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Germany Surpasses US in Private Contemporary Art Museums, New Study Shows

Rapid Growth in Private Museums Reflects Changing Landscape of Global Art

Germany has emerged as the leading nation in terms of the number of private contemporary art museums, narrowly surpassing the United States, reveals a recent report. The study, conducted by art collector data company Larry’s List, shows a significant increase in the number of such museums, rising from 317 in 2016 to a staggering 446 in 2023.

The report, a collaborative effort by Larry’s List founder Christoph Noe and a team of researchers, shows a shift in the global landscape of private museums. In 2016, South Korea held the top spot, with Germany ranking third. However, the current data shows Germany (60), the US (59), South Korea (50), Greater China (30), and Italy (30) as the top five countries, collectively housing half of all private museums worldwide.

The report highlights the growing importance of Asia in the global art scene, with Seoul, the capital of South Korea, boasting the highest number of private art museums. The report also reveals that 82% of all existing private museums of contemporary art were established since 2000, with 152 founded in the past decade alone.

The trend of establishing private museums is linked to resources, status, and the desire to share collections with the public. Founders also see a need to nurture and protect culture, filling a gap left by a lack of public institutions. The report also notes that these private museums play a crucial role in giving artists greater exposure, particularly at a time when government support for public museums is not increasing.