Economics

How auction houses became the big winners of the pandemic

With the forced shift to online sales due to Covid-19 restrictions, global sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips boomed in 2021, with an increased focus on luxury goods as the rich get richer

Art marketinterview

'Very, very strange and wildly illiquid': Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner on the 'bizarre' art market

The New York-based author has just released a three-part podcast series on The Hidden Side of the Art Market. Here, he speaks about what he learned—and why art is a bad financial investment, but a good emotional one

‘Build back beautifully’: new bill aims to support arts jobs with $300m federal grants and commissions programme

The bipartisan Creative Economy Revitalization Act is inspired by the New Deal-era Works Progress Association and the 1970s Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

Further cuts at SFMoMA end its film programme, art loan gallery and publishing platform

Seven staff will also lose their jobs as tightened budgets and low attendance impact operations

New French art market report finds auction sales dropped 19.5% to $25.5bn in 2020

The Conseil des Ventes Volontaires concludes that China dominates global auctions, accounting for $8.6bn of sales and 35% of the worldwide market

Biden wants to boost culture funding to historic levels as part of $6 trillion budget proposal

If Congress approves, the National Endowment for the Arts in particular would see its 2022 budget go up to $201m—the highest amount of government funding since its inception

‘Way too close to homeless already’: New York’s live models teeter on the brink

Henry William Oelkers, one of the most beloved artist’s models in the city, may be a dream subject, but the pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on everyone in a financially insecure profession

Economic reports reveal drastic loss of arts jobs in the US

In New York, two-thirds of posts in the creative sector are gone, while nearly a quarter of the workforce in Los Angeles has been cut

Art marketanalysis

Neoliberalism is distorting how we see art—is there no alternative?

While today’s art world has been shaped by the prism of price, our current economic model may not be inevitable

Covid-19 impact on US creative economy 'disproportionately' affects fine and performing arts, report finds

A new study from the Brookings Institution estimates losses of $150bn in creative industry revenue while calling for more federal support for cultural workers

Senate investigation finds art market secrecy allowed Russian billionaire brothers, friends of Putin, to evade government sanctions

A detailed report calls the trade “the largest, legal unregulated industry in the United States” and recommends increased transparency and government oversight

Cultural figures discuss ‘Art in the Time of Coronavirus’

The UN-sponsored event led by Christopher Bailey, the WHO’s lead on art and health, included art critic Jerry Saltz, Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak, and artist Mona Chalabi

Art marketanalysis

Great Depression of the 21st century looms over the art market

As the IMF warns we are heading towards the worst economic slump in living memory, the art industry starts to fear a double dip recession

Museumscomment

Museums must adopt new models to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic

Institutions need visionary leaders to find ways to adapt to a dramatically altered culture

Art marketcomment

‘I’ve always been wary of big business’: Paula Cooper on weathering adversity and building better social systems

The veteran New York dealer shares her concerns about the current coronavirus crisis—and what the art world needs to stay focused on

US coronavirus legislation could do more for the arts, Boston museums say

The coalition is asking for $6bn in federal aid, and to permanently expand the charitable giving deduction to encourage US taxpayers to donate to non-profits

With ‘no reserves and no endowment’, Bloomsbury group’s country home needs £400,000 to survive

Charleston, a ramshackle farmhouse complete with painted interiors by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, has launched an emergency crowdfunding appeal

Los Angeles councilman plans to create emergency grants for artists

Funding from development fees would be used to help artists and non-profits by the pandemic instead

Economicscomment

Don’t forget to support our artists, the chroniclers of such crisis

Suzy Delvalle, the president of Creative Capital, urges us all to help artists hurt by the coronavirus pandemic

Please send help: a letter to the Getty Trust

Our Los Angeles correspondent Jori Finkel asks the world's richest cultural organisation to support the city's struggling arts community during the coronavirus pandemic

Economicscomment

US artists need a federal bailout now

Congress needs to protect this country’s creative workforce

and

Here is a list of resources addressing the economic impact of coronavirus on the cultural sector

Organisations are offering medical emergency grants while other groups crowdsource data quantifying the impact of the health crisis on the cultural labour market

Affordability is the number one concern for artists in Los Angeles, report finds

A survey conducted by the non-profit Arts for LA warns that the city could lose its culture cache if it becomes too expensive for its creative class

Goethe-Institut Los Angeles examines architecture and design amid housing crisis

A symposium bringing together architects and scholars from around the world takes place as homelessness surges in the state of California

Seven arrested at protest during MoMA’s public opening

Demonstrators blocked the museum’s entrance and sat in the street as they demanded the removal of Steven Tananbaum — a financier whose company owns $2.5bn in Puerto Rican debt — from its board of trustees

Protesters call for removal of MoMA trustee linked to Puerto Rican debt crisis

As the museum opens an ambitious $450m expansion, activists are demanding that “vulture fund” investor Steven Tananbaum be taken off the board—but he is not the only trustee with financial interests in the island

The blue chip delusion: why investors should be wary of the brand name lure

Art is pitched as an asset class, but even big-name artists are not guaranteed to hold their value, let alone turn a profit

Experts fear California's gig economy law may hit culture workers

Independent curators and handlers could be affected but no major changes predicted in museum recruitment practices