Selling Paintings in Minnesota

Selling Paintings in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

If you are interested to sell paintings in Minnesota please read the following information. Often times people will have acquired an old painting at some point in their lives. You may have inherited the painting, found it at an estate sale, received it as a gift, or discovered it in a gallery or antique shop. Being a fine art gallery in Minneapolis we have encountered a number of people that have come to us with extraordinary stories of finding paintings in the trash or a thrift store that turn out to be worth a significant amount of money. There are a number of factors that help establish the paintings value. Most of the time you will have to consult with an expert to get a true idea on the artworks value, but there are some things  you can do to give yourself a better understanding of what you have and what to look for. If you are looking to sell paintings in Minnesota Hiro Fine Art may be interested in purchasing it.

What is the medium?

Professionals in the art field and artists use the term “medium” to describe the material that an artists uses to create his or her artwork. Medium is the term used to describe the substance used to bind the pigments. The two main categories of artworks are original paintings and prints. Original paintings are artworks that are often times painted with oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, gouache, pencil, or pen. Prints have a variety of different techniques including lithographs, etchings, serigraphs, woodcuts, woodblocks, and many more. Sculptures are often times created with bronze, wood, marble, alabaster, steel, spelter, and ceramic. Determining the medium of an artwork is essential in determining the value of the piece. In most instances, an oil and acrylic painting by an artist will have more value than other mediums. With sculpture, there is less of a difference between the different mediums besides spelter, which is less desirable than the other forms of media in most instances.

Who is the artist?

Determining the artist is also an essential aspect in evaluating an artwork. Most artworks are signed somewhere on the piece. Paintings are often times signed by the artist on the front along the lower left or right quadrants. Sometimes they will be signed on the verso, or the back of the work. Often times the artist may sign the artwork with their last name alone. Since there can be several artists with the same last name, it may complicate determining exactly whom created the painting. For example, in one artist database there are over 500 listed artists with the last name Johnson. Some of these artists’ works sell for over a million dollars, while art by other artists sharing this last name only sell for a few hundred dollars. Some signatures can be very difficult to read and some are only signed with a monogram, initial, or symbol. James Abbott McNeill Whistler signed with a butterfly and the Minnesota artists, Cameron Booth and Nicholas Richard Brewer would often times only sign with their initials.

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What is the provenance?

The provenance is the history of ownership for a work of art. Ideally, you could trace the history of an artwork from the hands of an artist to you. Unfortunately, with older artworks this is rarely the case. It is important to inspect the artwork for past gallery and exhibition labels. Usually these are attached to the back of the frame or stretcher. Very well-known artists are often faked in artworks they did not create. Thus, for artworks with major names, the provenance can be just as important as the work itself. Provenance assists in or determines the authenticity of a work, so it can play an integral role in determining the monetary value of an artwork.

What is the condition?

Determining the condition of an artwork is an essential part of assessing and selling an artwork. For paintings, carefully look at the surface of the painting for cracks, scratches, chips, and losses. If it is on canvas, are there tears, rips, or is the canvas loose? If it is on a wooden board, has the board warped? For works on paper it is important to observe how the artwork was framed. Has the paper browned? Are the mat and backing acid free? For these types of artworks you may have to carefully remove it from the frame to get a better idea on the artworks full condition. Sculptures must have the patina assessed. The patina is the color of the surface as it has aged over time, and it must look natural and unaltered to have the character that is sought after.

Where should I sell?

There are several different options to sell paintings in Minnesota. The internet can be a great resource to sell art. You must be careful with selling online in that dealers and collectors put a premium on artworks that are not shown in the public. Sometimes an auction house can be a good place to sell an artwork. To sell an artwork at auction you have to understand how the process works. For an item that sells for $1,000, an auction house will typically take 20% and charge you for insurance, marketing, and shipping. Here is a typical breakdown of fees from selling at auction:

+Hammer price: $1,000
+Buyers premium 25%=$1,250
+Auction Fees
+20% commission=$200
+$50 marketing fee
+1% insurance=$20
+shipping $40

If the artwork hammers at $1,000, the new buyer typically pays $1,250, and the seller ends up receiving $690 after shipping the artwork. So you will receive around 55% of the actual selling price. It is important to contact credible dealers who may be able to net you more money for your artwork.

If you want to sell your paintings in Minnesota or anywhere in America give us a call today if you have an artwork you would like to sell and we will give you the proper suggestions to get the most money.

Hiro Fine Art