Tips for Investing in Art

Hotels all around the world are investing more into artwork for their establishments in recent years, creating buzz among customers. Some hotels are being recognized not for the common factors such as service or facilities, but for the unique pieces of art they display.

Hoteliers, however, may jump into this trend too hastily. Choosing art for hotels isn’t a simple select, buy, and display strategy—it requires attention to detail and keen knowledge of both the clientele and the hotel. Here are seven tips you should know before you buy art for your hotel:

Ask yourself: Do you really want to invest?
Art, just like any property, is a business of investment, and hoteliers know this well. When played correctly, even hotel art can produce return of investments for your hotel. Investing in art, however, doesn’t mean that you have to spend millions just to display an original Michelangelo or Sandro Botticelli—though basic marketing knowledge will tell you that returns are based on investments at the end of the day. Significant strategizing is required to get them to return what you invested.

Assemble your art sourcing team. Whether you’re familiar or comfortable in working with art, it’s still a crucial key to having a team of people who generally are more knowledgeable in the field. Form an art team that can address your need for art in your hotels, such as interior designers, art consultants, art appraisers, and the like. It is important to work hand in hand with them to ensure that the idea and aesthetic you want for your hotel will be realized.


Determine what you want your sourced art to convey. Art is more than just décor or a space filler—it tells a story and amplifies the kind of atmosphere and ambiance that you want your hotel to project. Ask yourself these questions: What story do you want to tell your guests? What kind of hotel are you? What kind of people run your hotel? You also need to determine why you need art in the first place and how it correlates to your business. What makes your property special? What’s new and different? What do guests love about your property? What makes you stand out from the competition a few blocks away? These questions will help you and your art team determine the best pieces for your hotel.

Set your budget and other parameters. Aside from selecting the type of artwork you want for your hotel, it’s important to work out the other details of the artwork—specifically, the budget you have, the space you’ll be putting it on, the time frame you have for sourcing art, and so on. Set your parameters early on so that the options that your art team will lay out for you will be within your boundaries.

Have a connection to the art. While it’s important that your guests feel connected to your hotel’s art, it’s also equally important that you connect with it as well. Why did you choose that specific artwork? The connection of the art with your soul is just as important as the aesthetics that it carries for you.

Go for a “wow” factor. It’s not about having the most grandiose or extravagant art collection that the hospitality industry has seen—it’s about creating a buzz by having artwork that catches attention and stimulates the mind. People talk, and if your artwork has caught their eye, they will talk about you in correlation to your hotel’s artwork. A feature piece can help your hotel gain recognition and publicity at very little cost to you, which in turn will reach out and draw in guests from a global market.

Do not forget the whole ensemble. Even if your art is thought-provoking and speaks a lot about your hotel, it won’t be appreciated if the rest of its immediate surroundings do very little to accentuate it. After all, no show is successful without a little help from the supporting cast. As much as your art is important, the installation, lighting, framing, spacing, and maintenance are also factors you need to keep in mind when setting up art in your hotel.

Art is a great way to express your hotel’s aesthetics, as well as connect with people deeper than words. Art is a constant universal language that can work to your advantage if you strategize properly and know how much it can do for you.

About the Author
Ron Tully is an editor and writer who works for Accent Art and Frame.

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