Think of art collectors and J. Paul Getty will invariably spring to mind. Having made a fortune through oil, Getty made a life with art. His undying passion for art founded a museum, a research and conservation institute and guided several books. Pare back the glitz and Getty’s vision for collecting is remarkably relevant. So, here’s his advice to all art lovers on the subject of art collecting.
All fine art collections, be they owned by postmen or billionaires start and end with a passion for art. This is the core of Getty’s message – and our’s too. All the rest – collection themes, framing, valuing and so forth will evolve in time. Passion must be your foundation.
As always, making a start can be the hardest part. When it comes to collecting art, the dilemma is often deciding on your collection’s direction, while also trusting your instinct. Getty’s advice? Just go for it. Art can be resold, interests can evolve and thorough research can take the jitters out taking your first step.
Getty kept his collection honed. Boasting the “five-category rule”, Getty collected Greek and Roman sculpture, Renaissance paintings, Savonnerie carpets, sixteenth-century Persian carpets and eighteenth-century French furniture and tapestries.
Despite this however, Getty inevitably digressed. He once for example, accidently bought an anonymous “watercolour of old London, about 1845” at an auction. An attempt to loosen his shirt collar it seems, was mistaken for a bid. His point is: build upon your interests in art, without limiting yourself.
Recently, our director Angela Tandori travelled to Los Angeles. You can see her in this photo above with Rene Magritte's 'La Folie des Grandeurs' at the J Paul Getty Museum, California. If you’re ever there, she advises you visit Paul Getty’s legacy, The Getty Centre. Perched before spectacular views, this museum houses a collection spanning Monet to Van Gogh and so much more. It is a testament to one man’s obsession with art… cheers to that!