What Is Required to Be an Art Dealer

Professional Art Advice from Art Gallery Owner

art dealer
How to be an Art Dealer. Getty Images

Many art dealers own their own art galleries in order to exhibit and sell art. Running an art gallery is similar to having a small business; however, there are some key differences between an art gallery and a retail business. To be an art dealer requires a special skills set.

What it Takes to Be an Art Dealer

In this exclusive interview with Fine Art, gallery owner and art dealer Louis M. Salerno, Owner of Questroyal Fine Art, LLC offers professional advice for budding art dealers:

Good Eye

"I think there are two things every dealer needs: a “good eye,” or ability to visually identify artists and quality, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

"Finding the right paintings to offer to your clients is a dealer’s number one priority; usually if you choose correctly—meaning you choose a work you would buy yourself that is of sound condition and value—then the painting will sell itself."

"Knowing what this type of painting looks likes is the part that requires a “good eye”—you need to be able to tell the difference between quality works and so-so works."

"Luckily, this is a skill that can be learned; nearly anyone can visit museums to compare works of art or read books about an artists’ life and paintings. Training your eye can take a while, but it’s something that will exponentially improve over time."

Entrepreneurial Spirit

"I also say an entrepreneurial spirit because it is the common denominator amongst the most successful art dealers I know."

"Most of my peers do not come from a formal art education or background; rather, they found their love of art and dedicated themselves to learning about it. They then transformed this love into innovative marketing strategies and infectious adoration of their “product”—two things that always draw in buyers."

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