Chapter 1 The Global Art Market in 2020

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%.

Global Art Market Share by Value in 2020

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