Fontaine à Chambéry

Fontaine à Chambéry

Friday, May 10, 2013

Buying Art While Abroad

As a lover of visual arts and travel, I make a priority to buy art while abroad. You don't have to spend a lot to come home with a great piece for your collection, but it doesn't hurt to come up with a tentative budget before you go. I've found that the prints and photographs I've purchased in Egypt, France, and Italy bring me great joy, especially when I'm in the mood to travel or I want to reflect on the cool trips I've taken. When we return home I get them professionally framed and we find someplace to hang them around the house. Being surrounded by mementos from our trips makes me happy and reminds me of what we experienced while on that particular vacation. 

After I graduated in 2010, my in-laws gave us a trip to Venice to celebrate. We were there for a total of four days in July. It was excruciatingly hot and crowded, so I think that detracted from the visit. We still had an enjoyable time but didn't really explore the city as much as we would have liked. Our hotel was right near St. Mark's Square and everyday we walked by a little art gallery that had numerous prints of the city, but it was always closed. Each time we passed it, I'd look inside and see all of these wonderful prints hanging from floor to ceiling around the tiny shop. We'd walk by numerous times a day on the off chance that the shop was open, but it never was. 

On our last morning in Venice we went, once again, to the shop. This time a note on the door said "Went to Lido. Will return at 12." We needed to hop on a water taxi and get to the airport but I really wanted to go in and buy something so we waited around for a while. Finally, the owner showed up (in typical European fashion she arrived well after 12, but that's beside the point). She was a really nice Venetian woman and was passionate about art and the artists she represented. I picked two prints and the woman gave me a discount because I had just graduated with my art history degree. Woot! I got the prints professionally framed when I returned to the U.S. later that summer. Now the prints hang in our bedroom. Every time I look at them I can't help but smile because they're so beautiful and remind me of the really good trip we had in Venice. 

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