Planet Money used some government data to plot out where artists and curators reside on a wealth continuum relative to their parents:
After some poking around, we figured out how to settle the argument. A government survey has tracked more than 12,000 people for decades. It allowed us to look at the same group of people in 1979 and 2010 — from a time when most were teenagers to the time when they were middle-aged and, for the most part, gainfully employed.
The chart below shows how artists and curators fare comparable to their parents. The line up the middle represents upbringing. The left axis charts adult income; the bottom axis measures childhood income. In both charts, artists and curators are shown with dramatic downward mobility.
Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors Or Artists? (NPR/Planet Money)