Why You Should Invest in Vintage Art (On Any Budget)

Why You Should Invest in Vintage Art (On Any Budget)

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Lauren Hannel
Mar 16, 2017
Vintage Unfinished Sketch at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $180.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)

Few things are more personal than art preference. Minimalists may be drawn to clean lines and graphic prints, while traditionalists will turn oil paintings into ornately framed masterpieces. But one thing that most people can probably agree on: no one wants to turn their walls into a cookie-cutter copycat of someone else's.

That's where vintage art comes in! Like with furniture or clothing, sourcing your art secondhand usually guarantees that you'll find something completely unique and packed with character. While tons of people have gallery walls and similarly-styled side tables, it's the addition of one-of-a-kind art that will really set your space apart.

But the biggest draw of the art hunt is the potential to stumble upon an amazing deal: there's always a good chance that the swap meet oil painting you found behind some old records could be worth much, much more than it's listed for. A Dali among duds? You'd better believe it.

Whether you're a flea market aficionado or regular on Apartment Therapy Marketplace, sometimes the right piece just falls into your lap. Check out some standout pieces in every price range to kickstart your aesthetic upgrade: from prints to paintings, there's something for everyone.

LOW


The biggest misconception about starting an art collection is usually the cost involved. Despite what a visit to your local museum might tell you, not all art needs to inspire fears of touching or an astronomical price tag. Two of these pieces are original antiques with a ton of character, and (as a bonus) come in under $100!

1906 Human Skeleton Lithograph at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $45.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
Antique Italian Hand-Woven Tapestry at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $60.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
Vintage Oil on Canvas Still Life at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $165.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)

MEDIUM

The under-$500 club has some beautiful members, so you just have to decide which one is worth taking home. A classic movie poster is always a good conversation starter, as is a cheerful 1950's illustration of an unknown woman. Even the traditional route of florals has two paths: are you drawn to something bold and colorful, or clean and minimal?

"Flowers" by Sara Masterson at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $300.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
Mid-Century Dandelion Art Print at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $350.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
1950's Portrait Painting at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $400.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
Gone With the Wind Film Poster at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $495.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)

HIGH

For every $300,000,000 prized art piece there are thousands of it's stylish counterparts under $1,000. These three contenders come in under $800 and still pack a strong visual punch; although the styles and periods are different, they're unified by the use of bright color and strong lines. But which is the right one for you?

Modernist Italian Silkscreen Art at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $625.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
Tom Hamilton 'Blue Interior' Series at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $780.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
1980's Abstract Cubist Painting at Apartment Therapy Marketplace, $800.
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy Marketplace)
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