Chapter 1 provides an overview of the global art market in 2020, reporting on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the value, volume, and regional distribution of sales of art and antiques. It also gives a brief overview of sales in the largest art markets over a 10-year period. The chapter also includes commentary on the effects of the change in the US administration on the market and the impact of the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive on auction houses and dealers in Europe.
Global sales of art and antiques reached an estimated $50.1 billion in 2020,
down 22% on 2019 and 27% since 2018.
Sales in the Global Art Market 2009–2020
Although all three of the major art hubs, the US, the UK, and Greater China, experienced a decline in sales, these key markets continued to account for a majority of the value of global sales in 2020, at 82%.
Global Art Market Share of the US, UK, and Greater China 2011-2020
Despite its biggest fall in sales since 2009, the US market retained its leading position, with a share of 42% of global sales values, with China and the UK on par at 20%.