Art market worldwide - statistics & facts

The global art market is a marketplace of buyers and sellers trading in the services, articles, and works of art commonly associated with the arts and culture sector. It consists of the primary market – concerning artworks that are sold for the first time – and the secondary market, dealing with re-sales. The global art market was valued at 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, dropping by roughly 14 billion over the previous year, due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This decrease is also shown in the volume of global art sales which reached approximately 31 million transactions in 2020, down from over 40 million in 2019. In contrast, as the pandemic urged auction houses and art dealers to strengthen their digital departments, total sales of the online art and antiques market doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Leading art markets and auction houses worldwide

In 2020, the United States, United Kingdom, and China were the leading countries in the global art market, cumulatively holding over 80 percent of the total market value. That year, while the U.S. generated the highest overall sales value, China retained the biggest share of fine art auction revenue worldwide.

In terms of auction sales, two auction houses, both founded in London during the 18th century, dominate the market: Christie’s and Sotheby’s. In 2020, total auction sales of Christie’s worldwide amounted to 4.4 billion U.S. dollars, declining from nearly six billion in 2019. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s global auction sales rose in 2020, reaching five billion U.S. dollars.

Online art market

While the art market remains predominantly offline, the online art market grew in importance during the last few years, causing a sharp rise in online sales during the pandemic in 2020, and a boom in the crypto art market in 2021. Crypto art refers to digital artworks that can be authenticated, and therefore sold, once they are turned into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) - unique digital assets stored in blockchain. In April 2021, total monthly sales of NFTs on the online platform Nifty Gateway, including both the primary and secondary market, added up to nearly 51 million U.S. dollars.

Key figures

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Auction market

Online art market

Interesting statistics

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Art market worldwide

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Art market worldwide - statistics & facts

The global art market is a marketplace of buyers and sellers trading in the services, articles, and works of art commonly associated with the arts and culture sector. It consists of the primary market – concerning artworks that are sold for the first time – and the secondary market, dealing with re-sales. The global art market was valued at 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, dropping by roughly 14 billion over the previous year, due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This decrease is also shown in the volume of global art sales which reached approximately 31 million transactions in 2020, down from over 40 million in 2019. In contrast, as the pandemic urged auction houses and art dealers to strengthen their digital departments, total sales of the online art and antiques market doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Leading art markets and auction houses worldwide

In 2020, the United States, United Kingdom, and China were the leading countries in the global art market, cumulatively holding over 80 percent of the total market value. That year, while the U.S. generated the highest overall sales value, China retained the biggest share of fine art auction revenue worldwide.

In terms of auction sales, two auction houses, both founded in London during the 18th century, dominate the market: Christie’s and Sotheby’s. In 2020, total auction sales of Christie’s worldwide amounted to 4.4 billion U.S. dollars, declining from nearly six billion in 2019. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s global auction sales rose in 2020, reaching five billion U.S. dollars.

Online art market

While the art market remains predominantly offline, the online art market grew in importance during the last few years, causing a sharp rise in online sales during the pandemic in 2020, and a boom in the crypto art market in 2021. Crypto art refers to digital artworks that can be authenticated, and therefore sold, once they are turned into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) - unique digital assets stored in blockchain. In April 2021, total monthly sales of NFTs on the online platform Nifty Gateway, including both the primary and secondary market, added up to nearly 51 million U.S. dollars.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Art market worldwide".

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