Three RUGGLI art prints - Living Quarters, Breathing Room and Space Between - in natural oak frames on a living room wall above a grey couch.

Questions to Ask When Buying Modern Art Prints

Printmaking is a centuries-old medium through which many artists have extended their practice. Printmaking combines original works on paper, usually in numbered editions, and created in collaboration with presses. 

For those looking to invest, we’ve comprised a list of questions to ask before purchasing modern art prints.

Where should I start?

The first thing to think about is what you’re going to collect. Do you have a penchant for a particular artist? Are you looking for a particular type of print? Or perhaps a particular format? 

To know where to start, try working with a gallery, to gauge different types of artworks, and even find assistance in making your choice. Art galleries know the market, and can tell you the differences of why one piece might be more valuable than another.

What’s a good first purchase?

As an investment, it’s hard to beat an etching. This medium can be done on a variety of papers, ranging from relatively inexpensive etching papers to extremely rare wove papers, which are heavier and more expensive. 

What should I look for when buying a print?

When buying a print, you should examine the condition of the paper, to determine whether it has been stored correctly. You should also look at the actual print itself. There should be no paper-loss, foxing marks or other blemishes on the artwork. The print should be clean and in perfect condition. You should also ensure that it is an original work by the artist, by examining the edition, and determining that there are no additional printings. 

How much should I expect to spend on a print?

It’s true that prints are much more affordable than paintings, but you can spend as much or as little as you like. A small giclée done on high-quality paper is typically more expensive than a large multicolor screen print. You can find affordable quality prints ranging from $100 to $1,500.

Where should I go to find the best prices?

The best prices are going to be either in the gallery or at the artist’s studio. 

But at RUGGLI, we have a better solution! Buy direct and take a look at our modern art prints, we have a wide selection of unique pieces at museum quality. Frame, or unframed, with free shipping!