"The Irish art market has grown faster than any other international art market worldwide. Each year sees unprecedented records smashing those of the previous year," writes David Britton in the Irish Arts Review, and he ends,"it was a very good year for Irish art." Irish artists continue to set personal records at Sotheby's, Christie's and auction houses in Ireland itself. There is no sign of the domestic Irish art market slowing in growth although a limiting factor might be the increasing discernment of collectors married to the availability of high quality Irish art. This supply and demand is heightened by many collectors holding on to good Irish art rather than risk alternative investments such as the volatile stock market.
Stuart Cole of auctioneers James Adam seems confident of quality Irish art continuing to achieve excellent prices. Contemporary art, he believes, will do well with some artists having risen up to 200 per cent over the last five years. Internationally, the interest in investing in Irish art, particularly in the United States and Canada also remains durable.
Christopher Sibley's of Trinity's Department of Economics confirmed the general opinion on Irish art's investment potential. In his interesting preliminary study 'On the cyclical nature of the Irish Art Market' he is also positive about the Irish Art market: "At present the market seems to be based on a series of strong fundamentals, embedded in the surge of recent Irish growth."
This interest and confidence in the Irish Art market is not new. A couple of years ago, Forbes - the key magazine for the world's top entrepreneurs - commented that "since 1990, 20th-century Irish art, Dutch Old Masters and English sporting pictures have been the art market's three fastest-rising sectors - with the Irish climbing the most steeply."