Unsurprisingly, the collections in US art museums are still dominated by white male artists. A new study has found that 85 percent of the artists represented in US museum collections are white, while 87 percent are men, according to an Art News report.
The data has been taken from 40,000 artworks in the collections of 18 museums. For context, the US as a country is approximately 61 percent white and 50.2 percent male, according to recent census data.
The study’s findings come even after art institutions have made a concerted effort to diversify their collections, with some even selling off works by male artists to buy pieces made by more diverse artists.
The overrepresentation of white male artists is also the case at auction houses. Last November, David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) sold for $80 million ($90.3 million with fees), well exceeding the price of Jenny Saville’s Propped, which broke the auction record for an artwork by a living female artist when it sold for approximately $12.4 million at Sotheby’s in October.