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Our analysis shows that this actually was not the case with Impressionist and Modern exhibitions, after which there were lower returns: on average 8.1% before exhibitions and 6.3% afterwards. The returns were lower for thematic shows than retrospectives: a decline of 2% compared with a decline of 1%.
Average returns were higher after contemporary art exhibitions—albeit only slightly (11.4% before and 12.1% afterwards). There was around 3% difference between the impact of retrospectives and thematic exhibitions: there was a 2.2% increase following survey shows and a 1.3% decrease following thematic exhibitions.
Ultimately, the impact of a major show on an artist’s market depends on numerous variables, including timing, location, and the artist themselves. As Lagrange writes:The calculation for market success following major exhibitions is a complicated one. When the venue is right + when an exhibition is staged at the right moment + when the market is neither flooded or deprived of supply + when the curation provides clarity + when an artists’ reputation is either forged or revitalized = the possibility that exhibitions can lead to tangible increases in an artist’s market. If one or more of these factors is off, the effects can be negligible or negative.