Using Auctions for Research and Collecting
Auctions, thrift shops, estate sales, resales, and dealers can be excellent sources for researching and acquiring items from graphic design history. Especially for online sales, make sure to understand if your items are originals or reproductions.
Some auction sites to consider:
- Heritage Auction House
- Stamp Auction Network
- Goodwill Auctions
Pricier websites that are still great research resources:
- Swann Auction Galleries
- Los Angeles Modern Auctions
- First Dibs
- Bonhams and Butterfields
Online search tips:
- Consider searching by designer’s name. It can also help to search for alternate spellings or alternate versions or a designer's name.
- ex: Sister Mary Corita, Sister Carita
- Try searching by decade or era.
- ex: 80s punk flyers or 60s protest posters
- Add descriptions or adjectives to identify uncommon results.
- ex: vintage Polish stamps, screen printed concert posters
- Save search terms if possible, or sign up to receive alerts about related items.