When it comes to purchasing art, one might not think beyond a piece they are drawn to in a gallery. But there are so many variables to consider when starting a collection. When this becomes overwhelming, look no further than Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates, an independent gallery that provides comprehensive art management. Tether himself has been involved with fine art professionally and personally for over 30 years. “Our expertise in consulting, art management, research and market analysis allows us to maximize value for our clients in both acquisitions and sales,” he explains.
Russell Tether is more than a gallery where one can procure fine art, in fact the firm goes far beyond simple sales and provides all services necessary to meet the needs of wealth management and estate advisors, individual and family collections, legal and accounting firms, and municipalities and institutions. “Our research on market trends and historical performance data, coupled with personal attention to our clients’ specific positions, are integrated to provide a comprehensive program that meets the objectives of each estate or collection,” notes Tether. “We also offer framing, conservation and installation consulting services.”
At the time of its conception, Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates joined only a handful of galleries that exclusively handle works on the secondary market. Within nine months, they were so busy they were refusing work. While at times Russell Tether purchases certain works of art, most clients consign artwork to the gallery. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship and allows maximum value for both parties. The firm prides itself on the amount of research and personal attention its associates invest in their clients to ensure success.
Tether believes that art collecting is very different from decorating and should not be impulsive. A person looking to start an art collection should build it on paper first by determining what periods and artists are intriguing, become knowledgeable about the value of the works and spend quality time researching the history of the artists. “A strong foundation is the key to building a truly great collection. Conservation and framing can also make or break a work,” states Tether. “A beautiful piece in a mediocre frame lowers the value of the artwork.”
Tether has founded and sold several businesses, allowing him to gain particular insight into socioeconomic buying trends. By analyzing purchasing trends paired with economic favor of the times, then comparing the results to related data over the previous five decades, Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates is able to project, with reasonable accuracy, what art trends will be popular next and the timing of the trend. Currently, there are more artists than ever before. The advancement of media coincides with the advancement of art, and what is determined to be truly fine art has become increasingly vague. The only way to speculate on which artists will remain popular going forward is to look through history. “Even something as absurd as a pile of dryer lint can be transcended to a great work of art if the artist can convince the right people,” Tether says. “People should look at the art rather than who is buying the art.”
Russell Tether offers this advice to anyone looking to gauge true interest in a work—a checklist of sorts that he himself uses before investing in a piece. First, research the artist and records. Second, is the work your waking thought and last thing on your mind at night? Third, do you dream about it and have difficulty not thinking about it constantly? And finally, does this go on for several days?
If all of this happens, then it’s time to buy, and if you want topnotch service and guidance, call Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates. You are certain to be pleased with the service and expert advice.
Courtney Jackson is a journalist and short story author. She is also a volunteer with the Miss America Organization.