Skip to content

Ten Tips on Collecting Photography

    Art New England

    by Susan Mulski

    November/December 2011

    For some collectors, it’s an obsession. A photograph they’re dying to own comes up at auction—the adrenaline kicks in and the paddle flies up. Perhaps this hits home with you, or maybe you’re not necessarily obsessed with photographs, but you’d like to add a few to your collection. Whether you are a beginner or an established collector, we’ve talked with area collectors and gallerists to obtain a few insider tips that may help you build a satisfying collection.
    1) Take the Plunge
    George Slade, curator of the Photographic Resource Center, puts it simply, “Buy one piece, then buy another.” If you see a work that you would love to own, commit and buy it. Once you have one photograph, compare and plan your next purchase. You will refine your buys as your collection grows.
    2) Use Photographic Libraries
    The Photographic Resource Center (PRC) in Boston is an outstanding resource for learning about photography. Established in 1976, this independent, nonprofit organization, located on the Boston University campus, features exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. The PRC’s Aaron Siskind Library, open to the public, houses more than 4,000 photographic books and forty international periodicals. Three times a year, the PRC publishes a magazine, Loupe, available to members. Also of note is the Boston Pictorial Archive located in the Boston Public Library. It contains the largest public collection of photographs related to historical Boston, the American West, and the Civil War. It is free and open to the public by appointment. You can access some of the photography collection online at Look under the “online collections” tab….

    Photo: Jason Landry, Jim Fitts, 2008, from the series, The Collectors

    Read the full article