Study Finds a Narrowing Racial Gap in Prices for Fine Art

In an interesting paper published in the Journal of Black Studies, researchers at the University of Delaware compared prices paid at auction for paintings done by African-American artists to those painted by white artists. The research found that between 1972 and 2004, paintings by African-American artists sold for significantly less than other paintings. However, the study found that there has been a narrowing of the price gap during the period as paintings by black artists have appreciated at a greater rate than paintings as a whole. Thus, the authors conclude that investing in paintings by African-American artists has provided a better return to investors in recent years.