Suggestions for Buying Fine Art as a Gift

There is the old saying about the challenge of buying a gift for the person who has “everything,” and there are options far and wide to solve this. But when you consider what could really make a unique gift, something that your recipient may never buy themselves (or never ask someone to buy for them), why not consider art? A gift like this is quite memorable; each time the beneficiary looks at the art and enjoys it, your face will come to mind. It is something that is timeless, an item that they can enjoy all year round, doesn’t wear out and can be passed on to future generations, becoming a family heirloom.

But once you decide that fine art would be the perfect gift for your occasion, you don’t simply march down to the nearest gallery and pick just anything. There is much to contemplate when you take on the task of purchasing an expensive piece of art for someone. These considerations will help you make the ideal selection for your recipient.

  1. How is their home decorated? Respect the recipient’s personal taste and style, and look around for colors art genre and mediums they appear to be drawn to. Think about the style of their home and the furnishings found throughout. Envision the display location you might have in mind for the artwork, or if you are unsure, at least ponder the available space you have noticed in the home or office.


  1. Will the art resonate with your recipient? Choose something they will understand and relate to, or perhaps work from an artist you know they like. Before you purchase a large painting to go above a sofa, consider the impact of a small selection. Give your recipient something that they could display in multiple ways. Art makes a nice housewarming gift, but if it is not something they will enjoy, it may sit in an unused room, be relegated to storage, or even resold.
  1. Reflect on the receiver’s hobbies or passions. Keep in mind that you are choosing art for someone else, and your tastes cannot come into play unless you both share the same feelings. Travel, activities, countries, sports, or even cultural icons which the recipient is fond of can lead you to a piece that reflects their personality. If you do share an interest, a piece epitomizing this connection is a wonderful way to celebrate what you share!
  1. How well are you acquainted with the receiver? When looking for something for the home of a colleague, you are not likely to look for the same subject matter as that of a spouse or family member. Consider the level of relationship (and thus, intimacy) of the gift. What does the art work say to you, and how would it speak to your recipient? Some pieces are simply too personal to give to an employer or casual friend.
  1. How will the gift of art arrive? If you are shopping knowing that you will hand-deliver the art, you have only to worry about the size of your vehicle! However, if you are having the art shipped, considering the cost and involvement in transportation. Photographs, paintings, and other works on paper are often the easiest to send.

  1. Frame your art gift! It is always best to give a gift which requires no complicated assembly or installation. This also frees your receiver from the hassle and expense of finding a framer and having the work done themselves. Your recipient is much more likely to display the art if all he or she needs to do is find a location and exhibit the piece.
  2. Consider This is especially helpful if you are not totally sure of your receiver’s taste. By providing them with a selection of works, the viewers’ eyes are not focused on one piece. This allows a bit more freedom in choosing artwork, as even if one specific piece is not his or her favorite, the selection together provides a lovely display. Further, when this is provided in a new (undecorated) space, your recipient may feel inspired to find more pieces.

NOTE: DON’T buy portraits, unless it is of someone familiar to your receiver. Many people don’t like to have these kinds of pictures on the wall; it can be considered creepy.

  1. Give an explanation or story regarding the artwork you chose. Tell the recipient the story as to why you chose that specific piece, what it meant to you, and perhaps background on the artist. Any details to encourage the receiver to experience a hint of sentimentalism will increase the likelihood of approval and the chances that the piece will be displayed prominently. Another option is to purchase art at a benefit auction. Your recipient will be touched by the reality that a worthy cause is benefited AND they received a beautiful piece of artwork at the same time.


So, when you are looking for a unique gift for a special friend, colleague, or family member, don’t discount the gift of fine art. Original art can be appreciated by anyone and provides a lasting memory that both of you can enjoy. A one-of-a-kind piece of art, whether it be a painting, print, or even sculpture, gives something special that cannot be found elsewhere. Its exhibition will become a source of pride, and a lifelong investment which can be passed on to be enjoyed by future generations.


When you have decided that fine art is the gift you are looking for, contact Sybaris Collection. Our experts offer free art advisory service to help you in the process, from discovering the recipient’s taste, choosing artwork, framing decisions, and shipping options. Let us guide you through your journey in locating a memorable gift!