Art Off The Chart

Two cities stand out for their art purchases

By Rob Smith

Carolyn Eaton/Getty

October 21, 2022

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Bellevue art lovers gravitate toward oil paintings. Those in Seattle tend to favor sea and sky landscapes.

Regardless of taste, Bellevue and Seattle residents both rank in the top 10 nationwide for their art-buying proclivities, based on the number of artworks sold per 100,000 residents. Bellevue is No. 4 and Seattle No. 10, according to Artfinder, which calls itself the world’s largest online art marketplace. 

In Bellevue, 90 pieces of art are sold for every 100,000 people. The number is 45 in Seattle.

“While the two cities have similar tastes – with landscape, sea and sky-focused, and impressionist art being favorites – people in Bellevue are more passionate about these genres,” the Artfinder report says. “Seattle seems to invest in more of a variety.” 

Only Savannah, Georgia; Alexandria, Virginia; and Huntington Beach, California; ranked ahead of Bellevue. Artfinder says the arts economy accounts for $920 billion in economic activity in the U.S.

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