The U.S. accounted for almost half of nearly $28 Billion in all art sales for 2021, per a 2022 UBS art market report. So, where are all of these collectors and art enthusiasts coming from or traveling to see and buy their art?
Here are 5 of the best art cities in the U.S. based upon these cities being hubs for major museums, galleries, art fairs, and artists.
#1 Miami - Known mainly for its beaches and wild nightlife, Miami is now known for its vibrant art scene, which is heavily influenced by Latin American and Caribbean cultures. The city is home to a number of world-class museums, including the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. Miami is also a major hub for art fairs, including Art Basel Miami Beach and the Miami International Art Fair. Its Wynwood Art District, which is the home of the Wynwood Walls outdoor museum, covering over 80,000 square feet of wall space, features art from street artists from around the world. Miami also achieves top marks in three categories: number of galleries (113.1K per million people), street art searches (30,391K per million people), and street art Instagram posts (130,949K per million people).
#2 Chicago - The Windy city is known as the internationally recognized art and design hub. Home to the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the country’s most esteemed museums, EXPO Chicago, and The Chicago Architecture Biennial, the city has long been a focal point for the arts, particularly in the Midwest. Chicago has 3% of the U.S.’s art institutions and 4% of the nation’s galleries. The city’s art gallery scene is made up of a number of neighborhoods and includes gallery walks on the second Friday of every month, where art lovers and art novices can wander open studios and meet artists in person. Chicago’s gallery scene includes areas like Pilsen, which forms the Chicago Arts District that features established and emerging artists across a diverse array of mediums. The Bronzeville Art District, which includes 5 unique galleries that explore the art of the African diaspora and beyond, including the Bronzeville Artist Lofts, Faie Afrikan Art, Gallery Guichard, Blanc Gallery, and The South Side Community Art Center. A great time to visit is during the seasonal trolley tours that take visitors to the galleries for free. Other areas to explore include Bridgeport, Hyde Park, River North, and Wicker Park/Bucktown.
#3 New York - NYC is the art capital of the United States, with a world-renowned art scene that is home to some of the best museums, galleries, and artists in the world. The city is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and so many more. New York City is also home to a number of art fairs, including the Armory Show and the Frieze Art Fair. Also, some of the best art galleries in the world are nestled into neighborhoods throughout the city, including Chelsea's “gallery district," SoHo, Lower East Side, Midtown and Tribeca.
#4 San Francisco - Known for its key institutions like SFMOMA, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute, as well as notable galleries like Berggruen, Fraenkel, Jessica Silverman, and Jenkins Johnson, the city has a rich history of artistic tradition, from murals to cutting edge performing arts. San Francisco has 4% of art institutions in the U.S., and accounts for 5% of the nation’s galleries.
#5 Los Angeles - Known for its diverse art scene and its many museums and galleries, Los Angeles is a city that has something to offer art lovers of all ages. It is home to museums like LACMA, the largest art museum in the western United States, world-renowned The Getty Center, and MOCA, to name a few. Since the 1960’s, the city has been known for important art schools, which have nurtured artists, and in turn attracted some of the country’s best artists as professors. The city’s international art profile has also grown with the arrival of an edition of the Frieze Art Fair. Still, Los Angeles reportedly only has 7% of the country’s art institutions, but it does account for 10% of the nation’s galleries.