How Hanging Art Influences Sales


An Art Marketing Message from B. Eric Rhoads


Where your painting is hung matters.



Walk into any gallery, and you can tell instantly what the best painting in the room is. It's the one hanging in the spot the gallery owner considers the best place. If she's smart, she will hang the most expensive painting in the best spot because the best spot sells paintings better than any other spot.



I was recently at an opening celebrating the 25th anniversary of Lee Youngman Galleries in Calistoga, CA (Napa area), where my paintings hang. As I walked into the crowded room, my eyes were drawn to the big wall in the front of the room with a giant painting by my friend Charles H. White. That was the best spot to be in, and his painting looked great there.



Guess which painter was the top seller that night? You guessed it.



Is it a coincidence? Perhaps, but there are subtle signals that whisper to collectors, "This is the best painting in the room." People always want the best, and usually the biggest painting in the best spot sends that signal. They may not even buy that painting, but it creates desire for works by that painter.



Though we would all like to think people will buy what they love, if something is the best in their mind, it acts like a buying aphrodisiac. One of the most frequent questions in any retail environment is, "Tell me, which is the best _____ you sell?" If there are three paintings someone loves, chances are they will buy the best they can afford.



Pepsi and Coke pay big money to be on the endcaps of aisles in a Walmart because they get noticed more in those locations. Where your art hangs in a gallery is about getting noticed. People won't buy what they don't see. If there are 200 paintings in the gallery, you want to be the one everyone notices.



Being in the best spot gives you an advantage and aids the "best painting" perception. It may seem like silly pop psychology, but it's a retail reality.



Please, No Complaint Calls


Please don't just pick up the phone and demand your gallery place you in the top slot. I'll get too many complaint calls from galleries. But it can't hurt to visit your gallery and say kindly, "One of my goals is to hang in that spot there. Would you be willing to try my painting there for a month?" They may be willing to try it.



Oh, and if people think the best painting is the one in the top spot, what do they think of the painting in the back of the room in the worst spot? You guessed it.


Maybe you're so strong that you can be demanding with your gallery, but I don't recommend it. Yet the relationship should be two-way, and you certainly can make suggestions for the better real estate. Remember that bottom line for the gallery is selling the most profitable painting as rapidly as possible, so they are more likely to put bigger, more expensive paintings in those prime locations.



Eric Rhoads


PS: Follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I'm in Russia on our Russian Art Cruise now, and you can see my feeds and pics from Russia, Denmark, and Sweden.


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I'll be conducting my Marketing Secrets of the Masters Seminar Free during their WEEKEND with the MASTERS. Looks like a wonderful event, and I'm eager to attend. You can learn more about my seminar here.


PPS: Not hanging in a gallery, or need more galleries to hang in? Our publication Artist Advocate reaches a combined 14,500 galleries (mail and e-mail versions) who will see your work so you can begin to build your brand in their eyes and possibly get invited into their gallery. To learn more, contact:


Charlie Bogusz at 970-227-4878 or

Kathleen Lawrence Davis at 530-934-3687 or


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