African art/African Paintings - Purchase criteria.


  • Author Lara Junaid
  • Published September 10, 2009
  • Word count 369

Few items can accentuate a home as beautifuly as an expertly made African art piece. Whether made from wood, metal or painted, African art brings spaces to life. African paintings in particular, add color and unique beauty to a home or office.

Many feature vivid colors and work well with most decor styles. The most visually appealing pieces include African village, abstract and nature paintings.

Common key purchase drivers for African paintings, include the likeability, impressiveness/quality, subject matter i.e. village paintings are quite popular, the desire to make a difference and the potential financial upside.

The primary criterion is typically the likeability factor. As a potential owner, you can expect to see the painting everyday, so its critical that the piece is something that you like (maybe even love). Similarly, it is important that the painting adds to your space without overwhelming it.

In terms of social impact, purchasing African paintings makes a difference, particularly if the art dealer is committed to helping african artists. Unfortunatey, many African artists earn pennies on the dollar for their work. So if making a difference is a key decision factor, then make sure you pick a reputable art dealer/retailer i.e. is the business certified by the Better business bureau, are the artists fairly compensated, what is the return policy, etc.

Financial upside also plays a role in the decision to purchase and collect african art, especially when acquiring the works of well established artists. Arguably, the vast majority of African artists, have little or no name recognition but some of these artists will become well known at some point which would have a direct impact on the value of their works.

Regardless of the motivating factor, it's usually helpful to keep in mind this simple piece of advice "Buy what you really love".

To purchase African art, a good place to start is to perform a quick search on google because there are releatively few brick and mortar African art galleries in the U.S. Visit several sites to get a feel for the range of available styles, then make a deicison based on the criteria have been touched upon e.g. likeability, quality, social impact, etc.


Lara Junaid is the founder and CEO of Cape Weaver, LLC. (See for African paintings and for impressive African pieces)

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