Rather than look in wonder at the classic American prints currently on show at the British Museum's The American Scene exhibition, why not simply buy one? The London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy of Arts brings 53 of the world's top print dealers under one roof. Work by some of the US artists represented in the British Museum show, such as Edward Hopper, John Sloan, Thomas Hart Benton and the French-born Louise Bourgeois will be available.
The fair, now in its 23rd year, will also showcase a large collection of original prints by Andy Warhol, including those of Marilyn Monroe, recent works by Michael Craig-Martin, including the three-part Intimate Relations series depicting everyday household objects, and new paper cut-outs by Rob Ryan, one of which depicts a couple holding hands in a stream.
There will also be limited-edition prints by Peter Blake, Rachel Whiteread and Gavin Turk that have been inspired by fairy tales, and Old Master prints by Rembrandt and woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer. A Banksy print of Kate Moss is on sale for £60,000, while 16 pairs of laser-cut portraits in oval frames by Julian Opie are on sale for £4,000 a pair.
Fairs such as these are a good opportunity to build a collection of works by major artists. The majority of prints are on sale for less than £500, and dealers are on hand to advise beginner collectors.
Gordon Cooke, the fair's chairman and founder, and a director of the Fine Art Society, says: "In 1985, most print dealers had never put anything in a frame. Clients would buy one, take it home and put it in a box. What has changed is that we are now selling to people who want to put these prints on a wall. Many wouldn't classify themselves as print collectors – they are just interested in art." Any tips? "Look for something you like. Whether or not a print is a good investment is a tricky question – it depends on when you sell it."
23 to 27 April ( www.londonprintfair.com)