Award-winning interior designer Robert Brown is one of the most recognized designers in America. From his personal design firm Robert Brown Interior Design, to his first Atlanta-based retail shop Townhouse, his sophisticated aesthetic is celebrated and well-known. We talked with him about the art of art buying, and he offered us his expert tips on starting and building a personal collection.
What should one consider before purchasing their first piece of art? Make sure that you love it. Art should reflect your personal tastes and style. It is something that you will see often. Thus, you do not want to grow tired of it. After that, you have another subset of considerations. These include appropriateness for the space, size, financial considerations, etc.
What makes a particular piece worth buying? If you are buying as an investment, it is the simple economics of supply and demand. Talk to your experts like your designer and gallerist.
From estate sales to buying real estate with the art included, what are some of the non-traditional methods for obtaining a rare, artistic find? I love finding rare pieces in antique markets, especially those in Europe. I travel to France a couple times a year and always come back with pieces that I could not have found elsewhere.
Where do you prefer to source your personal art collection? My favorite place is at auction. This is the trickiest source as you assume all of the risk and must have all necessary background knowledge. If you are new to collecting art, your best bet is to buy from reputable galleries.
Describe the necessary considerations for successfully blending elements from different eras and aesthetic backgrounds. The simplest thing to successfully blend these elements is to find a common thread. For example, a collection of portraits from a range of centuries could hang beautifully together. There are ways to unite a range of pieces by choosing a thread of color, or a theme. A genre of like medium is great as well. For example, a collection of black and white photographs from a range of different time periods.