TEFAF Art Market Report 2017

Click here for the TEFAF Art Market Report: Online Focus - insights into how the art world is embracing digital opportunities.

TEFAF Art Market Report 2017

A Year in Review

As TEFAF celebrates 30 years, our annual art market report examines the dynamics that shaped the art world in 2016, and gives insight into trends ahead in 2017

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Overall the art market flourished in 2016, shifting but not shrinking despite a fall in auction sales in the U.S. and the U.K., and amid global economic and political uncertainty. Behind superficial market changes, like a growing preference for dealers over auctions, the industry's success remains rooted in its ability to function according to the principles on which successful societies are built--quality, credibility, stability, and resilience.Map inspired by Vesconte Maggiore - Daniel Crouch Rare Books

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Total Art Market Sales 2016

The art market has experienced positive growth and is larger than last year, with sales moving to the private sector and away from the auction houses.




$45 billion

  • $26 billion
  • $2 billion
  • $17 billion
  • Oceania and Africa account for less than $0.5 billion combined


  • Galleries in Brazil, Mexico, Columbia and Argentina reported high growth in 2016

  • The U.S. alone represents a 29.5% fraction of the world’s art market


  • Sales at auction are down for the second consecutive year, from $6.0 billion in 2015 and from $7.2 billion in 2014

  • Continental Europe has seen 3.6% growth in auction sales, whilst the UK has experienced a 24% drop

  • Private sales through dealers and galleries have been extremely strong during 2016, with retail sales values up 24% on average


  • Asia accounts for 41%
    of global auction house sales

  • China claims 90% of Asian auction sales

Americas Europe Asia
TOTAL $14.50
TOTAL $20.50
TOTAL $10.71

Art and Antiques Import and Exports Value 2015

Europe remains the largest global exporter of Art and Antiques, while U.K. trade has fallen and imports into China are slowing.




$28.91 billion


$28.05 billion

  • World Art Trade
    Export & Import

    1988 to 2015


    $ billion


  • 39% of global trade
  • 43% of global trade
  • The U.S. accounts for 96% of trade to and from the Americas

  • The strong dollar is making the U.S. less attractive to foreign buyers, although exports in 2016 remain strong, imports are down, reflecting changing tastes


  • 51% of global trade
  • 41% of global trade
  • Europe is the largest global exporter of Art & Antiques

  • 63.5% of exports leaving Europe are from the United Kingdom, and data for 2016 indicate declining UK trade in Art and Antiques


  • 9% of global trade
  • 15% of global trade
  • Imports into Hong Kong were $2.5 billion in 2015, 10.6% of world import trade

  • But imports of Art & Antiques are down 30% in 2016, Paintings down 46%

Americas Europe Asia
TOTAL $11.40
TOTAL $12.11
TOTAL $14.60
TOTAL $11.57
TOTAL $2.71
TOTAL $4.08

Total Art Galleries and Antique Dealers Worldwide 2016

Buyers are embracing the support, transparency and discretion that dealers and galleries provide. Dealers now account for 63% of world art market sales. This means reputation is key: over 70% of dealers report actively encouraging a strong work ethic in their staff.

Share of Galleries and Dealers
by Continent

  • 53%


  • 37%


  • 9%


  • 1%

    Africa & Oceania

Canada 1,682
U.K. 3,034
Austria 1,766
U.S. 21,370
China 4,400
Sweden 1,828
Netherlands 1,975
Belgium 1,633
Germany 9,804
Switzerland 1,195
France 2,191

Top-Selling Artists Worldwide in 2016

Rank 2016
Volume at Auction

Online Art Market

The online art market, while still relatively small, has the potential to change the industry significantly as artists, dealers, and buyers grow more tech-savvy. The slideshow below presents infographics that breakdown the branches, technologies, key players and facts of this budding market.

Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon
Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon
a year in review
a year in review
a year in review
a year in review
a year in review

30 Years of TEFAF
Exhibitor’s Palette

Exhibitor attendance at TEFAF Maastricht from 1988 to 2017, broken down by country and artistic focus. Each row of pixels represents one exhibitor's years of attendance. A total of 30 pixels represents the 30 years of TEFAF.