Slow Collecting: Sustainability and the Need for a Paradigm Sift by Iberian Collectors

Adelaide Duarte, Marta Pérez-Ibáñez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Collectors are major actors in the global art market as they often spend large sums of money fostering the business. Concerning sustainable collecting practices—i.e., the balance between what is the best for people and for the environment—collectors’ actions seem contradictory. Firstly, ontologically, to collect is to accumulate artworks; secondly, art—the object of the collectors’ desire—and the global art world are not closely aligned with the climate crisis. The art ecosystem encourages trips to participate in art events worldwide, increasing the carbon footprint impact, and rarely uses recycled materials, causing waste. The economic model of the art market lacks sustainability, raising the question: how can we promote a sustainable collecting attitude? In this exploratory study, we will observe art market players, especially the Iberian Peninsula collectors’ actions, in terms of their contribution to reducing the environmental impact of purchases. Based on data, reports, interviews, and published sources, we will investigate collectors’ awareness of the subject and evaluate their adopted actions. As, to date, no analysis has been carried out on the trends of Iberian collecting in the field of climate sustainability, we have focused our study on finding data from the primary source par excellence: the collectors themselves. The aim is to fuel the need for a paradigm shift, concluding on a slow collecting attitude.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2023


  • Slow collecting
  • contemporary art collectors
  • sustainability


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