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Buying Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal art is significant in many ways: as an expression of Indigenous culture, as a source of income for artists and communities as well as a source of pleasure for viewers and buyers.

If you are thinking of buying an Aboriginal artwork there are various places you can make your purchase, these include:


  • Art galleries and dealers

  • Aboriginal community art centres

  • Auctions

  • Directly from the artist.

When buying a painting or limited edition print it is useful to consider the following questions:



  • Is the artwork authentic (made by the person stated as the artist)?

  • Is it properly documented with a Certificate of Authenticity, and if available, other evidence?

  • What is the history (provenance) of the work?

  • Where and when was it made?

  • How has it come onto the market?


  • Does the artwork come from a reputable source?

  • If buying directly from the artist, are you paying a fair price for the work?

  • If buying from a gallery or dealer, are they a member of the AAAA or the Australian Galleries Association?

  • Does the gallery or dealer subscribe to the ethics of a professional organisation, such as the AAAA Code of Ethics?


  • What is the reputation or profile of the artist?

  • How does the quality of the artwork compare with other works by the same artist?

  • Would it be possible to re-sell the artwork, either with the current seller or at auction?

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