Art Broker Vs Art Dealer: What's the difference?

Luke Sparkes
23 Oct 2019

Whether you’re looking to invest in art or sell your own, you should know about art dealers and art brokers.

While art dealers and brokers typically don’t create art of their own, they play an essential role in discovering new art and getting it before the general public.

But, what’s the difference between an art dealer and an art broker?

Check out this guide to find out.


Art Dealer vs Art Broker

Art dealers and art brokers are easily confused, and many people use these two terms interchangeably. However, art dealers and brokers are different.

Art Dealers

Art dealers are gallery owners, and the main part of their job entails discovering, promoting, and nurturing artists. Art dealers decide which artists to work with based on their own personal taste as well as the art market’s current trends.

Art Brokers

Art brokers may perform many of the same roles that art dealers do, however, the main distinction is that art brokers tend to be a lot more knowledgable about the art they’re working with.

Typically, art brokers specialize in a particular type of art, such as surreal art, Modern American art, or 18th-century Italian paintings. Art brokers help advise auction houses and help museums organize their exhibits. They also help locate pieces for private collections.

Art brokers can also help evaluate the authenticity of a piece and offer advice on current work for investment purposes.
When brokers have clients who are looking to invest in art, they’ll help them set up an escrow fund.

While the job of an art broker sounds quite glamorous, what they do actually takes a high level of skill and hard work. Art brokers spend a lot of time studying art in order to better inform their clients and the general public about the value and authenticity of a piece.

Hiring an Art Broker

If you’re looking to invest in art, then hiring an art broker is a good idea. Without a broker, you may end up wasting your money on a piece of art that doesn’t hold as much value as you thought it did.

To find the best broker for you, you should first figure out what type of art you want to buy. This way, you can hire a broker who’s an expert in that art form.

Today, many art brokers advertise their services online, so you should do some research to see what services various art brokers offer. For example, some art brokers offer complimentary and confidential consultations, advice in regards to current art trends, authenticity research, and help negotiating with sellers and bidders. In exchange for their services, most brokers will take a commission on the piece of art.

Art Brokers: Wrap Up

As you can see, art dealers and art brokers are very valuable in the art world. If you’re looking to hire an art broker, make sure you do your research and select one who has experience with the type of art you’re looking to buy.

And, if you’re in the market for new art, be sure to check out some of our limited edition prints.

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