Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to Find an Art Appraiser

People often ask me: "How do I find a qualified art appraiser?"

When it comes to finding a qualified art appraiser, there are few VERY important things to keep in mind. Like in any field, do your research.

From a qualified art appraiser based in Santa Barbara, California here are some useful tips:

1. First and foremost, an art appraiser should be a member of one of the 3 appraisal associations (AAA, ISA, ASA). These associations regulate their appraisers by enforcing ethics and principles of appraising. Associations also require their art appraisers to be tested under The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

2. Make sure your art appraiser has taken (USPAP), a test required for appraisers in all disciplines and ensures that appraisers are aware of generally accepted standards for professional appraisal practice in North America. USPAP is regulated by Congress under The Appraisal Foundation.

3. An art appraiser worth hiring also has a formal arts education and has expertise in the art market. He/she is highly trained and should have a degree in art history, appraisal studies, connoisseurship, theory, ethics, and procedures of art appraising.

4. Art appraisers should have a specialty in your type of personal property (fine art, prints, 19th century American paintings, California art, etc.) and years of experience. Obtaining a copy of the prospective appraiser's resume and references is strongly suggested. They often list these on their websites.

5. Qualified art appraisers are professionals. They are essential to protecting art collectors, museums, artists, and investors. Appraisals are used by insurance companies, bankers, lawyers, and accountants to protect assets. So get your art appraised, and make sure it's by a professional.

Appraisers Association of America, 212-889-5404

American Society of Appraisers, 800-272-8258

International Society of Appraisers, 888-472-4732


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  2. One question not answered though are their rates determined? Do they charge by the hour and if so then does it make sense to shop around for the cheapest, but still qualified appraiser? Or do they charge say a percentage of the value of your artworks? Tx.