Support our GBV Cause – buy a poster
Latest Creative News

Joost Bosland: Client Etiquette


Zander Blom ‘New Paintings’ at Stevenson Johannesburg


When buying art there are, as with everything in life, a few basic ground rules for conducting yourself in a manner that earns you respect rather than scorn. The art world in South Africa is a small one, and so if you’re serious about collecting art, it is essential that you act accordingly. Joost Bosland, Director of the Stevenson Gallery, shares some of the basics of good collector’s etiquette:


  • When you hear the price of a work, simply say “that’s wonderful”. This shows gallerists that you’re serious
  • Almost all galleries offer payment options that are intended to make purchasing a work more realistic and realisable. However, if you agree to a payment, you must honer this
  • Don’t haggle. With a bit of negotiation you may be able to knock a few thousand rand off the price, but if you haggle persistently, you will become known for this and so when prime art pieces become available, gallerists will not think to offer you first preference
  • Don’t take months to make your decision. By stringing gallerists along, you can cost an artist a sale
  • Be generous in other small ways besides purchases, like offering to fund small side projects of artists whom you are following. This will put you at the top of the list for first preference when new works become available
  • Don’t try to by-pass galleries in an attempt to buy from the artist directly. There exists a strong and mutual relationship between artists and their galleries


These points come from Joost Bosland’s webinar talk that is part of The Art of Access series.


Between 10 and 5