Anti-Racism Resources in the Art World
In a 2016 study on the demographics of the commercial art world, it was estimated that just 5.9% of artists represented by New York City’s top galleries are Black artists, while nearly 25% of the city’s population identifies as Black or African American. In 2019, another study addressed large-scale underrepresentation of Black artists in museum collections. After analyzing the permanent collections of 18 major museums in the United States, researchers found that only 1.2% of artists in those collections are Black. In comparison, 14.6% of the total U.S. population identifies as Black or African American, according to the 2018 U.S. census. Statistics like these are no accident. The art world, like many industries, has a long history of excluding and suppressing voices of color. Systemic change in the art world is long overdue and requires fundamental shifts in all aspects of the industry, from hiring practices to museum collections.