A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era

A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era

Attendance at art museums increased from approximately 38 million visits to almost 56 million between 1982 and 2002, according to a new study from the Rand Corporation. Nevertheless, cultural institutions attempting to grow their audiences are increasingly challenged by changing social and demographic trends, intense competition, and tensions between art-oriented and market-oriented aspects of their missions. Focusing primarily on the fine arts, A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era (summary, 12 pages; full document, 152 pages, PDF) examines developments in the visual arts environment over the past two decades, including the growing popularity of blockbuster exhibits, soaring prices for the work of "super-artists," and the transformation of the arts market itself. Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the study also explores how these changes affect the way visual arts are created, marketed, distributed, and consumed.