Director of the Affordable Art Fair, Vanessa Seis, shares her top tips for perfectly curating your own home art collection.
We’re spending more time inside our homes than ever before thanks to COVID-19. While there’s more time to appreciate our home collections these days, staring at the same artwork day-in and day-out can also lead to some not-so-favorable discoveries.
Maybe you’ve noticed that half of the frames on your feature gallery wall just don’t complement each other, or that landscape you had in your bedroom isn’t bringing the same level of calm to you that it did in the past.
Luckily, we’ve got experts like Vanessa Seis, Director of the Affordable Art Fair, to bestow curatorial wisdom unto us before you take on a huge project like re-hanging all of your art. The last thing you want on your hands, other than even more time, is a wall speckled with nail holes.
From taking stock of what you have to spending time appreciating it, Vanessa covers the entire process of curating your own home art collection. Read what she has to say below!
As we’re spending so much time at home these days, it’s the perfect moment to decorate, de-clutter, rehang and reflect on your collection.
Catalogue Your Collection
Before you start taking everything off the walls, I encourage you to catalogue your collectibles.
Start by taking photos and writing down the artist name, title, date of creation, measurements and any condition issues. If you like to take it a step further, write down a brief description so that you can recognize a piece without seeing the photograph. Personally, I like to include a note about when I bought the piece, who I bought it from, and how much I paid.
You don’t have to go that much into detail, but it’s a process that certainly helps you reflect on your collection. Maybe there’s a thread—a theme, color, medium or style—that you’ve never been aware of. Awareness that can guide you during your next purchase, either online at affordablearfair.com/art or at the next NYC edition, September 24-27 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.
Start With a Blank Slate
Now it’s time to take your pieces off the wall and re-hang.
If you have a larger collection but limited space, a salon-style hang is always the way to go. I like to start by defining a center piece, preferably one of the larger pieces in my collection, and work my way outward.
You may want to consider an overarching theme here as well, such as color palette or subject. And since you’ve just taken pictures of your collection as well as measurements, you can easily lay your salon-style wall out on your computer.
A more tactile method would be tracing your artworks onto craft paper, cutting them out and pasting them onto the wall in your desired arrangement. I’ve done this multiple times and it’s definitely saved my walls.
Location, Location, Location!
When hanging artwork, always make sure to consider exposure to direct sunlight, heat and humidity as these factors impact how well your collection ages.
I would steer clear of hanging anything that is not in a museum-quality frame in the bathroom, for example. But definitely don’t overlook such spaces when re-decorating!
Rotate Your Collection
And also know that it’s totally okay to not display all your artwork at all times.
I’ve definitely rotated my collection before and it’s actually fun to rekindle the love for works you’ve owned for many years after they have been in storage for a bit.
Appreciate Your Work!
Now that you’ve hung your collection and are still spending a lot of time at home looking at your walls, take a moment to reflect!
Look at your art and actively think about why you love the works you surround yourselves with. Being aware, knowledgeable and in-tune with your collection makes you a much more confident collector, even if you haven’t considered yourself one as of yet.
And once the day comes and it’s okay to host guests in your home again, you’ll experience the joy and pride of a collector—showing and talking about some of your most cherished artworks and artists with the people you like to surround yourself with.
Written by Vanessa Seis