Is the Art Market More Bourgeois than Bohemian?
31 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2020
Date Written: March 2014
Most research on the art market focuses on the high end, composed of auction houses and a few well‐known dealers. In this paper, we use a new database to examine the industry structure and location patterns of the New York art market, which consists largely of small, independent, relatively unknown galleries. We find that Manhattan galleries are highly spatially concentrated, and that clustering reflects both agglomeration economies and preferences over location‐specific amenities. New galleries are more likely to open in neighborhoods with existing gallery clusters, and proximity to other galleries increases establishment lifespan. New galleries also locate in neighborhoods with high population density and more affluent households, consistent with location models of luxury retail. The results are not consistent with the hypothesis that galleries locate in cheap, “bohemian” neighborhoods.
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