Sunday, April 17, 2005

The state of the market?


Last week or so, Stéphane Baillargeon, dutifully reported in Le Devoir the latest information from the fine folk at L'Institut de la statistique du Québec about the Art Market, here. Now I won't get into his article, which I would guess is fairly similar to the press release from the government.

Christine Routhier (who I think is the person responsible for the reports about the visual arts) was only able to track down 23 art collecting companies here in Quebec, and as the note says, that number includes governmental companies, too.

Hmmm, on the Globe and Mail's Top 100 companies by Market Capitalization, there are 18 that are here in Montreal. OK, so not all of them have corporate collections. But I could easily come up with another 20 companies who aren't on the G&M Top 100 how do collect. So, I would automatically assume that the figure listed there are under-reported.

Then, the thing that really gets me, is if one wants to talk about "the market for Quebecois art." What I would be talking about is how much that Borduas went for, or what the lower estimate for that Riopelle is. I don't care much about the $9,000,000 spent here in Quebec on art in 2003. I am interested in the freakin' Quebecois artists whose work gets sold, anywhere. Or in a pinch, how much was sold by Art Galleries here in Quebec. In either case, I'd venture a guess that the dollar value is significantly higher, and as far as being a point of chest thumping pride, way larger.

Then as long as I'm on the topic, this chart about museum acquisitions in between 2001 and 2003, is interesting on a couple of points.

A) Ms. Routhier only sent questionnaires to 33 museums in Quebec. According to la Société des musées québécois there are 39. That's almost a 20% difference, who was left off the list, and why? Or is it something silly, that I could have over looked, like say six museums opening in Quebec in the past two years?

B) In 2003, the average value of a piece of work donated to a museum by someone living in Quebec was $2,795. In the same time period the average value of a piece of work donated by someone from outside of Quebec was $13,513. Or in other words, if you are one to judge art by its dollar value, the stuff being donated by outsiders was almost five times better than what the locals donated. Or to put it another way, the local collectors don't know jack.

C) The average value of a piece of work acquired by a museum in Quebec, by donation, or purchase was $3,176. In slightly more colloquial terms the museums here, don't know much more than the collectors here.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

    Your Ad Here

      << Home