15 Minutes with Houston Art Consultant Elise Arnoult Miller

 A logistically challenging installation for which Elise identified creative solutions:  Roger Foster, Defining The View Series XLVI  Stone Ocular #15, Texas limestone, 84” x 37” x 24”
 A logistically challenging installation for which Elise identified creative solutions:  Roger Foster, Defining The View Series XLVI  Stone Ocular #15, Texas limestone, 84” x 37” x 24”
 A logistically challenging installation for which Elise identified creative solutions:  Roger Foster, Defining The View Series XLVI  Stone Ocular #15, Texas limestone, 84” x 37” x 24”

“I feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I do. I absolutely love being able to experience art every day. ”

Elise Arnoult Miller is personable, engaging and approachable, characteristics which complement her sophisticated style and keen instincts as a respected Houston, Texas art consultant. She established her bona fides early in her career with museum and gallery work, before launching Arnoult Fine Art Consulting. There she provides expert art advice and appraisals, primarily to private collectors, with clients all over the country. Elise’s love of art and depth of knowledge are evident in her flawless execution of each project, the natural result of someone deeply passionate about their craft.

 

As we continue our series on the role of art consultants in the industry, we were pleased that Elise was able to share her experiences with us, and shed light on what you should look for and expect when hiring an art consultant.Elise Arnoult Miller of Arnoult Fine Art Consulting

1. What is Your Background and When Did You Get Into the Art Consultant Business?

I studied Art and Anthropology, then worked in various art-related businesses including galleries, a museum, and an auction house. These experiences helped me solidify my path in art. I launched my own consultancy in 2010 with a vision of helping people connect with art and artists.

2. What Project Are You Currently Working on?

My focus is on private collections, so I’m continually on the lookout for pieces that may be of interest to a client. When something comes across my desk that I know is a good fit for a certain collector, I’ll share it. These client relationships can last for decades, so in effect, these projects are indefinite.Work on paper by Texas artist Trenton Doyle Hancock

Most recently, I was excited to place two wonderful impressionist works sourced from London and Paris, a minimalist sculpture by an Israeli artist working in Los Angeles, and an important work on paper by a well known Texas contemporary artist.

View art by style including the Impressionist collection on the UGallery website

3. When Should Someone Consider Hiring an Art Consultant?

There are lots of instances, but two of the most important ones are:

When just starting out. A consultant who listens carefully to a new collector can help them identify and focus on areas that will be most rewarding and enjoyable for them to build on going forward.

When considering any significant purchase. A consultant has the knowledge and experience to vet a piece, checking for quality, condition, and provenance. I analyze how the piece fits into the artist’s overall body of work, and help determine the appropriate price. I offer these services for any piece, whether or not I sourced the work being considered. It’s good to have an expert in your corner when making these decisions.

4. What Does an Art Consultant Offer That is Different Than What Can Be Achieved Procuring Art on Your Own?

Expertise: The art world is vast. It’s a huge advantage to have a professional to act as a guide. A good consultant can help a collector make good decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Variety: Unless you are able to visit dozens of galleries around the country and abroad on a regular basis, a consultant will be able to provide a greater variety of works than you are likely to find on your own.

Access: If a certain artist of interest is in high demand, having a consultant represent you to the gallery, or estate controlling the market can be a big advantage.

Connections: Consultants have a network of galleries, dealers, conservators, and other art professionals at their fingertips which makes us a great resource for procurement, divestment, or any art-related need.

 

5. What is One Thing You Wish People Knew About Working With an Art Consultant?UGallery Artist Onelio Marrero’s “What Could Have Been”

One need not be a “serious collector” or have an enormous budget to benefit from the services of a consultant. Even if you’re looking for one piece, a consultant will have quick access to great options that it might take weeks to assemble on your own.

6. What Should People Expect From Working With an Art Consultant?

Seasoned expertise in the area of interest, and full-service assistance from selection, to framing, installation, and conservation, etc.

7. What Has Been Your Favorite Project and Why?

I habitually fall in love with a piece I’m working on sourcing, or a collection I’m helping to build. I suppose my favorite project is the one I’m working on at any given time. Truly, the greatest pleasure is knowing I’ve had a hand in building a relationship between a client and a work of art. Knowing a work will bring enjoyment to someone for years to come is incredibly rewarding.

8. Tell Me About a Project Where Something Surprising Happened.

I was researching a piece by a major French Impressionist for a client, when I discovered a discrepancy between the catalogue raisonné description and the actual piece. This resulted in the catalogue raisonné entry being updated. Although this discovery had little bearing on the value or importance of the piece, I was pleased to help contribute something to the record of this artist’s oeuvre for future generations.

9. Tell Me About Your Most Unique Installation.

A very challenging one comes to mind. It involved placing a large limestone sculpture at a lake house. It was the middle of August in 100-degree heat. The sight, behind the house, was sloped, and the only path from the street to the pad for the piece was quite narrow, and covered in large river stones. It took a team of stone movers working for most of the day, and a variety of carts, pulleys, and scaffolding to get it into place, but was well worth it in the end. It looks fantastic!

10. What is Unique About Being an Art Consultant in Houston?

I’m lucky to have opportunities to work with clients and art professionals all over the world, but I always enjoy working in Houston because it’s such a vibrant, growing city with wonderful breadth and diversity in art and cultural happenings. I love the open-mindedness of Houstonians and their eagerness to learn about works from regional, national and international artists. The art community here is friendly and accessible.UGallery artist Rick Hamilton’s “Hello Big City”

11. Anything Else You Would Like to Share?

I’m also a certified fine art appraiser. This additional training and education makes me a more well-rounded consultant. I’m able to use an analytical eye when assessing a work, which benefits my clients.

I feel extremely fortunate to be doing what I do. I absolutely love being able to experience art every day.

Many thanks to Elise Arnoult Miller and Arnoult Fine Art Consulting. To learn more about Elise’s work, check out her website. To shop UGallery’s selection of original works, you can check out new art weekly on our website.