Who is the typical Czech art collector? Survey reveals details about the country’s art buyers – 71Bait

A newly published survey by J&T Bank (CZ)

Well, instead of art investors, I would like to talk about art collectors, because the survey showed us that art buyers primarily look for the emotional value of a work of art and not whether it is a good investment. I think they want to feel good or intellectually challenged when looking at the artwork that they want to buy or have bought. Then they also consider how each piece of art fits into their collection, because they really have a strong intention to create a collection that makes sense. In general, it’s important among collectors to view art as an asset or an investment, but that’s not why most of them buy art.

Photo: Jan Rasch, J&T Bank

“What I might add is that in terms of investment motives, the data has shown us that people who have been involved with art collecting in the last three years are more likely to view art in purely financial terms as part of their broader range of investment portfolio to consider. Perhaps this is due to the coronavirus pandemic or the general increase in inflation and they are trying to find assets that would protect their savings from inflation.”

In fact, I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve come across a lot of YouTube ads telling me to protect myself from inflation by investing in art. Anyway, if we continue, I wanted to ask you what types of art are currently most popular among Czech art collectors?

“The most popular art is Czech art, that’s obvious. However, we also refined our survey and divided our respondent base into two categories. We looked at “collectors” who told us they are building a real collection, and pure “owners” who just own some original artwork but have no ambitions to create any kind of collection – they just buy it for themselves joy and because it is good for them.

Photo: Jan Rasch, J&T Bank

“Among these two groups, Czech art is by far the most popular, especially the works of contemporary artists. Interestingly, owners are more likely to choose contemporary art than collectors. Over 70 percent of owners and over 50 percent of collectors said they owned or collect contemporary artworks. Then, among collectors, the art created by Czech artists after the Second World War is the second most common, followed by the works of modern artists from the interwar period.”

Do we know what kind of art is most preferred? By that I mean, for example, paintings or sculptures.

“Yes, we asked them and paintings were by far the leaders. More than 80 percent of collectors prefer paintings. It’s also probably obvious that it’s quite large. It can be the dominant feature in the interiors of your houses or apartments. Also, there is a perception that paintings will most likely increase in value in the future.”

What do you think is the art that is likely to become the most valuable in the next five years? I’m also asking because I noticed a slight discrepancy between the responses from collectors and art experts there. Specifically, regarding the third most common answer – collectors said it will be the Czech art movement of classical modernism, while collectors opted for the interwar avant-garde.

Photo: Jan Rasch, J&T Bank

“It’s very difficult to say, but in terms of collectors, who consider the modern art created between the wars to be the most valuable and most likely to add value, I think they value these pieces based on their own views. They want to own something unique, something that is rare on the market and that rarely appreciates in value. That is the nature of market dynamics. Therefore, since collectors prefer post-war and inter-war art, they are likely to think of and rely on this type of art as well to increase its value.

“However, when we asked the dealers, they said that contemporary Czech art will be trending in the next five years and that the pieces of contemporary Czech artists will increase in value the most in the future.

Some of the highest prices have been paid for individual works of art in recent years. The record was last broken in May this year when Bohumil Kubišta’s Staropražský motif (Old Prague motif) sold for a total of 123.6 million CZK. Why do you think people are willing to pay more for Czech art and what are the typical amounts that Czech investors are willing to spend on a work of art according to survey results?

Bohumil Kubišta - 'Old Prague Motif' |  Photo: Gallery Kodl

“Yes, you mentioned the historical record regarding Czech art auctions. However, I think that these super high prices in tens of millions of kronor are really extraordinary. Most artworks sold either at auction or in galleries are much, much cheaper. This also corresponds to our results, because the survey showed that on average 70 percent of collectors buy a work of art for less than 100,000 CZK. What we can also say is that the older the collector, the higher the price they are willing to pay. I think the survey simply said what is common in the market. Buying art is not about spending millions of kronor on a piece. Rather, it’s about choosing the artist that you like, who speaks to you in a language you understand, and who you can buy at a reasonable price.”

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