Diane Dewey Offers Key Points on Art Valuation

Richard Friswell
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Recently, Diane Dewey, Contributing Editor for ARTES e-Magazine gave a presentation in which she described to the audience what she, as an appraiser, looks for when evaluating a work of art. These factors, that give value to art, are one aspect of the appreciation of an artwork. “When a work speaks to us we should listen,” she noted. The following clip is an excerpt from her talk and deals with two important themes: the importance of quantifiable information such as artist name; date; medium; signature; dimensions; subject matter; condition; provenance; and current artist’s market. She also hastened to include the vital eleventh theme—a more subjective and elusive one – “your own view of the work.”

Dewey explained the personal aspect of buying art: “The symbols of paint, chisel or pencil markings made may replicate the artist’s sensibility, but we as viewers seek imagery that conforms to or stimulates our own sensibilities. The process of art appreciation is like matching a fingerprint. We seek ourselves, our own imprint, what turns us on, or what articulates a thought or emotion that for us may be unexpressed, but which is embodied in a given work. That resonance, combined with a quality of execution and the quantitative data I described, engenders an understanding of the value of art for us all.”

Click on the image below to hear a portion of Diane Dewey’s talk:


  1. Alissa Siegal January 7, 2010 1:45 pm

    You look lovely in the clip, and what you say is clear & interesting. I particularly like that you emphasize that if art speaks to you, if you love it, then it is for you! I feel so strongly that art should be available to anyone to enjoy, and your talk empowers those who may be new to art to trust themselves.



  2. Amy January 10, 2010 11:22 pm

    great talk! isn’t buying art that one likes part of what makes a collector a ‘patron of the arts’?

  3. Margaret Tsirantonakis January 11, 2010 6:53 pm

    I do like what you say Diane, and you articulate it very well.
    That most important thing of listening to the artwork and seeing if it speaks to you is so true. I also find that an artwork can reveal more with each viewing, and it can be rewarding to be open to that.


  4. Stephen January 20, 2010 8:40 pm

    Diane – You are so on point, it’s terrific. Thanks for sharing/encouraging.

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