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The Lookout | November 30, 2020

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Alumnus publishes art collecting book

Alumnus publishes art collecting book
  • On October 28, 2020

By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief

Before Charles Moore published his book, “The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting,” he attended LCC from 2003 to 2005.

While getting a degree in general studies and criminal justice from LCC, Moore also graduated from Ferris State University in 2005. From there he moved to New York City to work on Wall Street until 2008.

He went back to school and earned an MBA in finance from St. John’s University at its Rome, Italy, campus. Moore stayed in Italy after he graduated and worked as an analyst for an Italian bank before moving back to New York in 2012.

Moore was exposed to art at a young age after his mother started collecting it. He took a trip to his first art museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, as a child. 

“I always had a passion for art and museums because of that,” Moore said. “I started to collect it in 2012. I think most art collectors would tell you the collecting part is the obsession.”

Throughout his life, Moore has collected stamps, baseball cards and comic books. He started his own art collection in 2012.

Since then, he has collected 300 limited edition prints, 20 valuable, limited edition art books, 50 canvas painting and about a dozen sculptures.

“When I got more serious about collecting I really realized that this is where my heart was and I wanted to see where I could go with it,” he said.

Around 2014, Moore said he started to get a lot more serious about collecting art. In 2017, he started a second master’s degree at Harvard, where he studied art and museum studies.

Earlier this year, Moore began his doctoral studies at Columbia University.

Moore said his book focuses little on him and his own art collecting experience, but rather how one should go about learning about art.

“The beginning of the book is a section on books, ironically,” Moore said. “I talk about collecting books before you collect art … gathering the knowledge, and seeing the work and seeing as much art as possible before you buy anything.

“I go into a little bit about African American art history and I talk about museum exhibitions, art galleries, art auctions as a place for learning. When I go into collecting I start to talk about using materials from researchers to understand art, but also using art advisers as points of reference and help.”

Moore said the bulk of the book is stories.

“It’s not a whole lot about myself, but there are these stories on art collectors,” he said. “They range from people who started collecting a year ago to people who have been collecting for 20 years.

“There are people who are relatively unknown and then I have people like Hill Harper… I hope those stories will inspire people to collect art because a lot of the stories are from humble begins, and like myself, having someone introduce them to art very early on in their life.”

Beth Rudin DeWoody, a Whitney Museum Board Member and American art patron, collector, curator and philanthropist, spoke highly of Moore and “The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting.”

“Collectors are discovering the amazing talents of Black artists,” DeWoody said. “Charles Moore helps direct new collectors through the world of galleries and institutions … to make their journey in the art world less daunting.”

Moore said someone with even the slightest interest in art can learn from reading an art book.

“The one thing that I try to do in the book is really break down the barrier of accessibility,” Moore said. “I think for a lot of people art is intimidating and the way I sort of lay out the book is to … break down that notion that art should be intimidating.”

“The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting” can be purchased wherever books are sold, but Moore encouraged those interested in his book to support their local independent book retailer.

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