Art Tracking System

At any one time, I may have three paintings in one gallery, four in another, one entered in a competition and two submitted to a local art show. To keep track of my paintings, I devised a simple system. As soon as I finish a painting, I make an index card detailing its title, image size, price and any pertinent comments. I then number each card, starting with the year painted, followed by its place in sequence (i.e. 99-001, 99-002, etc.). I then file it in the front of a 3 x 5-inch index card box—the kind containing alphabet files—in a section marked “Paintings on Hand.”

When I send a painting to a gallery or show, I move its index card into section B: “Location of Paintings,” which consists of the alphabet files. I file the cards under the letter of the alphabet that will identify where I’ve sent the painting (i.e., S for Seagull Art Gallery or F for Federation of Painters). When the paintings are returned, I put the cards back in section A: “Paintings on Hand.” If any paintings were sold, I pull their index cards; put a red dot on them; note any details of the sale (i.e., Sold by Gallery “X” on “date,” for “price.”) and if possible, the name and address of the buyer. I then file the cards in section C: “Paintings Sold.”

In addition to the card file, I keep a master list of my work, including the title of each painting with sequence number and details, in a journal and on computer file. I also keep a three-ring binder with slides of all of my paintings for reference.

Burton Silverman’s first one-man show took place in 1956 at the Davis Gallery in New York City. Since that time, Silverman has had 24 solo shows in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. His work has appeared in numerous national and international exhibitions, and he’s garnered 32 major awards from the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society and the Butler Institute of American Art. His work can be found in corporate collections in the United States and Europe and is represented in the collections of numerous museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Portrait Gallery. Silverman has also had a long, distinguished career as an illustrator, and his work includes portraits for the cover of Time Magazine and the Profiles section of the New Yorker. Currently based in New York City, Silverman teaches weekly art classes at his studio.

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