Collectors and Collections: Critical Recognition of the World’s Top Art Collectors

  • L. E. A. Braden
  • Social Forces, December 2015, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/sf/sov116

A demographic breakdown of ARTnews' 200 top art collectors

What is it about?

Since 1990, ARTnews has published a list of the world's top 200 collectors. But collectors are not on this list for their art collection alone: this research examines how gender and race of the collector matter just as much as the content of their collection.

Why is it important?

On an annual top 200 list from 1990 to 2011, there are 4,200 slots to honor great art collections. But only 617 collectors have been recognized. Now consider that not one of those collectors is from the continent of Africa... though, their art collections are!


Dr L.E.A. Braden
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam

When we talk about great art, we are talking about status. But status of the people who own art is as important as the status of the art itself. So, is it "what" or "who" when we talk about greatness in art.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr L.E.A. Braden