Purchasing and collecting fine art isn’t something that’s exactly accessible for many people. But Madelaine D’Angelo wants to change that.
The 28-year-old was unhappy with the current model of fine art collecting. It’s something that basically requires people to purchase artwork outright in order to enjoy those pieces.
D’Angelo didn’t feel like that model would attract many young people like herself to the fine art world. So she took a cue from the sharing economy and created a startup that gives would-be art collectors a way to enjoy fine art without purchasing it outright.
Her startup, Arthena, offers a way for people to buy into special collections of art. With their relatively small investment (at least compared to buying whole collections of artwork), investors gain part ownership of all the pieces in that particular collection, and certain perks that go along with it.
Each collection of artwork represents a different style, like “Emerging European” or “New York Artists Post-1950.” Arthena partners with art experts who curate the purchases for each collection.
The main draw of this system at the moment is the art investment value. For a minimum $10,000 art investment, art enthusiasts can buy into a collection and see their investment rise as the value of the pieces increase. The pieces, at least at the moment, are kept in fine art storage and loaned out to museums and galleries.
D’Angelo told Business Insider:
“You can think about it like a mutual fund for art.”
However, D’Angelo says she’d like to eventually lower the minimum art investment to $2,500, which would make the program much more accessible to smaller investors. She would also like to start a program for loaning the pieces out so investors can display them in their homes.
So for those who are actually interested in displaying fine art, but don’t necessarily have the means to drop thousands on a single piece, Arthena provides an interesting alternative.
There are a lot of people who have likely never even thought about collecting or investing in fine art because of the amount of money it takes to even get started. So, while the current minimum investment isn’t exactly peanuts for many people, this idea could likely open up a whole new world to a new generation of art enthusiasts.