Forget billionaires, it's now museums that drive the fine art market
Fine Art

Forget billionaires, it’s now museums that drive the fine art market

A guard walks between the painting ‘The northern part of the Gardasee’ (1839) of Louis Gurlitt, left, and the painting ‘A Valley near Sorrento’ (1874) also of Louis Gurlitt, right, at the Museum of the Fine Arts (Museum der bildenden Kuenste) in Leipzig, Germany, Friday, March 7, 2014. (AP / Jens Meyer) Bye bye billionaires — it’s now museums that acquire most artworks put up for auction, according to a firm which follows the fine art market. Sales at auction of works of fine art — paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, engravings and installations — jumped by 18 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2017 to US$8.45 billion, according to Artprice. The company’s founder Thierry Ehrmann pointed out that "around three quarters of purchases above one million dollars is now by museums".That trend is being supported by the opening of new museums. "More new museums have been opened since 2000 than all of the 19th and 20th centuries," said Ehrmann. "And 700 are being founded each year in China." The new openings helped China remain in second place in terms of auction revenues at $2 billion, accounting for just under a quarter […]

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