If you are going to start being a serious art collector and collect pieces that can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, you want to do everything you can to protect yourself. The best way to do that is to hire an attorney who works in art law. That lawyer can help you in several ways.
When you buy a piece of art, part of the process is to transfer the title of ownership from the person currently holding it to you. That title should show that you are the legitimate owner of the piece of art. However, that is not always what happens. Sometimes there are problems with the title or with the transfer. That is why you need an attorney. One thing that the attorney can do is to make sure that the title is legitimate before you finalize the purchase. There are databases for lost and stolen art that the attorney can run the piece you're interested in through. Doing that protects you because you don't buy a stolen piece of art. Having your attorney help you with the title transfer can also ensure that it goes smoother and quicker.
People who own significant art pieces or have extensive collections often loan their art to museums or galleries. If you want to do this, you need to make sure you have a contract with the entity you are lending your art to. The reason to do this is that the contract can lay out exactly who is in charge of what, how long the art will be on display, the security for the display, and many other things. The museum or gallery may have a standard contract that they use in cases like this. That contract may not work for you and your situation. You can have your attorney look over the contract to ensure it meets your needs. You can also have your attorney write a better contract or negotiate the details with the gallery or museum.
If you are going to collect art, you will want to contact a local art lawyer. An attorney will protect you and your art collection and help you plan for the future. When you hire an attorney, make sure that they specialize in art law because it can be tricky, and you don't want to miss anything that could turn around and damage the art collection or particular piece.