Flipping through

Seattle Art Museum Gallery: Renting Art is Cheaper Than Your Favorite Bottle of Whiskey

January 24, 2013 | 0 Comments.

Here are the types of comments I hear from friends when they come over to our house: “It is so, um, modern in here.”  “Wow, you must be going for the stark look.”  “I think I can hear an echo.”

My common retorts, especially after realizing I can no longer use the  “I just moved in” excuse after living here for almost a year: “I am too busy to furnish the house.”  “I like the minimalist look.”  The latter statement may somewhat be true, but the underlying reason: I am afraid of committing.

As usual, my friend Paige comes up with an answer:  Rent Art!

The Seattle Art Museum makes renting art financially accessible for commitment-phobic people like me. With a rotating selection of 1,000 pieces of paintings, drawings, mixed-media, and photographs for rent and for sale, I am convinced there is something here for everyone.  All of the works originate from artists in the Pacific Northwest.

Paige flipping through the various pieces at the SAM Gallery


Intimidated by art?  The people who work at the gallery are the antithesis of stereotypical art snobs.  They are knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate about art.  They can even give you the back story behind a lot of the artists and make recommendations, if you tell them the type of art you generally like.  One of my favorites is Michelle, who has been at the gallery for 18 years.

By the way, I am convinced this is even better than renting a dog because there is no poop to pick up.

How it works:  The rental and sale prices are clearly marked next to each piece.  The rental fees work in three month increments for a maximum rental period of six months.

Is it really affordable?  Yes!  With 3-month rentals ranging from a total of $30-$300, swapping out a bottle of your favorite whiskey for some art could pay for your rental.  The rental fee is generally 9-10% of the price set by the artist for full sale.

Decide that you are in love with a piece after your rental is up?  You can put a portion of your rental fee towards the purchase.  And feel free to celebrate the American way: pay over the course of 16 months, interest-free.

I know art is subjective, but I really want you to like this piece as much as I do

Now that I have got a plan for securing art, next on my list is buying a couch.

Address: 1220 3rd Ave  Seattle, WA 98101

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, from 10:30am-5pm


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