Destination: China

March 21 2012

Look east everyone - China is now the world's biggest market for art and antiques. Last year, China had a 30% share of the world's art and antique market, ahead of the US with 29%. The UK is in third place with 22%. To give you an idea of how the UK punches above its weight in the global art market, France is in fourth place, with just 6%. 

The figures come from the annual TEFAF report into the art market. Other interesting facts include:

  • The Chinese art and antiques auction sector was the strongest growing market worldwide with a dramatic rise of 177% in 2010 and a further 64% in 2011.
  • The global art market continued to recover in 2011, increasing by 7% to €46.1 billion, an increase of 63% since the market crisis of 2009. The volume of transactions also increased by 5% to 36.8 million.
  • The driving forces behind the recovery were strong sales in the Chinese auction market and the rise of fine art sales (over decorative art).
  • The Modern and Contemporary sectors combined to account for nearly 70% of the fine art market. Both continued a strong recovery in 2011, leading them to levels in excess of the boom of 2007-2008.
  • The art market took nearly a decade to recover from the recession of the 1990s whereas the contraction in 2009 has been relatively short-lived. This is due, in part, to its increasingly global nature.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.