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November 7, 2018 61 min

Rachel Berg is a New York City-based Art Advisor. She is the director of curation at Museum Editions, which specializes in placing art in hotels, restaurants, and corporate environments. She’s also president of Live Artfully, their in-house atelier for custom artwork. Rachel has a visual arts degree from Princeton and a master’s of art and art education from Columbia. An artist herself, Rachel enjoys the collaboration process and is committed to good relationships with artists, as well as transparency in art-licensing projects. In this episode, Rachel discusses how she selects art; works with hotel architects, designers, and vendors; and how artists can navigate the process.

The Art of Art Advising
  • “What you have to look for when you’re working with art consultant, is a culture that is there to protect the artist and make sure that the artwork has its integrity intact when it gets to its end…”
  • “Museum Editions works whichever way the artist and art works, because it’s our incentive to make a beautiful space. It’s our incentive to help the designers fulfill their vision.”
  • “As curator, what I like to do is go through and give the artist an idea of which pieces, in what they have submitted—in my and my team’s opinion—would have the most success with our clientele.”
  • “Existing work is always our first choice because it’s there, it needs to find a home. Bespoke commissions happen when all the stars don’t line up—maybe it’s the wrong size, maybe it’s the wrong price, maybe it’s the wrong really bespoke comes from the need for a specific piece.”
  • “What we are looking for [in artist’s branding and marketing materials] are good quality images that we can pass on to clients, and a solid understanding of what the creation process is, what the materials are, and what the sizing is. It’s really that simple.”
  • The Shift of the Marketplace
  • “I think artists really were protective of their image 15 years ago, whereas now, everyone’s trying to get their image out. You will definitely want it to be available in a hotel when people are Instagramming and are in front of your artwork and can tag you.”
  • “This industry is an excellent way to continue selling your work. Hotels change their artwork every 7 years at minimum. So they’re always moving. It’s a booming industry, it’s going to keep going, and they’re always interested in cutting-edge work.”
  • “The good news is I’ve been doing this long enough to say with confidence that even if you’re not hot right now, you will be soon. Because the industry, especially the boutique design industry, is very driven by trends.”
  • Visualizing the Experience
  • “If it is thoughtful, it is fine art.”
  • “Give yourself limitations [for multiple editions of your work]. Say: for “up to 500 prints, this is X price.” Or negotiate that and be aware of your terms when you’re working. There are not so many terms to go over that it’s that complicated to set a limit.”
  • “Make sure you’re always retaining the rights to the work. If someone is asking you to sign the rights, there’s a problem. Because we are asking permission to use it; not to own it.”
  • “There is an understanding now that there is a social media piece to the story for the brand of the hotel, and even in corporate cases now we’re seeing more and more of the story. The selection committee is consulting with their branding; they’re making sure the artwork is fitting with the story of who they are.”
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