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Occupation Info

Art Appraiser

Overview: Art appraisers examine paintings, sculptures and antiques to determine their market value by identifying the creators and the quality of the art objects. They examine the artwork's color values, brushstrokes, lines, engravings, etc. in order to identify the artist and date of creation.
Duties: Art appraisers analyze paintings, sculptures, antiques & tapestries for private owners, museums and auctions to estimate their value and price if they were to be sold.

They examine the work for color values, style of brushstroke, esthetic correctness, and other characteristics, to establish the art period and/or identify the artist. Art appraisers judge authenticity and value, based on their knowledge of art history, materials employed, techniques of individual artists, and current market. They may illuminate the work with quartz light to determine whether discoloration is present and x-ray paintings and perform chemical tests on paint samples to detect forgery or to authenticate the work.

They provide owners with certification of the authenticity of the art works that are used for insuring the objects and provide documentation when objects are sold.

They attend art auctions and workshops to stay aware of what art objects are for sale and their prices, and advise clients who wish to buy such objects.

Art appraisers may specialize in particular categories of art or in specific types of artistic articles they appraise.

Degree(s): A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Art & Photography Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Dance Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Music Concentration 
A.S. Visual and Performing Arts: Theatre Arts Concentration 
Job Outlook: Employment of art appraisers is expected to grow faster than average through 2018 due to the public's increased interest in art and museum pieces.
Salary Range (National Average): $33,000 to $36,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: The typical training for the position of an art appraiser is a bachelor's degree in fine arts with a course concentration in art history and art appreciation. Additional courses in business and economics are helpful. Working experience as an art curator and/or an art conservator in an art museum is essential for the position of an art appraiser.
Advancement Info: Some appraisers advance by opening their own businesses. Those who earn a professional certification may have an easier time attracting clients.
Recommended Skills:
  • Painting, drawing, crafting, sculpting and creative designing.
  • Bringing people together to discuss and resolve differences.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Recommended Values:
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.
  • Having the ability to work with equipment or material things.
  • Gaining the respect of others by the nature and/or level of responsibility of your work.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor between 2008-2012.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services Advisor to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.