How To: Buy Art Abroad

Tips for acquiring a beautiful souvenir overseas.

Tips for acquiring a beautiful souvenir overseas.

Five Essential Tips for Art-Buying
 
Visit the Right Galleries: Research is key. “Your travel advisor should be the front line for information, but the hotel concierge can also suggest reputable galleries,” says Whitworth. “And before you go, look online for lists of the top studios and shops in your destination.”
 
Shop Around: Check out a few galleries before deciding on a piece to purchase. “I usually look for similar items to get a feel for what the value should be,” she says.
 
Know Your Destination’s Customs Regulations: Many countries do not allow any item over 50 years old to leave.” Whitworth suggests visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website (cbp.gov) for information on current restrictions; your travel advisor can also help get you up to speed on customs regulations before you go.
 
Pay With A Credit Card: Most galleries will take care of shipping art home, but if damage occurs in transit, you’ll want a proof of sale. “It’s always smart to take lots of photos of the item – and make sure you have a certified receipt on the gallery’s stationery.”
 
Buy What You Love: “Most of my clients just want a piece of the culture, be it a high-end painting or a small textile,” says Whitworth. “My advice is to buy what makes you happy. If it’s a piece you love and it costs what you’re willing to spend, go for it.”