Visual arts statistics 2022 show significant growth in art museum visits

Visitor numbers to Finnish art museums and galleries increased last year according to the annual visual arts statistics published by Frame. Art galleries’ sales of artworks reached a new record.

The total number of visits to Finnish art museums, art galleries and visual art events in 2022 was almost 4 million, 44% higher than in the previous year. The data is based on visual art statistics published by Frame Contemporary Art Finland. The annual statistics were published now for the seventh time.

The increase in visitor numbers was particularly strong in art museums, which are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, a total of 2.2 million visits were made to Finland’s 69 art museums, an increase of 60% compared to the previous year. The five most popular art museum destinations were Amos Rex, Helsinki (227 760 visits), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki (222 697), EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo (170 822), Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Helsinki (107 647) and Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki (96 307).

The total number of visits to visual arts events, such as biennials and summer exhibitions, was over 600.000, which includes 27 visual arts events.

Gallery sales exceed last year’s record levels

In 2022, there were altogether 123 art galleries operating in 33 different cities in Finland. Around 1.2 million visits were made to galleries, slightly more than in the previous year. More than 900 exhibitions were organised by the galleries and they featured works by a total of 2 700 artists.

Gallery sales were close to record levels: the total sales of the galleries that responded to the statistical survey were around €9.8 million. The last time such high sales figures were achieved was in the first year of the survey, 2016, when works were sold for €10.3 million. Private galleries made the majority of sales. In total, more than 4,000 works were sold.

The gallery statistics published annually by Frame provide comprehensive information on the galleries operating in Finland, the number of visits, contracting and remuneration practices, sales and finances of artworks, as well as on the activities of art loaning services operating in conjunction with galleries. 

In 2022, 39 art loaning services were operating in Finland. In 2022, a total of around 2,300 new loans were made. The total sales generated from lending and direct purchases amounted to more than €2 million.

Download statistics from the Frame website

As an information centre of contemporary art, Frame develops its statistics on the visual arts to be even more comprehensive. The aim is to produce continuous statistics that will enable the monitoring of changes and developments in the sector, as well as planning of the future. The annual statistics provide information on changes in the visual arts sector and show the range of actors in the sector in Finland.

Statistics on art museums, art galleries and art events and the information cards compiled from them are published annually on Frame’s website. The information is based on data collected by Frame from galleries and events, the Museum Statistics compiled by the Finnish Heritage Agency, and Frame’s expert assessment.

Two large colorful abstract paintings are set up against a grey wall. A blurry shape of a person is walking past the paintings, situated between them.

With more than 77 000 visitors, the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere was one of the most visited art museums outside the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Anna Retulainen: I invite you to my home (2021, oil on canvas) at the Anna Retulainen: Silence exhibition in 2022, photo by Tibor András Kovács. Courtesy of the artist and Helsinki Contemporary.