How-To

How To: Purchase Art as a Gift

Looking to take your gift giving game to the next level? Our curated gift guide takes the guesswork out of holiday shopping. Whether you’re buying for a seasoned art collector or someone who is just starting out, an original work of art is a standout gift that can make for a timeless family heirloom or a one-of-a-kind memento for your friends and loved ones. This year, we are delighted to share our tips and recommendations for gifting the perfect addition to any art collection. 

Art for the New Collector

For many, collecting art and supporting emerging artists is a vocation, and all top collectors start somewhere. Aside from knowing your loved one’s personal tastes and interests (which is crucial for gift giving in all its forms!), if you’re shopping for the collector who is looking to get serious, opt for artworks by artists with the promise of career growth, and a strong track record. A few indicators to look out for are exhibition history, any notable collections in which their work is held, and any awards and recognitions received. If your gift recipient is dazzled by prestige, our Art for the New Collector selection is a strong bet!

Art for Small Spaces

From works on paper to table-top sculpture, small artworks are perfect for the young apartment-hopping art enthusiast, or as a token for those who may not have a particular space in mind for displaying their art. If you’re exchanging gifts with a number of colleagues this season, or if your holiday plans involve travel, small artworks are both meaningful and convenient. (And artwork doesn’t always make the best surprise—you don’t want to saddle a loved one with an oversized artwork without prior planning.) When in doubt, opt for a work on the smaller side. After all, the best gifts often come in small packages.

Art for the Working Professional

In this post-COVID era, you may find yourself shopping for a working professional who can no longer tell whether they work from home, or live at work. Help them brighten up their office space with an original work of art that’s safe for Zoom calls, but also reflects their personality and style. Sleek photographs and bright abstracts make for an enviable and energizing workspace, while cool colors and tranquil landscapes can transform an office into a zen oasis. Be sure to also take their hobbies, tastes, and passions into account, so you can find a work of art that motivates and helps them shine. 

Art for the World Traveler

This season, skip the gift shop. If you’re looking for a unique way to commemorate that once-in-a-lifetime trip, opt for an original artwork that captures your favorite destination through the singular perspective of an emerging artist. On Saatchi Art, you can search for artworks that depict particular cities or countries, and you can even filter artists by country of origin, so you can support a creative in your favorite locale. Purchasing artwork for an avid traveler is also a great opportunity to explore photography—available in a variety of sizes and formats, and often in limited editions, this medium offers something for every collector.

Art for the Foodie

Few things evoke nostalgia, celebration, love, and togetherness all in one like your favorite meal. For the foodies in your life—or even for those with an overlooked wall space in their kitchen—give the gift of a feast for the eyes. While your favorite amateur chef may be inundated with cookware and cookbooks this holiday season, an artwork of a rich still life or dreamy cafe scene is a unique way to keep them inspired. And not just for the foodies—fans of art history will appreciate the predominance of food from Dutch Still Lifes to American Pop art, movements that inspire many of the works in our curated collection for the foodies. 

These suggestions are just the beginning—whether you’re shopping for an art history buff or expert home decorator, take the opportunity to directly support an emerging artist with your purchases this year. If you’re still unsure of where to begin, contact our curators to help you find that perfect gift.

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About the Author

Bethany Fincher is a curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at saatchiart.com/artadvisory.