Not all art collectors said they planned to leave their collections to their heirs. More than half of respondents (53%), the vast majority of them millennials (73%), said they planned to leave some or all of their collection with museums.

Respondents by and large had a favorable opinion of museums as custodians of their collection for the purpose of education (83%), cultural history (82%), as a display venue (81%), influencing contemporary art (73%), and as centers for social change (71%).

A majority of respondents (53%), most of them millennials (71%), also said they were planning to leave their art collection to charitable organizations.

According to the survey, a majority of art collectors are women, more than half of whom (51%) said they made purchases of more than $1 million in artworks over the past two years, compared with 15% of men. Women also have larger collections, with an average of 88 pieces compared to 27 for men. Two-thirds of women (68%) said they planned to donate their artworks to museums, compared with 44% of men; 69% planned to donate their collections to charity, versus 43% for men.

While women are increasingly investing in the art market to a greater degree than men, both genders of all three generations are primarily investing in male artists (63%), rather than female ones (37%).

Laura Hastings, a media relations representative for UBS Global Wealth Management – Americas, was interviewed about the report by Financial Advisor:

FA: Why are high-net-worth investors a little more optimistic about the art market than the global stock market since art investments are less liquid?

LH: 2018 was a year of steady growth for the global economy, yet heightened U.S.-China [trade] tensions, tighter monetary policy, and worries over the possibility of a global slowdown contributed to the first annual decline in global stocks since 2011. For the art market, it was a year of growth. As per The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, sales across 2018 brought the global art market to its second-highest level in a decade, representing a rise of 9% since 2008. The U.S. did particularly well and sustained its position as the world’s largest art market, accounting for 44% of sales by value—or a total of $29.9 billion, the highest recorded level to-date.

FA: Are art collectors investing in artwork because of its aesthetic appeal or in the belief that a collectible retains its value when stocks might not?

LH: Art collecting is a passion activity, offering pleasure and the thrill of a new perspective. It offers the chance to leave a legacy that goes beyond money. We understand that it is an asset for our clients with emotional value and sometimes financial value, but we don’t advise them to look at art as an investment class. It offers emotional dividends.