Your Art Matters Manage your art collection with care for today and tomorrow!

Your Art Matters

Manage your art collection with care for today and tomorrow!


During these past weeks of social distancing we have spent time taking care of business, organising home offices and family to overcome this turbulent time.


As an art collector you also found yourself faced with closed museums, galleries and postponed or cancelled art fairs. It’s challenging for everyone engaged in the arts. Viewing rooms are a nice distraction but they are virtual reality and will never be able to replace the sensitive experience of physical contact with a work of art. I am sure you have realised as well and more then ever before, what so many collectors tell me: being surrounded by the works of art has helped them facing these uncertain times and given hope and strength. It reminds me of Picasso’s famous statement Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life which my former head and mentor, art dealer and museum founder Ernst Beyeler, loved to quote when asked why art matters so much to him.


Museums and art galleries have reopened in some countries under strict restrictions but we do not know how the art world will look in the future.


It’s now in this challenging pandemic time, when facing the open questions about the future in your business, personal life as well as in the art industry, that you need to think, too, of what matters for the well being, status and future longevity of your art collection.


How to do this?

First, take stock of what you have. Then think about what you will keep in the future and what you might like to sell or buy. And get clear what your collection means to you or how your selections make it outstanding.


Do you have an inventory?

The question is not if you remember or have listed what is hanging in your living room, your summer house or may be standing in your office. It is about having a current inventory with all relevant information of each work in your collection. Do you have one?


  • Have you noted when you bought your works, where you bought them and what the price was?
  • Have you listed where your artworks have been exhibited or published?
  • Do you know if the artist was talking or writing on his or her work in your collection or made any other statements relating to it?
  • Are there other documents regarding the artwork or the artist?
  • Are there artworks which passed through other collections before or have been in your family for a second or even third generation?


These are just a few main questions for what you can call the biography of an artwork and which I ask collectors when assisting them with an inventory. It is the combination of work details as well as the intrinsic value of the work itself that makes the value of an artwork and a collection, not just the ranking of an artist in the current art market data reports.


It’s fine if you have the data part of the job done by your secretary or a student so far, but prospectively you should assemble the relevant information professionally, focused on your collection story; and sharpened to your own interest. If you don’t have this, start now, it’s the perfect moment.


Whatever you are planning for the future, you need to be prepared for the changing art world landscape. Don’t let your pleasure collecting art be affected. An art collection professionally managed gives you the confidence to navigate well the numerous questions related to collecting, buying or selling. And it can make your collection stand out.


Dr. Susanne A. Kudielka


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Dr. Susanne A. Kudielka is a personal curator assisting art collectors to manage their collections. She is based in Basel and before she established her own company for curatorial services in 2006 she used to maintain collections and organise exhibitions for renowned museums, foundations, and galleries in Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain; and gained extensive art market judgement and sharped her eye as Ernst Beyeler’s long time gallery and museum curator. At Schaulager© she is sharing art and its care concept. 2017 she co-founded SOFA – Swiss Organisation for Fine Arts which helps finding storage facilities in Switzerland. Her PhD is from Basel University on Matisse’s dedication to drawing and reading and she is a board member of the Graduate Women International section Schweizerischer Verband der Akademikerinnen in Basel.

Dr. Susanne A. Kudielka  Curatorial Services  I  Sommergasse 29  I  CH-4056 Basel  I  M +41 79 263 86 69  I