Art Market

Why It’s Difficult to Track the Changing Values of Artworks

Clare McAndrew
Apr 16, 2019 11:43PM

Why is it so difficult to track the performance of art as an asset class? And how could increased price transparency help achieve more accurate indices of the financial performance of artworks and artists? Leading arts economist Clare McAndrew gives insight into the key drivers at work in the third of four segments from her current Christie’s Education course “Art Market Economics,” which are being published on Artsy.

McAndrew is the author of the influential annual report “The Art Market,” published by Art Basel and UBS, and has written multiple books on the international art market and the financial structures that support and drive it. In this film, she describes the various models that have been applied by researchers and businesses trying to track the performance of the art market over time: the average price index, the repeat sales index, and the hedonic index. McAndrew then looks at the relative merits and shortcomings of these indices.

This film also explores art’s performance relative to other financial assets. McAndrew looks at various points in time when art has over- or under-performed the stock market. She also addresses the additional costs associated with using art as an asset class that can affect returns—particularly for speculators who aim to hold a given artwork for just a short period of time.

Clare McAndrew
Dr. Clare McAndrew is a cultural economist who specializes in the arts, antiques, and collectibles markets. She is the author of “The Art Market,” an annual report published by Art Basel and UBS.

© Christie Manson & Woods Ltd. 2019.

Thumbnail: Andy Warhol, Dollar Sign (Pink Background), 1981. Courtesy of Joseph K. Levene Fine Art, Ltd.