The Mei Moses Index released it’s quarterly report last week. The index showed an overall decline of 5% for the first quarter of 2010 which would seem to contradict the euphoria that has been seen around much of the art market. The report cautions that the art market trails financial markets by 6-18 months but really that’s not even the case here because most of the collecting categories Mei Moses tracks are up substantially. (Mei Moses can only track the sale of items that have previous auction sales.)
The bigger surprise is that Contemporary art, the category most expected to see evaporate in a tougher financial climate, has rebounded with strength:
The deterioration in the first quarter 2010 performance of the Mei Moses® all art index was driven by the sharp decline in the American before 1950 collecting category which had a decline of over 30 percent. All the other collecting categories had positive performance in the first quarter of 2010. The best performing categories were the post war and old master with increases of 19% and 17% percent respectively. The impressionist and modern had a more moderate increase of almost 5%.