in other words

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African American Artists Are More Visible Than Ever. So Why Are American Museums Giving Them Short Shrift?

New research finds that work by African American artists has comprised less than 3 percent of museum acquisitions over the past decade.

Click to zoom. Courtesy In Other Words at Art Agency, Partners

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Just 2.3% of all purchases and gifts at 30 prominent US museums over the past ten years have been of work by African American artists, according to a joint investigation by In Other Words and artnet News.


Meanwhile, the total auction value of work by African American artists over the same period represents a mere 1.2% of global auction sales. 


Working together in an unprecedented three-month partnership, Charlotte Burns (executive editor, In Other Words) and Julia Halperin (executive editor, artnet News) have captured and analyzed market and museum data which, coupled with conversations with more than 30 prominent curators, collectors, dealers, museum directors, academics and philanthropists, reveals that progress is much more recent—and benefits far fewer artists—than popularly perceived.


You can read our findings, researched with the help of Art Agency, Partners’ Chelsea Perkins and Dylan Sherman, in a series of articles here or listen to a podcast discussion of the data here. Or, click on a specific article below.

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