World Art Market Passes €51 Billion Says 2015 TEFAF Art Market Report

Study finds art market grossed €51 Billion in 2014, the highest total ever.

Clare McAndrew



Each year the art world eagerly awaits and then carefully parses the TEFAF Art Market Report, compiled by Dr. Clare McAndrew of Arts Economics and timed to coincide with the opening of the eponymous art fair in Maastricht, one of the most glamorous on the annual fair circuit (see Simon de Pury on Why TEFAF Really Matters and the Future of the Art World).

Given that the art market is so fragmented between hundreds of auction houses and galleries around the world (see artnet News’ preview about what top dealers are bringing to TEFAF), all of the art world—art market observers, economists, dealers, and art experts—rely heavily on McAndrew’s report since it is widely considered the only source for comprehensive data tracking worldwide auction sales, transactions at art fairs all around the world, and shifts in regional markets and online sales. (Cornell DeWitt recently interviewed McAndrew about how she prepares the TEFAF Art Market Report.)

artnet, whose analytics and data-gathering division is a key supplier of information for the report, got a sneak peek at this year’s edition.

Clare McAndrew speaking at the ArtFi conference in Berlin Photo: Courtesy ArtFi

Clare McAndrew speaking at the ArtFi conference in Berlin
Photo: Courtesy ArtFi


Here are the key findings everyone will soon be talking about:


  • The global art market reached a total of over €51 billion in 2014, an increase of 7 percent over 2013, and the highest level ever recorded.
  • The distribution of sales by value in the global art market was dominated by the three major art markets: the US (39 percent); China (22 percent); and the UK (also 22 percent).
  • Approximately 1,530 lots were sold at auction for over €1 million in 2014 (this includes 96 lots for more than €10 million), up nearly 17 percent from 2013.
  • The dealer sector (including dealer and gallery sales and private sales within the art trade) was estimated to account for around 52 percent of the global art and antiques market by value, or some €26.4 billion in 2014.
  • In 2014 postwar and contemporary art was the largest sector of the fine art market, representing 48 percent of all fine art sales by value. Auction sales of postwar and contemporary art reached €5.9 billion, up 19 percent on 2013 and the highest total ever recorded.
  • The US was the key center worldwide for sales of postwar and contemporary art with a share of 46 percent of the market by value.
  • Sales of modern art were the second largest, accounting for 28 percent of the global fine art auction market with auction sales of €3.3 billion.
  • In 2014, there were 180 major art fairs with an international element, covering fine and decorative art. The top 22 fairs generated visitors in excess of one million.
  • Sales made at fairs accounted for a reported 40 percent of all dealer sales in 2014 or an estimated €9.8 billion (the second largest sales channel after in-gallery transactions).
  • In 2014, sales of art online were estimated conservatively to have reached €3.3 billion, or around six percent of global art and antiques sales by value.
  • The middle market has been the focal point for online selling with the majority of sales taking place between about $1,000 and $50,000.


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