An Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) survey
found that galleries across the U.S. project a 73 percent loss in overall gross revenue for the second quarter of 2020 due to COVID-19, up from a 31 percent loss in the year’s first quarter. The survey also found that while 85 percent of full-time gallery staff have kept their positions since lockdown orders went into effect in mid-March, 74 percent of contract workers have become unemployed in that time.
The ADAA survey was conducted between April 15th and May 4th, with input from 168 galleries from across the country, and included member galleries of ADAA, Gallery Association Los Angeles (GALA), New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), and San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA), among others.
In addition to the alarming projected losses, the survey found a majority of galleries are on uncertain ground in terms of their property rental. Eighty percent of respondents rent their spaces, while only 51 percent received any sort of accommodation in the way of deferred payments or rent reductions from their landlords. For the remaining 20 percent of galleries that own their own spaces, only 14 percent had received mortgage accommodations.
The survey also found that many galleries plan on reducing their commitments for the remainder of 2020, with only 47 percent of respondents planning on participating in at least one fair for the remainder of the year.
ADAA President Andrew Schoelkopf and Executive Director Maureen Bray said in a joint statement: