How To Become An Art Dealer

Art dealers are salespeople who specialize in the purchases and sales of art. A dealer usually has a specific type of art that they are interested in and specialize in the dealing of, whether it is painting, sculpture, photography, tapestry, or another type of artwork. People all over the world love art and art dealers help people to discover the finest pieces of art that there are.

Why Become An Art Dealer

An art dealer must be knowledgeable about art. They must be able to go to an auction or fine art show and know exactly how much a piece of art is worth. An experienced art dealer will be able to tell which art pieces are valuable, and which are not. Art dealers must be great salespeople, because much of their work is going to involve explaining to people why a particular piece of art is valuable and convincing them to purchase it.

This field is a great choice for somebody who loves art and is extremely knowledgeable about a particular niche of artwork, whether it is impressionism in painting or Ming dynasty pottery. As an art dealer, you will help people discover art that they may not have learned about otherwise. You have the ability to popularize a variety of different artists and types of artwork.

Art Dealers should possess the following qualities and skills:

Art Dealer Work Environment

Much of the work an art dealer does requires that they travel. An art dealer will travel all over the country or world in search of art for their collection. They will visit flea markets, auctions, galleries, and other places searching for art. An art dealer usually has several clients that they purchase art and sell it to. This requires meeting with clients, going to art shows and conferences, and visiting art collectors.

When not traveling, an art dealer may work in an art gallery or an auction house. They meet with prospective buyers and help them select the perfect piece of art for them.

Art Dealer Salary

Because an art dealer is a type of salesperson, the salary varies considerably. An art dealer makes a salary which depends on how much art they are able to sell to clients. Some art dealers sell more art than others, resulting in more wages.

There are many trends in the art world. Some forms of art are trendy and sell very well, while others are not popular and do not sell as well. This fluctuation affects the salary of art dealers.

In 2011, the wealthiest art dealer earned $925 million, though most art dealers earn an average salary of $42,000.

Art Dealer Career Outlook

Art dealer positions are expected to rise 3 percent from 2012 to 2022. The art market varies considerably. There are many factors which determine whether art is going to be sold, such as the economy, a person’s mood, a person’s income, trends in the art world, and other factors. These factors also affect the number of job opportunities for art dealers.

Art Dealer Degree

There is no particular degree required to become an art dealer. A blend of art knowledge and business skills will make a person a good fit for this field.

Step 1: Undergraduate Education An undergraduate degree in art history or fine arts is a great foundation for a career as an art dealer. Many art galleries will look favorably upon those who have an undergraduate education specializing in a particular field of art.

Step 2: Internships Internships are an important part of getting into the art world. This is a way to figure out if being an art dealer is the right career choice for you. It is a way to network with professionals in the industry and a stepping stone to landing your first entry-level job after graduation. Apply to galleries and auction houses in your area for a summer break or semester long internship.

Step 3: Join Professional Organizations Networking is important for every art dealer. An art dealer must be friendly and outgoing, and have a list of people from whom they can purchase and sell art. Joining a professional organization such as the Art Dealers Association of America will build you a reputation as a trustworthy art dealer.

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