Subsidies fail to create top ranking artists

Government and other subsidies do not help visual artists to make an international break-through, according to researchers in economics magazine ESB, quoted in the Volkskrant.

While the amount of government money spent on the visual arts has risen sharply over the past few decades, the number of Dutch artists breaking through into the international arena has reached a new low, researchers Aris Gaaff and Ernst Bos say.
While some schemes, such as measures to financially support beginning young artists have been scrapped, most of the money spent by the government on art comes from other sources, such as direct purchases. For example, 1% of the money the government spends on building projects must be spent on art.
But despite the growth – and the Volkskrant article does not give financial details – this decade just two new Dutch artists a year have received widespread international acclaim. In the final years of the 20th century, some seven artists a year broke through and in the 1920s, around 16 were considered to be among the greats.
The researchers based their definition of break-through artists on the advice of art experts, gallery owners and public opinion, the paper said.

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