Monday 19 February 2007

Paying to learn about spending

There's a sudden rash in Wellington of events where you can learn about how to collect art.

At the National Library earlier this month you could listen to Jim Barr (collector of contemporary NZ and international art, man about town) Tony Arthur ( long term collector of fine 20th century printing and proud owner of 60-odd vintage typewriters) and Paul McNamara (art collector recently-ish become photo dealer) talk about 'passionate collecting'. I went along, and while there was plenty of entertaining story-telling, there wasn't a lot of buy-now advice.

However, at two upcoming Wellington events you can hand over your cash and learn how to spend money.

Overthenet have recently posted about an $185-a-head dinner at Te Papa, where you can hear director Seddon Bennington talk about the way Te Papa buys art and David Carson-Parker talk about being a "hopelessly enthusiastic" collector.

Or for a more modest $40, you can attend City Gallery Wellington's two STart seminars, where collectors, dealers and conservators will hand out words of wisdom and (maybe, if you're real lucky) some insider advice.

It's interesting that there appears to be this kind of market for advice on how to collect art, when the advice boils down to such basic points; figure out what you like by visiting shows, reading catalogues and sifting around online, then gets to know some art dealers. After all - it is just shopping, people.

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