5 reasons why you should collect art in Czechia and how to get started

Art-world insider Barbora Půlpánová on why expats should invest in Czech art.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 03.03.2023 13:08:00 (updated on 03.03.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

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Art collecting has long been viewed as the provenance of the wealthy and elite but the Czech Republic’s emerging scene makes it an ideal place for beginners to dip their toes into the fascinating – and potentially profitable – world of art investing.

Together with art expert and founder of the EduArt Experience Barbora Půlpánová, Expats.cz will host an exclusive workshop for art enthusiasts who want to become connoisseurs on March 28 at Kvalitář gallery. Click here for details.

You’ll learn not only how to buy art in Czechia but why it’s a sound investment both on a financial and emotional level.

In advance of this exclusive event, we spoke to Půlpánová about what foreigners need to know about the art scene and the many reasons why becoming a collector of Czech art is easy, even for foreigners.

1. It’s English-friendly and welcomes foreigners.

We asked Půlpánová if the art world is closed off due to the language barrier. "Not necessarily. I think everyone, at least curators and gallerists, if not the artists themselves, speak English these days," she says. "So it's not about the language barrier but more about the mental barrier that stops you from just popping into a gallery and start asking questions."

Půlpánová says that most galleries are open to anyone’s inquiries and they would be happy to have foreign clientele. She says the terminology associated with art culture is the most important for potential collectors to know.

"During this event, you will learn, for instance, the specific words around galleries and auction houses for example, the primary market and secondary market as well as how the market structure works."

2. It’s more affordable than you’d think.

There’s a misconception that you must be a millionaire to collect art. When in fact, Půlpánová says that you can get started by investing just a few thousand crowns.

"You don't have to be rich to start collecting art. The media creates this picture that art is only for rich people and sells for millions of crowns or pounds but that is really the top of the market and there are others who simply enjoy buying and living with art."

She says what's important is knowing where to start and how to get valuable insider information about the art scene. Půlpánová’s course offers a crash course in not only how to discuss art but where you can go – galleries, studios, auction houses, to put your knowledge into practice.

"For new collectors, there is a lot to choose from and if they decide to support young artists or artists at the beginning of their career the price is not so high."

3. Czech art is a sound investment.

"Collecting art is an investment that can certainly help you beat inflation. It’s all about making the right choice," Půlpánová advises. Her classes are set up to explain why collecting makes sense from the investment point of view.

Czech art is still an underdeveloped market, that's why I think these talks are really important to get a whole idea of how the art market works. The Czech Republic is also a good place to start collecting - there are quite a lot of artists here, really great artists, and the infrastructure of artists working with the gallery and artist-gallery relationships are not as established as in the West due to the communist era which really destroyed the art market."

Půlpánová says that the art-collecting community is rapidly growing. One of the underlying philosophies of her EduArt experience program is to help cultivate the art scene. Participants will also learn about the ethics of collecting and how to respect the rules. 

4. There is a social responsibility aspect.

For Půlpánová investing is just one of the boxes collecting art should tick. Another is the social responsibility aspect. "When you invest you’re not only investing in artwork but the artist and the whole culture. You support artists in creating their artwork, and in speaking about what's happening in society at the moment."

By supporting young artists you also have a hand in a legacy for future generations. "It's a message or it's like a story about the time we live in now."

5. Collecting art can be as good for your soul as it is for your finances.

The third box art should tick is the emotional value. "There are a lot of studies saying that absorbing art, not only creating it but watching it and feeling it has a really positive effect on our mental health," she says. During the course, you also get to experience what Půlpánová describes as the magical feeling and atmosphere that you can experience in a gallery while viewing art.

"When you start living with art it makes a difference. You wake up and see your favorite painting or sculpture you feel better. "

Expats.cz will host an exclusive workshop for art enthusiasts who want to become connoisseurs on March 28 at Kvalitář Gallery.

As part of the EduArt Experience program Půlpánová also organizes an English-language EduArt Club that works with international experts.

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