Acquired in 2016, the Sotheby's Mei Moses Indices are widely recognized to be the preeminent measure of the state of the art market. Leveraging over 80,000 repeat auction sales for the same object over time, Sotheby's is able to produce objective art market analysis to complement the world-class expertise of its specialists.
Developed in 2002 by New York University Stern School of Business Professors Jianping Mei, PhD and Michael Moses, PhD, the Sotheby’s Mei Moses indices control for differing levels of quality, size, color, maker, and aesthetics of a work of art by analyzing repeat sales.
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Dive into the State of the Art Market with Sotheby's Mei Moses
In 2018 over $12 Billion of art was sold by the top global auction houses - take a closer look with Sotheby’s Mei Mei Moses as we explore the trends behind those numbers. The Sotheby's Mei Moses Indices are widely recognized as the preeminent measure of the state of the art market. Leveraging over 80,000 repeat auction sales over 200 years of art history, Sotheby's is able to produce objective art market analyses that complement the world-class expertise of its specialists. Discover more at sothebys.com/smm
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Art Market Index Chart
The graph below shows the Sotheby’s Mei Moses Index for the broader art market from 1950 to 2020. The index benchmarks at 1 in 1950 and shows the trajectory in demand for the overall market, a compound annual growth rate of 8.4%.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the Sotheby’s Mei Moses Indices?Sotheby’s Mei Moses uses the purchase prices of the same painting at two distinct moments in time (i.e., repeat-sales) to measure the change in the value of unique works of art. Based on approximately 60,000 repeat sales from 1810-present, Sotheby’s Mei Moses Indices can be used to compare the performance of art subcategories, identify trends and internal dynamics of the market and understand the market’s relationship to broader economic and societal factors. The methodology is based on the Case-Shiller Real Estate Index.
- What is a repeat sale?A repeat-sale compares changes in sale prices of the same artwork at specific points in time. For example, if a painting is bought at auction in 2000 and sold at auction in 2015, then it can be considered a repeat sale since there are two auction sales.
- What is the holding period?The holding period is the number of years between auction sales. For example, if a painting was bought at auction in 2000 and sold at auction in 2015, the holding period would be 15 years.
- What is a Realized Return?The change in price between two auction sales, in percentage terms, is called a realized return. The compound annual return is the change in price between two auction sales, in percentage terms, spread across the number of years between auction sales.