Mary Rozell on How the Art Market Has Changed

Emilee Geist

Reflecting on the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and recent online protests regarding racism in the art world, Rozell said there is a growing consciousness about the imbalance in art collections. “I saw this at UBS when I started five years ago. I noticed that it was very white and […]

Reflecting on the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and recent online protests regarding racism in the art world, Rozell said there is a growing consciousness about the imbalance in art collections.

“I saw this at UBS when I started five years ago. I noticed that it was very white and very Western, and we are a global bank, and that needed to change. I don’t think it’s a moral failing, but it’s a reflection of what was on the art market itself—it is very clear so many artists were overlooked,” Rozell said.

“ is a great example,” she continued. “When he first started creating art, he was as big as , and then he kind of became almost more of a regional artist in Washington, D.C., where I worked at the time, and then people realized, ‘Oh my God, he was an amazing artist,’ and then his market takes off. We see this happening all over. This applies to women, too; women have not been well represented in the art market.”

According to Rozell, another change impacting art collecting currently is the rise in female wealth creation in the world. “Women billionaires are growing at a higher rate than men,” she said. “As more and more women control global wealth, it is going to impact the art market. UBS did a study on high-net-worth collectors, and women spend more money collecting art than men, so there is more female purchasing power, and that is going to shape the future of the art market.”

“I wish these shifts would happen faster,” she added, wistfully.

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