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Your Guide to Art Collecting Part 4

Displaying My Collection

Thursday, December 1, 2016

As you put your art collection together, you can run into several challenges. Here is a list of common problems, along with some fantastic solutions.

Problem How can I showcase my entire collection?
Solutions There are many excellent ways to hang your entire collection. Here are a few concepts:

Dispersing your art throughout your home.
Your collection was created to tell a story or evoke an emotion. A wonderful way to share the entire concept is to place pieces strategically throughout your home. They should be a focal point, and each room should be set up to feed off of the last.

For example, if your collection’s focus is a variety of impressionistic landscapes, you can place those pieces encompassing a particular palette or location in one room and have the next logical room continue the pattern. Your foyer may have an oil painting of greenery while the living room is covered in the vibrant reds and oranges found in the desert. The dining room may take a more subdued tone with art focusing on blues and purples.

Compile an at-home gallery.
Another way to display your entire collection for maximum impact is to dedicate a room or series of rooms for this purpose alone. Depending on your home’s size, you may be able to build an in-home museum space for after-dinner drinks and art appreciation.

Hang related pieces in a stacked or clustered pattern.
Many art collectors have more than one collection or more than one series to their collection. Create an eye-catching series by grouping related or complimentary works together in a living room, stairway office, den or dining room. This striking presentation allows the eye to wander between works, seeing the distinct similarities and differences. This can have an astonishing impact if the art was selected for emotional content. 

Use large pieces as a natural focal point.
Your collection may have pieces that are both big and small. The larger pieces are a natural focal point and can bring drama to any room. But if you are only collecting miniatures or smaller pieces, strategic matting or placing a series together on a pale or white wall can draw the eye and stir emotions in the viewer.

Erin Hanson's artwork on display

Helpful hint: People often hang their art too high. Be sure to hang your pieces so that the vertical center of the painting (or the center of the grouping) is at eye level.

Problem What do I do with my collection if I don’t have room to hang all my pieces?
Solution Museums run into this problem all the time. They often have more inventory than could ever be adequately displayed on their walls or in their galleries.
 There are three solutions that many art collectors use to combat this problem in their private collection:

1. Create a dedicated art gallery or space either in your home or at another facility. This may require remodeling or the purchase of additional properties.

2. Allow pieces or an entire collection to go out on loan to a local museum. Many art collectors allow their collections to go on tour in museums throughout the world so that their privately acquired pieces can be publicly enjoyed.

3. Rotate your collection, just as is done at museums throughout the world. You may decide to switch pieces based on a whim, the seasons, or simply as you redecorate your home. It’s your collection, and you can display it as you please.

Problem I love my collection, but I just found the perfect piece to round it out. How can I make room for one more piece of art?
Solution This can take some finagling, but adding a piece to your collection can be like an artist adding the final touch to a painting: absolutely essential.

Depending on how you display your art, you have many options for placement of your latest piece. You may want to redistribute your existing collection, rearrange one room, or put a piece into temporary storage while you display your newest acquisition. All options are entirely feasible.

Your art collection is a precious gem that should be given room to breathe. Experiment with display options and enjoy the outcome. By moving your art around, displaying it in different rooms, and allowing it to travel in exhibitions you are giving each piece room to gain new life.

A prized collection piece by Erin Hanson


Article by Julia Shaw.



Erin Hanson ArtistERIN HANSON has been painting in oils since she was 8 years old. As a young artist, she worked at a mural studio creating 40-foot-tall paintings on canvas, while selling art commissions on the side. After getting a degree in Bioengineering from UC Berkeley, Erin became a rock climber at Red Rock Canyon, Nevada. Inspired by the colorful scenery she was climbing, she decided to paint one painting every week for the rest of her life. She has stuck to that decision ever since, becoming one of the most prolific artists in history. Erin Hanson's style is known as "Open Impressionism" and is now taught in art schools worldwide. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism.

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