Research Outline

Art Auction Insights


To identify whether there is a decrease in the window between auction purchase and auction reselling in recent times. To provide data on any cuts in art coverage in newspapers or art education in K-12 in the US in the last 10-20 years. The learnings are to be used to inform the development of a digital tool to teach busy people about art.

Early Findings

Initial research indicates that quantitative information on the trend of reselling at auctions shortly after purchase (within 3 years) is not available in the public domain. Hence, we have pivoted the research to look for qualitative information on the increasing or decreasing trend of art auctions in the US. This is reflected in our findings and in the scoping options below.

K-12 Curriculum (1999-00 to 2007-08 period)

  • The "test-based accountability of No Child Left Behind (NCLB; 2002-2015) increased instruction in tested subject areas reading and math, leading to reductions in arts education."
  • The art education levels prior to the NCLB (1999-00) and 5 years post its introduction (2007-08) have been compared.
  • "The percentage of music educators teaching in public secondary schools was reduced from 5.56% to 3.24%, a decline of 41.6% during the period."
  • There was a 4% decline in the total number of music courses taught in the period, from 177,831 to 170,735.
  • "The level of visual art educators also significantly decreased during this era, from 3.95% to 3.15%, a 20.3% reduction."
  • There was a less than 1% decline in the total number of visual arts courses taught in the period, from 167,066 to 165,951.
  • "According to a nationally representative survey administered to visual arts educators in 2008—including those who work in public secondary schools—68% of survey respondents reported that visual arts staffing was unchanged during the NCLB era and 65% reported that their teaching loads remained unchanged. Yet evidence from educators in Ohio suggests that fewer visual arts classes were being taught."

Newspaper Coverage

  • 80% of all arts writers in print lost their jobs between 2000-2017.


  • The NCLB was introduced in 2002. The impact of the NCLB on arts education is measured five years from its date of introduction (2007-08).
  • The proportion of visual arts teachers and music arts teachers in public secondary schools decreased by 20.3% and 41.6%, respectively, in the period 1999-00 to 2007-08.
  • Only 20% of all art writers in print retained their jobs in the period 2000-2017.