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Collecting behaviours of the Art Market

Eduard Steimle - 3rd July 2019 - 0 comments

UBS recently conducted a survey with high-net-worth individuals in Switzerland with the aim to understand the behaviour of art collectors.

The key takeaways

Women dominate the Art Market
When analysing the gender breakdown of those purchasing fine art, UBS found out that 59% were female. On top of that, women tended to have much larger collections. 50% of them have collections with more than 100 artworks. 8% of Men instead have a collection in that size.

More expenditure at $1m + level, particularly by millennials
24% of Swiss collectors reported in the UBS survey that they usually buy artworks valued over $1million. What is surprising, is the fact that 69% of these buyers are millennials.

The most active collectors across all segments were from Gen X and millennial generations
The biggest group of respondents (41%) came from Gen x generation.
However, Gen Z and Gen Y combined formed a massive 38% of responses, showing once again that the younger generations are interacting more and more with the Art Market.

Women look exclusively for professional advice, men tend to rely more on friends and family.
More than 50% of women collectors use art dealers as the main source of advice. For men instead, this is more balanced between Art dealers, their spouses, family and friends.

Millennial collectors look for international artists
60% of the Millenial collectors surveyed by UBS, responded that they have foreign artists’ artworks in their collection. Millennials have about 7% more international works that other age groups.

Collectors have an optimistic outlook
More than 50% of the collectors surveyed by UBS have an optimistic outlook of the art market, both for the next year and the next ten years.
Only 10% predicts a negative growth for both time periods.


The UBS Art Market survey proved once again that the youngest generations are rapidly entering the Art Market. On top of that, Millennials have a globalised view of the art market, as they are the generation that buys the most foreign artists’ work. Overall, there is a positive, optimistic outlook for the future. High-net-worth individuals believe the market will continue to grow for the next 10 years, especially the segment of the art market that sells artworks valued at $1million +.
The sentiment is positive, new generations are entering the art world, but players in the market will have to adapt and find ways to attract these generations, as their needs and goals are different from previous age groups.

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