The gender debate is a hot topic in just about every industry, from pay gaps to equal opportunities, but how does the gender landscape look in the art world?
To explore the topic of gender within the art industry we conducted a detailed study looking at a number of factors around price, awards and perceptions.
We compared the gender split of:
The price of artwork
Artists listed in galleries
Prestigious art award winners
Public perception of the value of male and female artwork
The Value of Artwork - Men vs Women
When it comes to pricing it seems as though men in the art world are more likely to earn good money than their female counterparts. Based on the artists we looked at, male artists earn on average 24% more than female artists.
Number of Artists
A total of 2,723 pieces of art were considered in our results, with 1,723 (63.3%) created by men and 1,000 (36.7%) by women.
Prestigious Art Awards - Men vs Women
We also took a look at some of the most prestigious art awards that are presented to the brightest and the best in the art world. We looked at the gender split of the winners of five of these awards since their inception, giving us a pool of 103 artists, finding that 253 (62.3%) artists were men and 153 (37.7%) were women.
The public perception of the value of art - Male vs Female
The public value women's artwork at 3x less than men's
Would you be able to tell the value of a painting by simply looking at it? Would the gender of the artist impact your decision?
We surveyed 2000 people and showed them 10 pieces of artwork, asking them to value each one. Shockingly, the results show that artwork by women is 3x more likely to be undervalued than that by men.
Over half (51.60%) of the respondents' undervalued female art, with only 12.20% overvaluing it. On the other hand, 31.80% of people overvalued male artwork. One female piece was undervalued by a huge 90%, whereas 2 other pieces by males had 0% of respondents undervalue. Overall, the public perception of the value of art is that women's work is worth less than men - 3 times less in fact.
We started with a list of the artists we work with which includes 440 artists and a list of 2,723 of their works and the prices they are valued at. We then separated these artists by their gender, taking an average price for men and women. This then gave us the figures to work out the difference between the earnings of male and female artists.
We then looked at five well-known art awards - The Turner Prize, A MacArthur Fellowship, The Hugo Boss Prize, The Bucksbaum Award, and the Duchamp Prize. We compiled a list of all the winners since the inception of each award to find the gender split. When adding all of these together, we were left with a final percentage of men and women.