Private View: How to Shop for Art as a Millennial Homeowner

How to shop for art as a millennial home owner

Buy art with confidence by attending private views. Private View: Shop for Art shows how to get invited to pre-show exhibitons and spot great pieces early. If you’re a first time home buyer wondering what to hang on your walls, Private View: Buying Art as a Millennial Homeowner shows you the best way forward. 

Private Views are where you can see paintings and sculptures presented at their best, well lit in perfect frames.

The Private View is a marketing Exercise

Here you can discuss what you see with experts and with fellow browsers and shoppers. Get their opinions and exchange information. You may even get a glass of wine or champagne while you study the paintings and chat to fellow guests. Experts and gallery owners happily answer all your questions and the artist is most likely to be there too. And they’d welcome the opportunity to discuss their work with you – and potentially sell you a piece.

But Private Views can also be intimidating places to be – particularly if you are at the start of the art learning curve and don’t know anybody there. Others may feel the same as you though. Feel free to talk to others, because by the very fact you’re there you share an interest.

Private View: Shop for Art

There are numerous benefits to attending Private Views. Artists are given an automatic seal of approval when a gallery takes them on. And the smarter the gallery, the smarter the purchase could be. But there are draw backs when shopping at private views, too. Paintings and sculptures are likely more expensive than market or street finds, because gallery space is not cheap. The back up service an artist gets from staff and the Private View plus marketing is all costly too.

Those costs are added to the price of the work of art. Galleries take a considerable cut from the sale price. They sometimes 50% or more per piece, with less than half the price going to the artist. Still, the gallery name adds value and prestige to the piece and to the artist’s CV.

Things to do and look out for at a Private View and buying as a Newbie


Grab a leaflet and any other marketing material and study it – either at the gallery over a glass of wine or when you get home

Watch and Learn

Do a quick viewing of all the pieces on show. Familiarise yourself with the prices and descriptions, take pictures if you need – you’ll have the information ready as and when you get talking to fellow guests.

Introduce yourself to the gallery owner and/or artist

Thank them for inviting you to the event (more of which later) and compliment them on a good/interesting/fabulous show. Ask them about a specific piece. Gallery owners and artists will be busy talking to lots of people at a Private View so, make it quick and be specific about what you would like to know.

Speak to other guests

This can be the difficult part – some people are better at it than others. Most likely, you’ll find others in the same boat as you and most people are there for the same reason and happy to meet others, including you.
A quick remark about a painting to the person standing next to you is in order. You’ll soon find out if there’s scope for proper conversation or whether the person is on a different page than you – perhaps with a group of friends or on a tight time schedule. Many reasons, but the main point is to not take anything too personal.

Pick up an invitation to or leaflet about the next Private View

Often the gallery will have the next exhibition already planned and with a bit of luck the invites will be at the reception or main desk. Ask if you may take a copy.

Charity events often have an art section – artists donating their works or money from sales to good causes.

Private View Gallery Invitation
New Homeowner – How to get invited to Private Views at Galleries

Getting invited to Private Views is much easier than it looks. Seek and you shall find. Private Views are rarely exclusive parties for the initiated – they are more commonly PR and marketing exercises and the more the merrier. The more people turn up at a PV, there greater the chance of selling a piece and word of mouth getting round. Self-perpetuating PR. However, some high ticket Private Views are in fact exclusive. Celebrity driven openings, starring popular & expensive artists where a high net worth clientele is guaranteed to turn up are often a closed affair.

Eye and Educate the Mind

Often, such exhibition will have almost already sold out before the gallery opens its doors – the gallery will have a list of VIP collectors which will generate sales. Or the publicity guaranteed as a result of the celebrity turnout or star name of the artist will reduce the need for inviting unlikely buyers into the party. And to keep out those unlikely buyers and to protect the artist and clientele, a “Strictly by Invitation” approach to the launch.

It’s free and fun Education

But back to Private View: Shop for Art, which is aimed at first time home buyers and millennial buyers and renters, you don’t have to buy there and then. The budget may not stretch to an original work of art, but it’s a good place to start learning about art and how to collect art.

To find out more read our blog on Artwork for a Minimalist Interior. There’s you’ll discover what to look out for, how to find your style and taste to suit your home. And we describe how to judge and what exactly works with the minimalist interior. It gives great insight into trends, prices and who’s who on the scene. Your eye will be trained to look for colour and detail and you’ll develop a taste and a bank of knowledge on which to decorate your home. In short, Private Views are a free and fun education.

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