Insights into High-Net-Worth Collectors: Art Basel and UBS Survey 2023

Welcome to the world of high-net-worth collectors! In this article, we delve into the fascinating insights provided by the Art Basel and UBS Survey of Global Collecting in 2023. Get ready to explore the behaviors, preferences, and outlook of these collectors who shape the art market. From spending habits to motivations, we uncover the trends that define the art collecting landscape. So, let's dive in and discover the intriguing world of high-net-worth collectors!

High-Net-Worth Collector Spending Remains Strong

Explore the spending habits and outlook of high-net-worth collectors

High-net-worth collectors continued to demonstrate strong spending in the first half of 2023, according to the Art Basel and UBS Survey. Despite the uncertainties of the previous year, collectors remained optimistic about the art market in 2024. The survey revealed that spending on art by high-net-worth collectors remained robust, with a notable increase in spending from Mainland China post-lockdown.

Interestingly, the survey also highlighted a shift in collectors' preferences, with a greater focus on traditional paintings and a decrease in spending on digital art. This suggests a certain level of risk-aversion among collectors compared to the previous year. It is worth noting that a significant portion of high-net-worth collectors used credit or loans to finance their art purchases, indicating the importance of financial considerations in the art market.

Mainland Chinese Collectors Lead in Painting Expenditure

Discover the preferences of Mainland Chinese collectors in the art market

When it comes to art mediums, the survey revealed that paintings were the primary focus of high-net-worth collectors' spending in 2023. Mainland Chinese collectors, in particular, led the way in terms of painting expenditure. Their enthusiasm for this traditional medium showcased their appreciation for the art form and its cultural significance.

On the other hand, spending on digital art accounted for a smaller share of collectors' total expenditure. This could be attributed to the perceived value and tangibility associated with traditional paintings. Despite this, it is important to note that the art market is constantly evolving, and digital art continues to gain recognition and popularity among collectors.

Women and Gen X Collectors Make Their Mark

Uncover the trends among women and Gen X collectors

For the third consecutive year, women outspent men in the survey, showcasing their significant presence and influence in the art market. Gen X collectors also made their mark, outspending their younger peers in certain mediums. This highlights the diverse demographics and preferences within the high-net-worth collector community.

Interestingly, the survey revealed a decrease in the share of works by women in collectors' collections in 2023. However, collectors who spent over $10 million per annum tended to have a higher share of female artists' works in their collections. This indicates that while there may be room for improvement in gender representation, there are collectors who actively support and appreciate the contributions of female artists.

Exploring Collectors' Buying Behaviors

Gain insights into the purchasing habits and motivations of high-net-worth collectors

When it comes to purchasing art, the survey revealed that dealers were the most widely used channel among high-net-worth collectors. In 2023, HNW collectors spent the most through dealers, highlighting the significance of these intermediaries in the art market ecosystem.

Furthermore, the survey found that collectors with financial motivations for collecting were more likely to engage in reselling. Many collectors in the survey traded in and out of their collections, indicating a dynamic and active approach to their art investments.

It is also worth noting that HNW collectors in the survey exhibited selectivity in their event attendance, with a slight reduction in the number of art-related events attended compared to pre-pandemic levels. This suggests a more focused and intentional approach to engaging with the art community.

Optimism and Future Outlook

Discover the optimism and future outlook of high-net-worth collectors

The survey revealed that the majority of high-net-worth collectors planned on buying art in the next 12 months. This demonstrates their continued enthusiasm and commitment to the art market. Additionally, a lower share of collectors intended to sell works from their collections compared to the previous year, indicating a more long-term and investment-focused mindset.

Despite the uncertainties of the art market, high-net-worth collectors surveyed remained optimistic about its performance over the next six months. This positive outlook reflects their confidence in the resilience and enduring value of art as an asset class.


In conclusion, the Art Basel and UBS Survey of Global Collecting in 2023 provides valuable insights into the behaviors and preferences of high-net-worth collectors in the art market. The survey reveals that high-net-worth collector spending remained strong, with a focus on traditional paintings and a decrease in spending on digital art. Women and Gen X collectors continue to make their mark, showcasing their influence and diverse perspectives. Collectors exhibited selective buying behaviors, with dealers being the preferred channel for art purchases. Despite uncertainties, high-net-worth collectors remain optimistic about the art market's future performance.

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