From "Dwight Today," The Dwight School Foundation Alumni Magazine:
“The Art of Successful Antique Collecting”
On May 3, Graham Arader (Parent of Abigail ’18 and Alexander ’23) offered an inside look at art collecting during a private tour of his home and gallery, Arader Galleries, which is located at 1016 Madison Avenue in New York City. Arader, perhaps the largest and most significant dealer of rare maps, Audubon aquatints, prints and natural history watercolors within the United States, has 30,000 books and almost $1.5 billion worth of art in his beautiful six-floor townhouse. Arader established his business in 1974 and is credited with signficantly expanding the print market and with bringing the world of cartography to the collector and not just the purview of academics and librarians.
As he led the tour, Arader skillfully placed every work into historical context with precise dates, places, and people. His colorful narratives described enormous 16th century tapestries showing the iconography of Africa and Brazil; a map of the United States at the time of the Louisiana Purchase; and the third most archaeologically and historically significant painting of Charles IV.
Arader advised all budding collectors to pursue art that they are passionate about. He warned, “You will never make money by purchasing pieces to make money. Collect what you like.” He also explained that if something is in the correct condition, it can be 20 to 30 times more valuable. Interestingly, in today’s post-recession market, the majority of his sales are to clients outside the United States, including but not limited to Korea, China and Australia. If you have money and knowledge, Arader argues that this is a great time to buy. But he suggests first giving a donation to a museum to try to get to know the curator better or visiting with the history faculty at a local university to gain wisdom – both can be wonderful resources as you expand your art collection.