses, but of note are the short courses coinciding with international art fairs.  Sotheby's are offering a hands-on learning experience about art buying at Frieze Art Fair.

If you have an interest in not only collecting, but also in learning about art and its history, then visit some of the leading arts galleries and museums websites as most of them will offer evening, weekend or short courses.

You could always go one step further and seek the help of an art adviser! Although this a service can be expensive it may be well worth the investment if you are looking to build upon an existing collection.  Due to the competitive nature of the art world, one of the most important roles of an adviser is to provide their client access to works at the very first opportunity.  An art adviser should also facilitate introductions to galleries and art dealers and encourage their client to develop their tastes. 


What to be part of a community which shares your passion for art collecting?

Why not join a group and become part of a network.  This could be a group of people getting together informally, once a a month, or it could involve discussing ideas and thoughts on an on-line forum.

One organisation that offers its members the opportunity to share and discuss collecting contemporary art is  They 'offer a platform to present your private collection, to create an international network of likeminded collectors, to discuss insights and to arrange meetings.'

Or you could start a Meetup group in you area and get to know those around you who collect contemporary art also.

A more formal way and affordable way to collect art is to be part of a community like The Collective.

In a nut shell,'The Collective' is a group of people who all contribute towards the cost of buying pieces of contemporary art, which they then "collectively" share and enjoy.  The original collective group are encouraging others to form their own group, so don't hesitate to visit their website to find out more!

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