Fine art for holiday gift giving? With multi-million dollar auction records making news on a regular basis in the art world, it’s easy to dismiss fine art as being in the realm of affordable gift giving.
Certainly, there are paintings that rightfully bring impressive (and staggering) prices at Christie’sand Sotheby’s….but if you dig a little deeper, you will find some incredible values even in venerable shopping districts from Boston’s Newbury Street to New York’s Upper East Side and beyond.
As an art dealer, I always tell my clients that every artist has a market – and often young or emerging artists with amazing talent and top-notch credentials start off with affordable selling prices as they and their galleries begin to build their reputations. It is not uncommon for an emerging artist’s work to increase in value at least 20% or more per year, so when you find someone whose work you love, consider it a great investment if you are buying for yourself – both for your everyday pleasure and your pocketbook – or a great opportunity to give someone special a one-of-a-kind gift whose value goes beyond the price tag.
At Walker-Cunningham Fine Art some of my best examples of this phenomenon can be found in the work of Emmett Duggan and Dora Atwater Millikin. Both artists are super-talented individuals with lengthy exhibition histories (both in commercial galleries and museums) and careers rooted in solid academic training. We currently offer over a dozen original oils from landscapes to still lifes by Westport, Massachusetts artist Dora Millikin priced at $ 1000 and under – and several of these are at the $ 500 price point as well as a series of lyrical landscapes in oil by Boston painter Emmett Duggan at $700 each all framed and ready to hang.
Don’t discount a chance to pick up a gorgeous original etching or engraving at gift-giving prices. My neighbors at Haley & Steele, for example, are a virtual trove of antique engravings. I swoon every time I enter their welcoming Newbury Street showroom where you will find exquisite art under $ 500 and as low as $ 195.
With examples like these and a bit of fortitude to spend a little time online and in galleries (also think about taking a look at holiday open studios in your area), you are bound to find wonderful options for fine art gift-giving now through the holiday crush! …. and keep in mind the wonder of receiving a painting, photograph or fine engraving for a birthday or anniversary celebration, too –art is a year ‘round go-to gift!
Sarah B. Cunningham, a Rhode Island native and owner of Walker-Cunningham Fine Art, a Boston gallery featuring American paintings 1850-to the present.
For more information on the large stable of artists Walker-Cunningham represents, contact Sarah at: 617.247.1319
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