How To Buy Art

by BARBARA GUGGENHEIM

You’ve got a sofa with a big, blank wall behind it. Or you’ve moved to a new house or apartment with lots of empty wall space. Either way, you need a painting.

Buying your first piece of art can be a downright daunting task. The stark white art galleries are intimidating, and there are so many of them that it’s hard to know where to begin. Worse, it’s hard to make a judgment call and tell good from bad art. And, finally, there’s the question of how much to pay. Below are some steps you can take to ensure a prudent purchase:

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Whining And Dining

By Barbara Guggenheim

There’s almost nothing I like more than a good meal with friends. I may not be legendary Washington hostess Pearl Mesta , but I’ve thrown my share of luncheons, dinner parties, and cocktail soirees. Over the years I’ve noticed changes in friends’ eating habits – first it was guests waving off a warm bread basket, then eschewing rich desserts in favor of fresh fruit. I’ve always tolerated it with equanimity and maybe a twinge of pity.

But the dietary restrictions of partygoers are growing extreme.

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On Books I’ve Never Read

Everyone claims to be perusing Proust, but who are they kidding? Confessions of a literary faker.

By Barbara Guggenheim

It’s a recurring nightmare. Dewar’s calls. They’re interviewing me for a whiskey ad and everything’s going well until the final question: “What’s the last book you’ve read?” If I were telling the truth, I’d have to mention Jackie Collins. But I’m ready with a list: Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium is the Massage.

Have I read any of these? Absolutely not. Faking what you’ve read is a widespread offense, and I’m a serial offender.

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How To Start An Art Collection

By Barbara Guggenheim

Guggenheim Is a partner In the art consulting firm Guggenheim Asher Associates. Her clients Include Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg.

If your ten-year college reunion has come and gone but that dorm-room Water Lilies poster is still with you, it’s time to get your feet wet as an art collector. Many of my clients decorate their walls with works priced at several million dollars, but you can start collecting with only a couple thousand, about the price of that Dolce & Gabbana suit you’ve had your eye on.

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