Chapter 4 Art Fairs and Exhibitions 

Chapter 4 provides an overview of art fairs, reporting on the dramatic changes to the art fair calendar in 2020 and the impact this has had on art fairs, galleries, and collectors. It assesses the outlook for 2021 given continuing uncertainties, presenting the results of surveys on high net worth (HNW) collectors, art fairs, and dealers.

From 365 global art fairs planned for 2020, 61% were cancelled, 37% held live events, and the remaining 2% of fairs held a hybrid, alternative event.

Share of Global Art Fairs (Live Events) Cancelled in 2020 (365 Fairs)

The share of art fair sales from live events declined dramatically in 2020 to just 13% of dealers’ total sales, with an additional 9% share made through art fair online viewing rooms.

Share of Dealer Sales by Value by Sales Channel (Turnover-Weighted)

Despite the high number of events being cancelled, 41% of high net worth (HNW) collectors surveyed reported that they made a purchase at an art fair in 2020, while 45% reported making one through an art fair’s online viewing room.

Share of HNW Collectors Purchasing from Art Fairs in 2020 by Location

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