Daily Management Review

The Art Market by UBS and Art Basel: 2020 Could Have Been Worse


A big drop, it's true, but not a collapse. The art market seems to have held up reasonably well in the face of Covid 19, according to The Art Market, the latest report by UBS and Art Basel.

by Carine Claude

© Art Basel
© Art Basel
The 2021 vintage is not too bad, considering: the annual report on the art market published by Art Basel and UBS highlights the good performance recorded by the art market in 2020 despite the pandemic, even if unbridled enthusiasm is hardly the question. Though down by 22%, global art and antiques sales achieved $50 billion in 2020—a symbolic waterline—whereas during the 2009 financial crisis they plummeted 36% to below $40 billion. The top three art market countries were unchanged, led by the US (42% of market share), with China and the UK following neck and neck with a share of 20% each. For economist Clare McAndrew, author of the report and founder of Arts Economics, the art market has yet again proved not only its resilience but also its ability to surprise. "A drop in sales was inevitable with events being canceled, travel prohibited and businesses closing. Read more…