How To Select a Sculpture

Oceans Wild bronze sculpture by Brian Keith

Oceans Wild bronze sculpture by Brian Keith

7 Facts You Need to Know Before Selecting a Sculpture

By Brian Keith, Brian Keith Fine Art

Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) sculpture sold to an unknown buyer for $58.4 million and Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot sold for $101 million to hedge fund manager Steve Cohen – both at Christie’s. As these and other record prices continue to make headlines, interest in sculpture continues to grow exponentially and private collectors as well as museums and galleries are adding space to proudly display their sculptures.

Indeed, studies report that the size of the global art market reached $64 billion in 2017, which is up from $57 billion in 2016. Consumers made 39 billion art transactions in 2017, including works purchased for homes, art museums, galleries and exhibitions. Interestingly, the United States has the most art purchasers in the world.*

With so much invested in art and so many options to consider, how does one go about deciding what to buy. Here are a few considerations:

1.     Your first impression when seeing a work of art is always the best reason to buy a work of art.  It is what you will keep going back to.  And since art is totally subjective it’s a good thing to understand about our enjoyment of what we purchase.

2.     Ask yourself why you are buying the sculpture.  Is it to add to your art collection and its value?  Are you hoping that the sculpture will increase in value? Do you want it to display your personal perspective in your life? (beauty, belief, to inspire)

3.     Galleries were once one of the only “authorities” to go to when thinking of buying a sculpture or painting.  They are still a good source, but there are many very good artists who are not represented by galleries.

4.     There are a number of very good artists with online galleries that provide a good idea of what their artwork looks like.  As a personal example, someone from Florida saw my work in a 2” x 2” image of a $23,000 bronze marlin and purchased it immediately. 

5.     Collectors who want solid quality work can also view sculptors’ artwork through credible organizations and associations such as  the National Sculpture Society where the best sculptors in the nation exhibit their work.  They act as a good referral service and most have a good online presence.

6.     The top magazines in the art style that the collector enjoys are also a great avenue to view sculptures/paintings to choose from.  Magazines like Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector, Western Art Collector, to name a few.  

7.      Don’t be afraid to contact the artist personally.  It is always encouraging to the artist when someone who enjoys their work reaches out to them and with social media it is easy to do this. 


There are a large number of original sculptures by artists available for purchase so decide where you plan to display your work of art and do your homework to select the perfect piece to meet your needs. In my view, sculptures are majestic symphonies of form and storytelling that draw the observer into a world of frozen time .