The Paper Chase
All too many times the problem arises that you need to document the work or works of art you own. And while it might your art is worth ten dollars or ten thousand dollars, the basic problem is always the same: where is the paperwork? Hold onto the invoices you receive when you purchase art; if you have misplaced them, obtain copies from either the artist or dealer. Along side the invoice you want to collect any photographic documentation of the work. You might own a print or drawing and want the photo of the work before and after framing.
When it comes to re-selling works of art, donating works or planning for your estate all this homework will help save time, expense and frustration.
Many collectors with extensive holdings employ a registrar who handles the loans of works and keeps a record of the exhibition history of the work, any changes in scholarship, etc., and condition. There is no reason not to be your own in house registrar since technology today allows you to do it with your desktop.
With the aid of technology you can also maintain your own inventory. For that purpose I recommend a software system by ArtStacks , intuitive art management at www.artstacks.com For your books and catalogues I recommend: www.collectorz.com The software is also easy to set up and use and helps organizing your books while providing you with all the information you may need about them. And if a work you own is published you certainly do want to keep that record as well. (Remember art books and catalogues are printed in limited quantities and hard to replace, and costly to replace too when they are out of print.)
All this documentation may seem like a grand chore, but in the end, will provide you with much satisfaction and enable you to pass on your collecting passions to those who appreciate the gift of organization as well as the gift of art