How to start building your own art collection

An exhibition at the Zuleika Gallery in Woodstock, the Cotswolds

Zuleika Gallery in the Cotswolds welcomes both new and experienced art collectors - Credit: Geraint Lewis

Lizzie Collins, founder and director of Zuleika Gallery in the Cotswolds, shares her top tips to help you start an art collection and tells us more about their upcoming exhibition. 

Q: Why should I collect art?  

A: Art gives so much pleasure and is a joy to look at. A piece can resonate on so many levels and engage you visually, emotionally and psychologically. A great piece of art does all three of these things. As well as having a connection with the artist, the work may offer a deeper insight into history, places, people and the world.  

Q: What type of art collection should I start?  

A: There are no set rules for collecting art – it's really down to you as an individual and what resonates with you. The great thing about art is there’s something for everyone. I would suggest spending some time getting to know what you like, whether it’s a particular artist or a style of art, and start building a collection that reflects that.  

Q: What top tips do you have for first-time art buyers?  

A summer exhibition at the Zuleika Gallery in Woodstock, the Cotswolds

The Nigel Hall RA and Manijeh Yadegar Hall exhibition was held during the summer at the Zuleika Gallery - Credit: Geraint Lewis

A: Visit galleries, fairs, museums and exhibitions to educate yourself about art. Don’t just settle on the first item you see – spend time really getting to know your tastes. Make the most of the art around you and get to know local artists. I recommend opting for blue chip artists and consider buying limited edition or original prints if your budget allows.  

To help make art more accessible, we operate the ‘own art’ scheme which involves interest-free loans from the government from £100 to £25,000, allowing you to spread out the cost over a 10-month period. It’s a great initiative that encourages young and new collectors, gives talented independent artists the chance to display their work in venues and it also helps support galleries.  

Q: How can I grow the value of my art collection?  

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A: If you’re unsure about how to grow your collection, seek advice from an art consultant. They can help to make your money go further and ensure the pieces you’re buying are properly vetted. We offer art consultancy services and can source works for you, whether you’re looking for a one-off piece or an on-going collection. This service benefits many people who are looking to grow the value of their collection and find investment.  

Q: Where can I go to buy art?  

Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair - 2021Exhibition Preview Evening at Woolwich Works

A great way to start an art collection is by visiting events such as the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair for inspiration - Credit: Lucy J Toms Photography

A: There’s no one best place – you can go to art fairs, local galleries, or open art spaces. Art needs to be experienced first-hand, and looking online is not the same as viewing it in person. The internet can be great for research or to point you in the right direction, but I would always recommend buying pieces that you have seen in person.   

Q: Do you have any upcoming exhibitions in 2022 and what will you be showcasing?

A: We are excited to be holding our forthcoming exhibition ‘Riley and Hyndman: The Rhythm of Life’ from 12 January to 7 March in our Woodstock gallery. The exhibition will showcase original paintings by Kathleen Hyndman and a selection of prints by Bridget Riley.  

We are also delighted to be curating a John Piper exhibition for spring 2022, which will be shown in both our London and Oxfordshire galleries. 

At Zuleika Gallery, we showcase leading international artists as well as emerging artists. We want to give talented local artists a venue where they can showcase their work and share their vision, and we will be bringing pieces from Cotswolds artists Jane Strother and Victoria Meadows to the Woodstock gallery in January.  

For us, it’s more about showing top-quality, amazing pieces of art, and we welcome the entry-level collector as well as the more experienced collector. 

For more information about the gallery and exhibitions, visit zuleikagallery.com

Zuleika Gallery 6 Park Street Woodstock Oxfordshire OX20 1SP. 

Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 10-5 pm. Closed on Tuesday and Sunday.