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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2004 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Visual Arts and Crafts >> Buying Art and Craft

BUYING ART AND CRAFT

Data on most aspects of visual arts and crafts is fairly scarce. Surveys conducted in the late 1990s by the ABS provide some of the only information on the amount of money spent by households on these items. These surveys also provide some limited information on the characteristics of art and craft purchasers.


The Household Expenditure Survey found that 176,200 Australian households purchased paintings, carvings and sculptures during a three month period in 1998-99. Their expenditure on these items totalled $68.7m (the equivalent of $274.8m in a year). While households also spent on other types of arts and crafts, it is not possible to isolate this spending from expenditure on other items.


Another survey in 1997, the Art and Craft Purchases Survey, which asked respondents whether and what type of art and craft purchases they had made in a three month period, found that a total of 0.9 million art items and 3.9 million craft items had been bought. The most common art items purchased were Paintings (372,100 purchased), while Pottery and ceramics (992,700), Garments and clothing (565,600) and Jewellery (525,400) were the most common craft items.

14.1 NUMBER OF ART AND CRAFT ITEMS PURCHASED, Three months before interview - 1997

Whether made in Australia
Yes
No
Total(a)
Percentage made in Australia(b)
'000
'000
'000
%

Art items
Paintings
334.3
30.4
372.1
91.7
Sculptures
113.6
76.0
191.8
59.9
Drawings/Works on paper
88.3
*18.5
107.4
82.7
Original photographs
106.5
*13.6
120.6
88.6
Original, limited edition prints
81.2
25.7
110.0
76.0
Total art items
724.0
164.2
902.0
81.5
Craft items
Pottery/ceramics
885.5
81.2
992.7
91.6
Garments/clothing
435.1
108.9
565.6
80.0
Woven/printed textiles
61.3
76.0
140.8
44.6
Glass
264.5
93.2
377.3
73.9
Jewellery
383.9
116.3
525.4
76.7
Furniture crafts
193.7
36.8
242.5
84.0
Wood crafts
353.0
80.0
445.9
81.5
Metal crafts
47.2
*18.6
67.0
71.8
Leather crafts
300.0
121.5
435.3
71.2
Other crafts
115.5
*11.8
134.0
90.7
Total craft items
3 039.8
744.4
3 926.5
80.3

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Includes items where it is not known where they are made.
(b) Excludes items where it is not known where they are made.
DCITA, Cultural Trends in Australia No. 7: Art and Craft Purchases, 1997, prepared for DCITA by the NCCRS of the ABS.


The Art and Craft Purchasers Survey found that art items were purchased by a total of 696,500 people aged 18 years and over. Those most likely to purchase were:

  • aged 25-34 years
  • living in capital cities
  • employed full-time.

Over 80% of the art items purchased were made in Australia and had a value of $137.9m. Of this amount, the majority ($84.2m) were for Paintings. Australian-made art items were usually purchased direct from the artist ($41.4m or 30%) or from art and craft dealers ($34.4m or 25%).


The 1997 survey also found that 2.5 million people aged 18 years and over purchased 3.9 million craft items over a three month period. People most likely to purchase craft items were:

  • female
  • aged 25-34 years
  • living in capital cities
  • employed part-time.

The value of Australian-made craft items purchased in the three months before interview totalled $317.5m with Furniture crafts accounting for $120.5m, Jewellery another $58.6m and Pottery and ceramics, $44.4m. The most common places for craft purchases were direct from the craftsperson ($59.8m or 19%), from specialty craft shops ($46.7m or 15%) and from markets ($42.3m or 13%).


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