8651.0 - Commercial Art Galleries, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/08/2001   
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August 29, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
NSW private galleries lead in art sales

New South Wales commercial art gallery businesses lead sales of artworks in Australia in 1999-2000, according to figures in the latest Commercial Art Galleries, Australia, 1999-00 publication released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Commercial art gallery businesses located in New South Wales accounted for 44% of the sale of artworks, compared to 30% from Victorian businesses and 14% from Queensland businesses. Sales of artworks in the Northern Territory totalled $11 million, and represented 5% of total sales of artworks. Nearly all Northern Territory sales were artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

In 1999-2000, commercial art gallery businesses had total sales of artworks of $218 million. The sale of artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists was $36 million (17% of total sales), while the sale of artworks by other Australian artists was much higher at $168 million (77% of total sales). Artworks by overseas artists sold to the tune of $14 million.

At the end of June 2000, there were 514 commercial art gallery businesses operating from 573 locations in Australia, and employing 1,409 people. These businesses comprised 31 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art centres and 483 other commercial art galleries, the majority of which were very small with 325 businesses having employment of 2 or fewer persons.

Commercial art gallery businesses were mainly operated by working proprietors and partners (435) which accounted for 31% of the industry's employment. The remaining employment comprised 389 permanent full-time employees, 337 permanent part-time employees and 249 casual employees. Women accounted for 61% (857) of persons working in commercial art gallery businesses, and 65% of permanent part-time employees (219 employees) and 80% of casual employees (199 employees). The average wages and salaries per employee for 1999-2000 for all commercial art gallery businesses was $22,600.

The total income of commercial art gallery businesses in 1999-2000 was $132 million. Commission income from the sale of artworks (selling artworks on behalf of others) was $43 million. Commission income from the sale of artworks of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists contributed $6 million, with $37 million of commission income coming from the sale of artworks of other Australian artists.

The most significant expense for these businesses was the purchase of artworks for re-sale at $44 million (36% of total expenses), while labour costs of $24 million was also a significant expense. Other significant expenses were rent, leasing and hiring expenses ($10 million), advertising, marketing and promotion expenses ($6 million) and framing costs ($4 million).

Details are found in Commercial Art Galleries, Australia, 1999-00 (cat. no. 8651.0) available from ABS Bookshops . If you would like to purchase a copy please contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.