How to Start Collecting Art

Unless you’ve just won the lottery, robbed a bank or inherited a great deal of money from a long-lost aunt, chances are that you’ve probably never thought about collecting art in any significant way. Like most people, you probably assumed that those who do collect art are all extremely wealthy, generally well past middle age, and as dissimilar from you as humanly possible.

You would be wrong.

Young suburban marrieds, single urban professionals, even high school and university students seem to have realized that collections can be started with reasonably small sums of money wisely spent. For these newbies to the collecting world, the key is to find artists or mediums that resonate with them, which they can afford, and to buy pieces that will not only keep their value but appreciate as well.

Vintage posters are often the medium of choice when starting a modest art collection. They are striking, they are large, they provide great bang for their buck, and they are beyond trendy: folks have been collecting these beauties for the last 150 years and they show no sign of stopping anytime soon.

In Montreal, one gallery has opted to help first-time buyers by providing options for $100 (framed) and up – gallery owner Karen Etingin feels that while it is always great to sell pieces which cost thousands of dollars, opening the eyes and wallets of new collectors requires her to stock smaller, less expensive, but still significant pieces.

L’Affichiste – Etingin’s gallery – has a variety of suggestions for budding collectors: buy something you love and want to look at every day, don’t buy something you can’t afford, and keep researching. “It’s like anything else: you won’t know what’s out there unless you start looking. Posters are a great way to decorate your walls and brighten your living space, and as they appreciate in value, they are also a great investment,” says Etingin.

L’Affichiste’s offerings are available in Montreal's Old Port at 461 rue Saint Francois Xavier, or on-line at