Sculpture surpassed photography in 2020 to become the third-most purchased medium on Artsy. Purchases of sculptures on the platform rose by 39.2% from 2019 to 2020, accounting for 11.9% of all purchases in 2020 compared to 10.5% of all purchases in 2019. Photography purchases, meanwhile, decreased by two percentage points from 2019 to 2020, accounting for 10.4% of all purchases on the platform this year—down from 12.3% of all purchases in 2019. This switch may be attributable to a growing comfort among collectors with buying three-dimensional works without seeing them in person, especially when doing so became virtually impossible due to the pandemic.
Among other media, there was relatively little change in the share of overall purchases attributed to any one medium from 2019 to this year. Purchases of drawings, collages, and other works on paper shot up 45.4% from 2019 to 2020. Textile artworks also trended upwards, with purchases in 2020 increasing 48% from 2019. Despite many of us being stuck at home and omnivorously devouring content for much of 2020, purchases of video, film, and animation art did not see a significant uptick this year.