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What Does an Art Advisor Do? The Art Advisory Process Explained

Contemporary Abstract Art | Art Advisory Explained

What does an art advisor do? Quite a lot, actually! They can help you with art acquisitions for your private collection, act as a consultant for art collections within corporations, and offer art investment advice. Because the art market is so complex, it is often helpful to have an expert by your side when making important decisions about art investment and acquisition. In this article, we'll explain what art advisors do and how they can help you, we'll also discuss the art advisory process and where to find a great art advisor based on the type of art you are looking to acquire.

The Role of an Art Advisor

An art advisor can play many roles depending on the client they are working with. For private collectors, art advisors often act as a curator or art consultants, helping to select pieces that fit the collector's taste and interests. They may also provide advice on framing, lighting, and displaying the final artworks. For clients focused on art as an investment, art advisors can act as art appraisers and auction experts. They will help you to decide when to purchase and sell art in order to maximize your profits. Most art advisors will have an area of specialism, so it is important to find one that has experience in the type of art you are interested in such as contemporary art, Old Master paintings, or rare Chinese paintings. To find the perfect advisor for your needs checkout our extensive list of art advisors by genre.

Art Advisory Process

The Art Advisory Process

When working with an art advisor, the art advisory process will usually involve four steps:

Initial Consultation

The first step is to meet with the art advisor and discuss your needs and what you are hoping to achieve. This meeting will also be an opportunity for the art advisor to learn more about your art tastes and preferences whether you are seeking an art advisor for aesthetic or investment purposes. A good art advisor will help clients make an informed purchasing decision so if you are new to art acquisition, they will be able to educate you on anything from art history to the present day art market.


Once the art advisor has a clear understanding of your needs, they will begin researching suitable artwork for you. This involves looking at art galleries, art fairs, and auctions as well as tapping into their extensive network of artists and art dealers in order to find pieces that fit your budget and interests. They may also discuss bespoke commissions with prospective artists if you are looking for contemporary art not available on the market. This is usually more suited to interior design clients or art collectors with a specific theme in mind for their art collection.


Once the art advisor has found suitable art, they will present it to you in the form of an art proposal document. This is usually a digital presentation but can also be in the form of a physical book if you are meeting in person. At this stage, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the artworks, make choices or ask for further research while getting the information you need regarding the artist, pricing, and provenance.

Final Decision & Acquisition

After considering all of the information presented, it is time to make the final decision on whether or not you would like to purchase any of the artworks. At this stage the art advisor can help to negotiate a fair price based on their connections. Once the sale has gone through many art advisors will also organise the shippment, handling and framing of the artwork offering a turnkey service from initial consultation to final installation.

Art Advisory Meeting

How to Choose The Right Art Advisor

Now that you understand the importance of having a great art advisor on your team, you will need to decide who you choose to work with as this will have a significant impact on your art buying experience. We have put together an extensive list of the industry's best art advisors by genre. Once you have found a few prospective candidates, here are a few questions you should ask before making a decision on which art advisor you would like to work with.

Do they have the right art qualifications and experience?

Ideally, you are looking for someone who has dedicated their career to art and has the relevant qualifications and experience to back it up. Many senior art advisors will have so much experience that their qualifications will be irrelevant but if you are working with someone more up and coming then this may be a factor.

Do they have a good reputation?

In the art world especially, word of mouth is still one of the best ways to check out an art advisor's reputation so ask around your circles or do some online research. Look for reviews on independent websites, social media or features and publications.

What type of art do they specialise in?

If you are interested in a certain type of art, for example Modern British art, then you will want to find an art advisor that specialises in this area. They will have a better understanding of the market, and an existing network of contacts to source this type of work, it is important not expect an expert in say ki