When one refers to the business of art, certainly in the context of businesspeople, strategy, marketing, promotion, exhibitions and networking must be in the top priority skills. Therefore, with so much information out there, it can be tricky to get the best resources out there. The following five books come reviwed by us and will provide excellent advice not only about starting an art business but also how to mantain and escale it to the next level. 

These are the Top 5 Art Business Books:

Management of Art Galleries by Magnus Resch

This book is a fascinating insight into the world of professional gallery management, from attracting the right clients, to approaching new markets this book explains everything. Therefore, it lacks  a chapter about online selling and Social Media. This book also provides case studies to explain key points relating to how to market and sell art to high net worth individuals.

Main Topics:

  • What makes a commercial art gallery successful
  • How do galleries get their marketing 
  • Which potential customer group is the most attractive
  • How best should galleries approach new markets while still serving their existing audience.

How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery by Edward Winkelman

This book is basically the bible of gallery owners. Being one of the only guidebooks on starting an art gallery, it has a unique value proposition. It brings us a lot of good information in a pragmatic way. You can learn what’s the difference between the primary market and secondary market, how to draft a business plan etc. It’s very compact and very concentrated. It has 16 chapters, and each chapter could be written as a book itself.

Main Points

  • what a contemporary commercial art gallery does
  • Manage cash flow
  • Grow your new business
  • Hire and manage staff
  • Attract and retain artists and clients
  • Represent your artists
  • Promote your gallery and artists online
  • Select the right art fair

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art

If you want to know the real dirt behind the scenes in the art world look no further. This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on  interviews with both past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art.

Main Points:

Selling Contemporary Art: How to Navigate the Evolving Market by Edward Winkleman 

Exhibiting a wide range of interviews with international experts including dealers, collectors, art fair directors, journalists, and online art entrepreneurs, Selling Contemporary Art is a must-read for gallery owners, dealers, and artists affected by the rapid innovations in the art-dealing industry.

Main Points:

  • The rise of the art fair
  • The rise of the mega gallery
  • New online competition
  • Models of post–brick-and-mortar art dealing
  • Art dealers as art fair organizers
  • Collaboration in a new era

The Art of Buying Art: How to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector by Alan Bamberger

For a beginner, the art world can actually be really tricky. Updated for today’s art market, this book is without a doubt the most accessible book on how to research, evaluate, price and buy artworks. The author provides the information needed to transform anyone into an informed art consumer, to protect collectors from bad buys and to help them locate the best art at the correct prices.

Main Points: 

  • How to research and evaluate art prices like the professionals
  • How to build a quality collection
  • How to spot fakes and forgeries
  • How to buy art at auctions and directly from artists
  • How to negotiate prices
Add to cart