Why Invest in Art


The fine art asset class is characterized by a global market of $64 billion in annual turnover and 36.5 million annual transactions[1]. Its 15-year CAGR is 6%, compared to 4% for the S&P 500. Top performing artists at auction have even outperformed the stock market—for instance, Claude Monet, rated third best performing artist in 2015 by artprice.com, showed a price index increase of 133% over the past 10 years.

The global art market has for decades been geographically dominated by the U.S., UK, and China, with the U.S. taking 43% of the market in 2015. The U.S. and UK have become the two primary international trading hubs, with its high concentration of artworks, collective knowledge, and logistical services to support the market. The greatest concentration of art sales occurs in New York City.

Target Sectors 

Arthena aims to invests in works in the modern, post war, and emerging artist sectors, which represent over 60% of the global art market. This sector has recently grown at a rate of 19% year-on-year. 

The post war and contemporary artwork sector has become distinguished as the key center for record, multi-million dollar prices at auction. Works priced at over $1 million accounted for 58% of the value but less than 1% of the number of lots sold during the year. As in most other sectors, the bulk of transactions are in reality at much lower levels. In 2015, 90% of works that were sold at auction were priced below $50,000, with 54% less than $5,000. These transactions, however, only made up 12% of the sector’s value, which remains dominated by the top end of the market.

The U.S. remains the key market worldwide for the sales of post war and contemporary art, with a global share of 47%. In the market above $1 million, the U.S. has a much larger share, at 61%. It accounts for 77% of the segment over $10 million, with 54 of the 74 works sold in New York City.

Sales of post war and contemporary art in the U.S. increased by approximately 270% in the period between 2005 and 2015, and by over 340% since 2009. The Mei Moses Post-War & Contemporary Art Index was up 4.1% from 20154 to 2015.



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[1] 2013 estimate by The European Fine Arts Foundation (TEFAF)