All in the numbers: Art Facts

Art Life , News Apr 04, 2013 2 Comments

In an attempt to disseminate facts, fun facts and factoids regarding the status and practice of art to the public, the Australia Council has today launched the website ArtFacts . According to OzCo’s press release

Art Facts Visual Arts outlines the story of the visual arts and craft sector in numbers. As an interactive website, it brings together facts, figures and research from across Australia to inspire people to discover and share facts about visual arts and crafts, sparking quality debate about this important area of Australian culture. Art Facts provides the arts sector with a ‘one stop shop’ for data that has until now only been available in separate reports, including the latest statistical data from the Australia Council, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and industry research reports. The visual arts are the second sector to go under the Art Facts spotlight, following Art Facts: Music, which was released in 2012

Basically, you go to the website, read a fact and if it inspires you, there is an array of social media buttons that allow you to share said fact. Some facts may be well known to you, such as this classic:


Now, while it might be churlish to point out that yes, more people do go to see exhibitions than go to the footy, it typically takes a major public museum three months to get the crowds in whereas a single football game on one day draws the same amount of people. And until Channel Nine starts running a panel show called The Art Show it’s doubtful art will ever reach the heady highs and humiliating lows of Australian team sport. Other fun facts are a bit confusing, like this one:


A picture might be worth a thousand words, but it’s just a metaphor. You can’t actually trade that in at the bank. Of course what they mean is, hey, there are 2.8 million art works in public museums, which is a hell of a lot. Other statistical comparisons miss the point:


That may be true – but how many people doing craft do it with one hand? Hmmm?

Andrew Frost


  1. Digby Hyles

    2.8 m artworks in Aus Art Museums……………WOW

  2. The worst thing about fact 1 is that they are only using Men’s Netball, sorry AFL, for the footy crowds. And even by their own stats it was only 11m Art Exhibitions vs 10m AFL. If you decide to add in what someone in Sydney or Bris-Vegas would call footy (league or union) then I don’t think this ‘fact’ stands up.

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