We reached out to Haitian Art Collector Aderson Exume to ask how he would recommend one start their Haitian Fine Art Collection. He referred us to an interview he had with Caribbean Art World Magazine in 2009. Below we’ve added an excerpt from the interview with the hope that it will answer questions you may have about starting your Haitian Fine Art Collection.
Q:In your opinion, what qualifications or particular knowledge does a collector need to have to be considered a collector, as opposed to being an art enthusiast or art appreciator?
Scholarship, scholarship and more scholarship. The collector is obsessed with the artist (dead or living). He studiously studies not only the art, but also the life of the artist. Most importantly, the artist’s work speaks to the collector’s soul. To me, that is the key difference.
Q: What information do you need to have, or must have, before making a decision to purchase an art piece?
If you must think about whether or not you like it, then don’t buy it. I feel the right work will choose you rather than the reverse. Second, do your own research on the artist and his or her work: what museum holdings are they represented in, how many years did their art last, etc. Good scholarship requires a good amount of research and training. Lastly, research the value of the piece or its comparables and record prices of the artist’s work. This is often the most important component.
Q: Do you think it is important for collectors to loan their works to museums to exhibit? Why?
Yes, I not only think it is important but find it absolutely necessary. From a true collector’s perspective, you should want to share your art with others. For me, nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing how happy my art makes others at museum exhibitions. If you really love the art, exhibiting your art collection is a way of showing respect to the artist, a way of keeping him or her alive, especially if the artist has passed. From an investment standpoint, exhibiting one’s collection can only increase its value, importance, and fame. The goal is to keep the collection moving to more prestigious venues.
I also find that Haitian art collectors are not too inclined to exhibit their collections. I would like to encourage them to do what Jonathan Demme and I are doing, which is to actively exhibit the works in our collections. Collectors stay away from this for many reasons. One is the safety or lack of safety of their art. Therefore, it is very important to use professional art shippers or transporters that are fully insured, as are all museums.
Haitian art collectors must learn the importance of exhibiting their collections. Here’s a case in point: Rufino Tamayo’s 1946 “Cataclismo” painting trailed the value of Hector Hyppolite’s art auctions. Today, that painting is worth over $1,000.000.00 while the best of Hyppolites can’t sell for $50,000.00. This is simply further proof that collectors need to exhibit their collections more. The more interest that the genre garners, the greater value it will have.
Q: Do you think there is great value in collecting the art you collect?
Yes, I do. I collect Haitian and African art. I collect to also conserve my culture and history.
African art is thriving, even in this dreadful economy. And, while Haitian art is worth only half of its 1990’s value, I am confident that the value of Haitian art will rise again.
Excerpt from CAW Magazine
For complete interview go to http://www.cawmagazine.com/articles/features/collectors/feature-collector.php?arID=40
Painting information:“Mother with Twins”by Castera Bazile