Art historian Bridgette McCullough often advises art investors and museums on purchasing pieces and collections. While she loves her work, another one of her passions is making the lucrative world of art investing accessible to more people—specifically African-Americans. Nate talks with Bridgette about her book Black Market—and the in-progress PBS documentary of the same name—which takes a closer look at African-Americans in the world of art collecting. Plus, Bridgette offers advice to anyone wanting to invest in art.
At the many art auctions Bridgette attends, the customers usually have one thing in common—they're not African-American. Recently, Bridgette has been working to change that trend, lending her expertise to African-American celebrities and athletes, helping them invest in art and become passionate about collecting. Bridgette highlights many of these collectors in her book and documentary.
At the same time, Bridgette encourages everyone to start collecting art, even if they don't have much money to invest. She shares three easy ways to get in the know on up-and-coming artists and invest in their work:
Buy from students at an art school. "There is a place where artists are being created or are being born," Bridgette says. "At the end of the school year, generally around May, are bachelor of fine arts and master of fine arts shows, and you can go in and buy these works. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend or a few thousand dollars to spend—that is a great place to go."
Visit Artist-in-Residents programs. "The Studio Museum in Harlem—every artist going through their Artist-in-Residence program are bound for greatness," Bridgette says. "You want to look at places like that because it is in those cocoons … where you are going to meet these emerging artists. You are going to get in on the ground level." .
Shop around for new artists. There are always new artist expositions at galleries, and summer shows at galleries will often have group showings of emerging artists, Bridgette says. Many auction houses have younger artists sales too, she says.