Top 3 Methods You Can Invest In Art

November 19, 2021

For many people, the prospect of investing money in stocks or other assets can be very intimidating. As well as the financial risks of your investment not gaining value, many potential investors may not believe they have the necessary knowledge or funds to start building a portfolio. Art, in particular, can seem like a very unstable investment, as it is far more subjective than other assets like stocks or real estate.

Despite what you may think, you don’t have to be a connoisseur of fine art to start investing in the art market, nor do you need to spend loads of money on Picasso originals. The world of art is immensely varied and with so much to choose from, it is much easier than you might think to start building a collection. As with any investment, it is vital to set yourself a budget and not expect to rely on your portfolio for a steady income. That said, the art market is an exciting and ever-changing landscape of paintings, sculptures, and multimedia creations for you to explore and invest in.

This article has three methods you can use to start finding and selecting artworks for your investment portfolio. You can buy actual paintings or other creative pieces for selling later once they have appreciated value, or if you don’t have the space in your house, you can buy and trade shares in a particular artwork online. Whichever method you choose, just remember you don’t need to be an expert, as long as you manage your expectations and enjoy art, you are already in a great position to start investing.

Buying art online

If you are looking into art as an investment, then you don’t need to go far to start finding pieces. There are online marketplaces for selling artworks, such as Saatchi, This site offers a wide range of transitional and abstract art including many pieces that can be bought for less than $500. There are also regular events so you can meet the artists and learn more about their inspirations and world views.

If you aren’t bothered about owning your purchases and hanging them up on your wall, sites like Masterworks and Maecenas are online stock markets for buying and selling shares in particular artworks. Masterworks, for instance, has a dedicated team who search for upcoming artists and buy their creations to hold for up to ten years. After the time period has elapsed the piece is sold and everyone holding a share receives a cut of the profit. Alternatively, you can sell your shares on Masterwork’s second-hand market if you don’t want to wait the full ten years.

The best part about these websites is that they remove a lot of the legwork for young investors. Searching for pieces is made easy as all the research is done for you. If you want to start investing in art but aren’t committed to creating and curating your own portfolio, sites like Masterworks give you the opportunity to leap right in and start trading shares.

Visit art galleries and fairs

One of the most simple and common ways to start investing in art is by visiting galleries and art fairs. Not only is this a great way to find out about new and emerging talents, it can also make for a great day out if you’re an art lover. Finding galleries or upcoming art fairs near you is often simply a case of looking online.

You may not have the same amount of variety when buying from a gallery as you would online. However, galleries offer the opportunity to support local artists and some art fairs will even offer the opportunity of meeting the creators in person. As with any investment, research is essential. Not only should you research the pieces you intend to buy and the people who made them, but you should also look into the galleries you buy from. Look at how reputable a gallery is and see what kind of relationship they build with the artists that they support. Do they buy pieces to highlight new talent, or is it simply to sell the artworks on as soon as they can?

Fairs are great research opportunities to attend as the artists will often be there to provide background and context on the pieces they are showcasing. Another great thing about fairs is that they will often follow themes with the pieces they exhibit. This offers the chance to learn about and explore different artistic niches or discover new styles on the cutting edge of the art world.

Go to an auction.

The final method we will be looking at for investing in art is auctions. Again, you can often search online and find out about any of these events happening in your area. Attending auctions can give a good idea of how much different pieces of art are worth in the eyes of collectors and connoisseurs. Furthermore, they can be a lot of fun. Competing for the ownership of pieces you like is a very thrilling experience, as long as you remember to not get carried away. Always go to these events with a set budget so you don’t run the risk of bankrupting yourself to win a single painting.

Top tips for investing in art

Now that we have shown you a few of the ways that you can invest in the world of art, here are some useful tips to bear in mind while doing so.

Think about why you want to invest in art

Firstly before you start buying you should consider why you are interested in art as an investment in the first place. If it is primarily to make a profit, then be warned you should probably look into collecting other assets as well. This is because a well-rounded and varied portfolio is more likely to be successful than putting all your eggs in one basket.

If you simply enjoy art and want to hang some of your collection on the walls in your house then you already have more than enough reason to start investing. It is important to remember when buying any asset, that you should only spend what you can comfortably afford in case things don’t pan out. Investing can make a great side-earner but relying on it for a steady income is risky, to say the least.

Do your research

Before you make a purchase, it is vital to know what you are buying. Remember there is no rule about what kind of art can and cannot turn a profit. Original pieces will often be worth more, but even limited edition prints and reproduction can be valuable assets to hold. Make sure to research the gallery you are visiting to see what kind of relationship they have with the artists and how they select their pieces. Research the artists you are interested in to see how popular they are among the various markets, and if their world views align with yours. Finally, make sure to keep up to date with the art market itself. Find out what the latest trends are and what is selling well to get a better idea of how to arrange your own portfolio.


Investing in art may feel like an extravagant or risky decision, but it can actually be very enjoyable and fulfilling. As long as you choose your purchases judiciously and don’t hope to make large profits immediately, you will find artworks of all shapes and sizes to be worthy investments. Even if you don’t make a lot of money doing it, you can still end up with some awesome paintings, sculptures, or multimedia pieces to place around your house, which if you are an art lover is enough of a reward on its own.

Masterworks is a fintech company democratizing the art market. Our investors are able to fractionally invest in $1mn+ works of art by some of the world's most famous and sought-after artists.