|David Teniers the Younger, Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Gallery in Brussels, c. 1650|
If you wish to collect art, the picture above does not have to be the way your walls look. In fact, you can buy just one piece, learn from it that you have no interest in collecting and be done. And that piece can be from an art or craft fair, an artist friend, a rummage sale. It can cost only a few dollars.
However you begin, Ciwt guarantees you that your life will be changed by bringing art into it. What that change might be is personal. You might be interested in the period portrayed in the work and begin researching it; you might have enjoyed talking to the artist him or herself and wish to return to their studio and perhaps collect more of their work; you might end up re-arranging or repainting your house because the artwork has influenced your aesthetic. Maybe the artwork you bought portrays a river, and you decide you would like many more artworks centered on a river theme. The possibilities are endless; the transformative capacity of art is as well. Art can enliven anyone's life; it is not just for wealthy patrons.
Some people just enjoy the art they bring into their lives over time. Others set out to become Art Collectors, to acquire and amass art so that it will have great future monetary value and status. This is by necessity a different type of collecting and must be undertaken with education, care, time, some degree of courage and, yes, money. Ciwt will write in the future about collecting significant (ie, rare and expensive) works, but she wants to be very clear from the outset that collecting is for everyone.
You may not be interested in art. But in baseball cares, buttons, vintage jewelry, cars. The range of collections is huge - and often lucrative in the end. Collections in an of themselves have a certain cachet, interest value and, therefore, often monetary value to people. One or two pin cushions or canes are fine, but hundreds of them from different eras, with different histories and made of different materials are fascinating and often auction worthy.