Art BusinessFairs 08-12-2017

What drives collectors to acquire artworks? A new study by UBS sheds light on collecting habits

A new study by UBS released on the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach has shed light on collector habits and, in particular, on what drives them to buy and how they go about the management of their art collection. In spite of commonly held assumptions, the majority of art collectors affirm that they see art as a means to nurture their passion and rarely as an investment.

Researchers surveyed 2,475 US-based high net-worth individuals, with 1,017 survey respondents being self-defined collectors — including 363 collectors of fine art.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said that they “enjoy beautiful things”, with 54% of them defining collecting art as their “passion”. Sixty-five percent of collectors also said that they have never flipped an artwork. On the other hand, 13% of respondents stated that they “plan to profit by selling the pieces”.



As for sourcing, 62% of collectors go directly to art galleries, 60% look for information online, 50% at museums and 44% via magazines. A staggering 88% of surveyed collectors do not have an art advisor, and only a quarter of them have acquired artworks online.

When it comes to art fairs, the top five events for art collectors are: Art Basel, The Armory Show, TEFAF, Frieze and the Venice Biennale.



The study is available in its entirety via UBS' website.


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