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What is the Value of Your Work?

Harriete Estel Berman standing in front of her artwork at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
Have you ever wondered ...

What are key considerations when art or craft is accepted into a collection?

What is the value of that particular work to a collector or collection?

Does having artwork in a collection actually affect the value of future work?

These questions delve into the myriad issues of value. Price is not the sole determinant of value. Materials are not the sole determinant of value. The amount of time you put into making a piece has little to do with its perceived value.

In fact, the value of a particular piece may vary depending on different contexts, situations or people.

In the post "Most of all, money is a story", Seth Godin says:

“Five dollars to buy a snack box on an airplane is worth something very different than five dollars to buy a cup of coffee after a fancy meal, which is worth something different than five dollars in the grocery store. That's because we get to pretend that the five dollars in each situation is worth a different amount--because it's been shifted.”


Deganit-Stern Schocken Me Uchim. NYTAs artists and makers trying to sell our work, we often talk about price and value in the same sentence, but they are not the same thing.

The necklace to the left is attributed to Deganit-Stern Schocken Me Uchin.* 

It is made from crushed tin cans without any effort at refined craft skill.  

Below is a necklace by Mary Lee Hu.* It is finely woven from gold.

Both necklaces are made by contemporary art jewelers. Each makes a statement about value of materials, and craftsmanship. Both are in the Newark Museum collection. I can't wait to hear what Ulysses Dietz has to say at the SNAG Professional Development Seminar about this work and other pieces in their collection.

Are there actions that artists can take to increase the value of their work?