ANN: New Study on Graduates from Hamburg’s State Academy for Art and Science (Hochschule für bildende Künste – HFBK) and their Success as Artists

The Hamburg State Academy for Art and Science (Hochschule für bildende Künste – HFBK) recently commissioned a study from Hamburg University’s Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (Prof. Dr. Henning Lohmann and Dr. Sascha Peter) in order to find out how those who had graduated from its art school fared after graduation.

The results of this study are interesting – and surprising.

The questionnaire was addressed to all graduates of the last 15 years. It found that 90% of those who answered are still active as artists while 66% obtain their income by working as artists or in a profession that is close to that of an artist (“kunstnahe Tätigkeit”).

Regarding the sale of works of art (pp.57-60), the survey showed that 44% of the works were sold without intermediaries (“Selbstvermarktung”), 34% of the works were sold through commercial galleries, 8% were sold through exhibitions in institutions / museums or in spaces run by artists’ associations, and 14% were sold through other channels. These figures show that commercial art galleries continue to play an important role in the early careers of artists, although alternative sale outlets are even more important.

When considering the study, it should be kept in mind that not all graduates responded; thus it cannot be excluded that those who were more successful in their career were more likely to respond. HFBK plans to conduct a similar study again in five years.

The full press release (in German) may be found at

The full study (PDF, 104pp., in German) may be downloaded from