As the Art World Goes Online, a Generation Gap Opens

By Scott Reyburn
Visitors to the 2019 Art Basel fair. The 2020 edition has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Catherine Kohler/Sipa, via Shutterstock
LONDON — What with everything else that’s going on, international art collectors might seem like the last people we should worry about right now. Yet this small group of wealthy individuals is the customer base that supports a $60 billion global industry, with an estimated 310,000 businesses employing about three million people, according to a report published this year by Art Basel and UBS. Unlike the music industry and other retail sectors, the centuries-old art market has been slow to adapt to the digital era.And that industry, like so many others, is hurting. Young collectors are still viewing and buying pieces, but they’re spending far less time and money than their older counterparts once did. That’s a problem for the industry. [More]