Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we explore the salaries in the arts.
A public-access google spreads sheet –
Art/Museum Salary Transparency has confirmed what people have long suspected about the art world.
It’s no secret that the art world lacks financial transparency. Be it transactions and trading of art itself or what goes on behind closed doors in museums and other institutions – hear say tends to be people’s only source of information. As a step towards breaking this barrier and creating unity among those employed in the arts, thousands of art employees around the globe have anonymously contributed crucial information regarding their pay structure on an online spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet asks various questions to prove a single point – most employees working at art museums tend to be underpaid. Participants have anonymously put in information regarding their place and country of employment, annual salary, employee benefits and leaves etc to give a well-rounded perspective of their financial reality. The document also features entries from employees at prominent museums including the Whiteney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The data reveals that while staff at higher positions, such as head curator, tend to draw six figure salaries, most other employees at lower positions claim to be working other jobs to sustain themselves. The document also highlights what type of qualification was required to procure the various positions mentioned.
The spreadsheet was published in the wake of the protests at the Louvre Museum in Paris, back in 2019, where staff members claim to be overworked owing to overcrowding at the museum. The data has been revealed in a bid to bring about changes in working conditions and pay structures in the art world.
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