Art 101

The 5 Rules of Gifting Art

With a bit of research and careful consideration, an artwork will make a beautiful and unexpected gift that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Discover our head curator’s five top tips for buying art as a gift.

By Rise Art

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Christmas... Meaningful milestones that when marked by a gift are made all the more memorable. When it comes to finding the right present, the key is to avoid falling into the inevitable traps of the cliché or the boring. While buying art for a loved one may seem like a daunting prospect, do not shy away from the task – the greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward!

With a bit of research and careful consideration, an artwork will make a beautiful and unexpected gift that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Discover our head curator’s five top tips for buying art as a gift.

Lucky me! by Mary Jo McGonagle, 2022, neon and glass, 46 x 89 x 8cm


1. Determine Your Budget

Be it for a birthday, a housewarming, a Christening or even a wedding, the bandwidth of your budget may determine whether you buy an original work on canvas, a sculpture or a limited edition print. Deciding your budget will help you easily direct your search and be realistic about your options. Where possible and if it gives some added comfort reach out to an advisor who can help you get the most bang for your buck.

Some of the Sources of Pop Art 7 by Sir Peter Blake, 2009, 24 colour screen print plus high gloss & matt glazes, diamond dust and red glitter, 106 x 101cm


2. Consider the Space

It’s safe to assume that if you know someone well enough to be buying them art, you’ll probably have a good idea of their space. Consider the style and size of their home before browsing for a piece. Do they have enough space for a large statement piece? Is it colourful and eclectic, or pared back and minimal? Considering their tastes and interiors will help you narrow your search and ensure the piece really works in their home. If you’re in doubt, it’s always a safe option to err on the side of caution and gift a smaller work, because original works come in all sizes and there is always space for a small work at home, whether it’s hung, or sits on a mantel piece, shelf or bedside table.

Interior with Paynes Grey by Daisy Cook, 2020, oil paint charcoal pencil acrylic, 60 x 40cm


3. Make it Meaningful

Art is often bought because of its emotional appeal and can be highly revealing of someone’s taste and personality. Creating a connection through theme will ensure that your recipient truly loves the work. Think about their favourite hobbies; do they love travelling, fashion, nature or design? Where are they from, or do they have a favourite place? Or is there something about the occasion that you could symbolise through the piece?

Political Poison by Alexandra Gallagher, 2020, paper, 60 x 60cm

For example, a wedding will allow you to symbolise the precious bond between two people with an artwork to endure the years. Whether you wing it and fly solo, choosing to gift a work on your own, or you contribute to a designated wedding registry for art, it’s the kind of gift that will make a huge, lasting impact, displaying a higher level of effort and thoughtfulness.


4. Get it Framed

If your budget allows, be sure to mount and frame the work so it is ready to hang. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to put up an artwork immediately, and few things more annoying than having to find a local framer, transport it there and then pay for it on top! Let’s also not forget that a great frame has the ability to transform any artwork, no matter how small.

Hringlaga Paul Smith II by Kristjana S Williams, 2018, Matt Smooth Fine Art Cotton 300gsm and highest quality inks (giclée), 80 x 80cm


5. Go With a Gift Card

gift card is the perfect backup plan, offering your recipient the pleasure of browsing, discovering and investing in an artwork they really love. It will take the pressure off you, whilst remaining a highly personal and thoughtful gift. Just make sure to check if there is an expiry date, so nobody ends up disappointed!


Your Wedding Registry | The perfect gift to last a lifetime

Discover our bespoke wedding registry service and be inspired to commemorate your special day with artwork to last a lifetime. Our expert curators are on hand to help you navigate the process and discover works you love. Choose a wish list of your favourite artworks to share privately with your friends and family, and give your guests the option to contribute to your art fund or purchase the artworks you’ve chosen – it’s as simple as that! Find out more and get in touch.

It was a small wedding by David Gilliver, 2021, Olmec matt photo paper 230gsm, 30 x 45cm

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