How to get an Interest Free Loan to Buy Art
Did you know that you can get an interest free loan to buy art? The Arts Council of England has recently announced a program called ‘Own Art’ which allows people to burrow money to buy a contemporary work of art. According to their website (http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/ownart/index.html) the purpose of the program is to “ put the arts at the heart of national life. One of the ways we do this is to encourage people to live with art they love. We also want to help artists live by their creative output and support galleries who sell high quality contemporary art.”
An individual can burrow between 100 pounds and 2000 pounds to purchase an artwork (painting, photograph, sculpture, furniture, glassware etc) from one of the 250 participating galleries in the UK and then pay back the money burrowed in 10 monthly instalments interest free!!! I think this is such an amazing idea which should be taken advantage of by everyone who ever thought about buying a work of art. I wish that I could be involved but this particular art loan scheme is only available to people who live in England or Scotland.
The idea of cultural institutions loaning money to people to buy art is not a new concept with the Arts Council of Wales having offered a similar program to ‘Own Art’ for 20 years called the Principality Collector Plan (http://www.artswales.org/page.asp?id=66). The Principality Collector Plan differs from ‘Own Art’ in that the loan period is longer and the monthly repayment amount is flexible although they do require a 10% deposit whereas the Own Art program does not. Like the Own Art program the Principality Collector Plan is only available to UK residents.
I have been unable to find any similar programs outside of the UK but hopefully cultural institutions and arts councils in other countries will take notice and follow the example set by the UK.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.