Good Question: How To Find That Ebay Art?

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(This was taken from Open Thread #10)
Hello AT,

Can molly give us some tips on searching for art on ebay? she seems to find the best stuff! i have terrible luck finding the goodies and would love to know some secrets!


Hey brandy, we went to the source and got the skinny. Below the fold is Molly in her own words. anyone else with some good ebay tips?

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first.)
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Molly writes: Sadly, there’s no secret to finding art on Ebay. I tend to search for “Figures/Portraits,” as I find them more compelling than, say, landscapes or still life (is it any wonder that the French call them nature morte, or dead nature?). I often search in the “Realist” category for works from 1900-1949 or 1950-1969, as AT readers tend to be fans of mid-century art and design.

The truth is that I scan hundreds of paintings to find one that I feel is well executed. Fortunately, practice has enabled me to scan several hundred works in a few minutes. I tend to think that buying art by a listed artist – one who is listed in the American Artists Bluebook (, which lists about 42,000 American artists – is a better investment than buying anonymous art. That’s if you’re looking to invest, of course. Otherwise you can buy whatever speaks to you.

The keyword “Eames” will bring up mid-century art. Depending on what you’re interested in, you might try “mod,” “Deco,” “social realist,” “Gothic,” and so on.

For photographs, I visit, find a photographer’s name (Jock Sturges, for example), and search Ebay for his or her work. A search like led me to seller russlevin, who specializes in contemporary photography. Once I decide I like a seller, I check on him or her regularly.

I wish everyone luck in finding art on Ebay; it is every bit as challenging as visiting an enormous flea market, I find it equally rewarding.