Hong Kong-based website Larry’s List publishes Art Collector Report 2014, the company’s first report on international art collecting. 

The wide-ranging research report draws on the largest private contemporary art collector database in the world, and aims to provide greater transparency in the market.

Art Radar has THREE copies of the Larry’s List Art Collector Report 2014 to give away. Please scroll down for details.

Larry's List Art Collectors Report 2014 report cover: Boo Ritson, 'Monique', 2009, archival digital print on Somerset paper, 101.6 x 78.05cm, unframed. Image courtesy the Poppy Sebire Gallery Ltd, the artist and the Burger Collection, Hong Kong. Photography by Andy Crawford.

Larry’s List ‘Art Collector Report 2014’ cover: Boo Ritson, ‘Monique’, 2009, archival digital print on Somerset paper, 101.6 x 78.05 cm, unframed. Photography by Andy Crawford. Image courtesy the Poppy Sebire Gallery Ltd, the artist and the Burger Collection, Hong Kong.

In January 2015, Larry’s List published its first research report on international art collectors compiled from data they have been collecting since 2012. Founded by Magnus Resch and Christoph Noe, the Hong Kong-based company has created a database of over 3,000 collectors from more than seventy countries. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the collected data conducted in association with the University of Zurich.

About Larry’s List

Larry’s List is an online database consisting of profiles of the most powerful art collectors from around the world. The website targets all arts professionals, and helps them expand their client base and grow their networks internationally. Forbes reported in 2013:

Put together by a team of 25 art market researchers who scoured 27,000 sources based around the world, Larry’s List claims to be the most comprehensive global research carried out on art collections.

The brains behind Larry’s List include Magnus Resch and Christoph Noe, Director at The Ministry of Art Ltd in Hong Kong. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong.

Portrait of Magnus Resch. Image courtesy Larry’s List Ltd.

Portrait of Magnus Resch. Image courtesy Larry’s List Ltd.

A timely publication

Published in January 2015, the Report provides an in-depth analysis of data collected by the company since 2012. The publication is timely, according to the Report, because of the increasing influence of private collectors around the globe. The foreword reads:

[…] only very little published information has documented the art collector scene, and private collectors remain surprisingly under-researched. Indeed, the limited information available is in inverse proportion to the influence this sector now wields. Private collectors are taking over the role of public institutions in the ownership, preservation, and exhibition of artworks and also in arts education. It is now common for private art collections to outshine public art collections, and nowhere is this better illustrated than at art auctions.


The Report analyses the global art collector scene by breaking down the private art collector scene via region, art collection particulars and the collector’s individual characteristics. It then takes on a regional approach, and investigates continental and country perspectives, looking closely at the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Ultimately, the Report seeks to answer a few important questions:

  • Who are these private contemporary art collectors?
  • How many are there?
  • Where do they live?
  • What artists do they collect?
  • What is their business background?
  • How actively are they involved in museums?

Art Radar has THREE copies of the Larry’s List Art Collector Report 2014 to give away. Please scroll down for details.

Rise of the art collector

Before moving on to a summary of key findings of the report, it would be helpful to first elucidate the definition of an art collector according to Larry’s List. According to the Report, collectors who form part of the study fulfill four criteria:

  • The collection’s focus must be on contemporary art
  • The collection must contain a critical number of artworks
  • The collector must be alive and still active in the art market
  • There must be a public footprint and visibility in regard to his or her collecting activities

Based on these criteria, the Report estimates that there are around 4,000 to 5,000 such ‘visible’ collectors worldwide. The Report also estimates that there are an equal number of ‘invisible’ collectors without a public footprint, whose acquisitions are not a matter of public knowledge. Hence, there is a total of about 8,000 to 10,000 high net worth collectors worldwide. The Report states:

The sheer dominance of this global group of art collectors is such that it shapes the market, set[s] trends, impact[s] price developments, and influenc[es] public perception and institutions.

Larry’s List World Map. Image courtesy Larry’s List Ltd.

Larry’s List World Map. Image courtesy Larry’s List Ltd.

Summary of key findings

Here are a few findings and predictions from the report:

  • Europe has the largest share of art collectors worldwide (38%), followed by North America (28%) and Asia (18%). Meanwhile, the US scene is the biggest in the world, larger than the German, British and Chinese scenes combined, hosting 25% of global collectors.
  • Nearly a quarter of all collectors worldwide live in one of the following five cities: New York, London, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Paris.
  • The average age of a collector is 59 years. 71% of them are male. 12% own a private museum, 12% share their collections via online webpages and 37% are actively engaged in public art institutions (e.g. advisory boards, committee members or trustees).
  • The number of collectors in developing countries will increase rapidly in the coming years. Also, in developing countries, private contemporary art museums will assume the responsibility of public museums.
  • Major art collectors will further impose their own characteristics on the art world, and collectors will gain even more influence in public museums.

Zooming in on Asia

Specifically on Asia, the Report reveals the following:

  • Beijing is the largest collector city in Asia, with a share of 14% of Asian collectors. Seoul (12%) comes second and Singapore (7%) third.
  • Within China, Beijing tops the list with a 41% share of collectors. Hong Kong comes second at 16%, Taipei third at 14% and Shanghai fourth at 11%.
  • The Chinese collector base emerged only recently. 45% of the collections were founded between 2001 and 2010, and 5% after 2010.
  • India’s art collectors are younger than average, with 36% under 41 years of age.
  • As wealth in China dramatically increases, collectors are increasingly supporting their own art superstars. Just like the US in the past, where the the most powerful collectors created the most-hyped artists, the new generation of superstar artists is likely to come from China.

Transparency in the art market

Apart from other interesting facts and findings, including ‘Top 10 Artists in Collections’ lists for important regions and countries, and comprehensive case studies and profiles on private museums, the Report also includes quotes from collectors and in-depth collector interviews. For the Asia section, Hong Kong collector William Lim was featured.

Ultimately, the Report aims to increase transparency on one of the most elusive markets in the world. Co-publisher Magnus Resch explains in the press release:

The report gives insights into the world’s art collector scene for the first time. […] It underpins the belief in the importance of the private art collector cohort and sets a starting point for providing some transparency on one of the most powerful driving forces in the art market today.

Michele Chan


How to win the book giveaway

Art Radar has THREE copies of the Larry’s List Art Collector Report 2014 to give away! Here’s how to participate:

Step 1: Share this article on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us.

Facebook: @Art Radar Asia (https://www.facebook.com/artradar)

Twitter: @ArtRadar (https://twitter.com/ArtRadar)

Instagram: @artradarjournal (http://instagram.com/artradarjournal/)

Step 2: Email hello.artradar@gmail.com with ‘March 2015 Book Giveaway’ in the subject line and your full name and postal address in the email body by 15 March 2015.

Winners will be chosen after the submission deadline through a draw of lots. Good luck!


Related Topics: collectors, reports, market transparency, market watch, art and the internet, resource alert

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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