One of the bonuses of travel is discovering the culture of your destination, including statement art and local artisans. Investing in statement art pieces may pay off in years to come and is its own reward. It can also require thoughtful planning to attend art fairs, galleries and auction houses. Browsing online auction houses is one approach. However, art can pop up in both expected and unexpected places. Do your research ahead of time on events occurring in the cities you’re traveling to. Be sure to also let your Travel Concierge know that you’re in the market to buy art.
Why buy statement art pieces
“Why buy art” you ask? Many people buy art as something to remember their travels by. That handmade mask or shawl will take you right back to the sights, sounds and smells of a local market. However, statement art pieces can also serve as conversation pieces. Your dinner guests will want to hear your travel stories when they admire that colorful tapestry or unique sculpture. Art is a great way to engage your guests in your adventures, with no slideshow required.
How to find local art pieces
Statement art pieces don’t have to be expensive. Some of the most memorable pieces of art are found in unlikely spots. Local markets are great spots to uncover a unique piece of art. Shopping for art in local markets also gives you a focus on how to approach your experience and interact with the locals. You can’t see and do it all, so going into a market with a mission gives you a window into the culture. Be sure to look into the local customs around negotiating, too. Here are a few of our favorite experiences with artisans and markets:
Local artisans and markets
In Italy, discover classic Venetian crafts from elaborate carnival masks and marbleized paper to the ancient skill of glassblowing now practiced by a few masters. Why not pick up a one-of-a-kind piece to take home?
In Perugia, visit the Church of Saint Francis of the Women to get an inside look at the ancient loom-weaving techniques of Umbria from a fourth-generation weaver. Admire and be inspired by the classic decorative motifs that are also found in the works of Giotto, Ghirlandaio and da Vinci.
On the other side of the globe, discover more amazing textiles and be inspired by traditional weaving techniques in Peru at the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.
The markets of India are great spots to pick up stunning souvenirs and art pieces.
Peruse the fine silks, embroidery, leather, brassware, shawls, carved wooden boxes and intricate silver jewelry in the bazaar of the medieval trading city of Jaisalmer. In Jodhpur’s Sardar Market, browse the famous Bandhini, a traditional Rajasthani handcrafted cloth, and other embroidered leather items, lacquer handicrafts and puppets. And in Udaipur, Venice of the East, find the perfect piece of brassware, one of the famous Rajasthani puppets, Bandhani and Batik sarees or colorful handmade jutti shoes.
Where to get inspired
Needing a little inspiration for that perfect purchase? Our tours take you to some of the world’s most impressionable museums, many before or after opening hours to the public. From Hue, Vietnam’s intimate Tran Dinh Son Museum to the unique Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in the shadow of Mount Fuji and Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, you’ll have countless opportunities to be inspired by the works of masters—both little and well known.
Back in Venice, Italy, enter the Doge’s Palace and ascend the gold staircase for an after-hours tour of the art, culture and history of the Venetian Republic.
In Austria, enjoy a VIP, after-hours visit to Vienna’s magniﬁcent, Baroque Schönbrunn Palace. Admire the mirrored hall where Mozart made music as a six-year-old prodigy and the Grand Gallery decorated in golden stucco, ceiling frescoes and gold-plated chandeliers.
Lastly in Melk Abbey, view the 16,000-volume collection in the main library and gaze up at the Paul Troger fresco on the hall ceiling as an Expert Guide talks you through its fascinating history.
Stumped on how to make a good investment?
Like any investment, delving into the world of art investment requires research of the museums, galleries and auction houses you plan to visit, both on and offline. But when you’re traveling, it’s good to have a little help on where to explore. Like so many other aspects of your journey, your Travel Concierge can help with organizing where to go to check out local art and perhaps even advise on shipping. They’re here to help and enrich your journey from stunning sights to statement art.
Where will your search for statement art pieces take you?