Do Women Appreciate Art More than Men?

Men and women judge art differently a study has shown.
Photo: Courtesy Frieze.

A new marketing study published in the journal Psychology & Marketing has shown that men and women display stark differences in how they evaluate art, according to the Huffington Post.

Researchers asked 518 people to look at two unfamiliar paintings by two fictional artists and to read corresponding fictional biographies. Some participants read a biography characterizing the artist as authentic and experienced; other participants read a biography characterizing the artist as ordinary and beginner.

The results demonstrated that men are more likely to positively evaluate an artwork based on the artist’s brand. On the other hand, whilst women also took the artists’ brand into account, they based their evaluation more heavily on the artwork itself.

Stephanie Magnus, a co-author of the Michigan State University study, told MSU Today “Women are more willing to go through a complicated process of actually evaluating the artwork, whereas men say ‘This guy’s a great artist, so I’ll buy his art.’”

Relative to the growth of the $64 billion art market in the last decades, there has been surprisingly little research into how collectors evaluate art. The study has some important implications that could offer art dealers important insights into the purchasing behavior and evaluation process of collectors.

According to Magnus, “If you’re an artist or if you’re managing an artist, developing that human brand, getting the message across that you’re authentic, becomes essential.” Dealers, for example, could also consider altering their sales pitch depending on a collector’s gender.


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