Home > Map Instructions and Methodology

Map Instructions and Methodology

There are five different colors of bubble, each of which represent a region of art.

Egyptian art-yellow

African art-green

Middle Eastern art-red

Ancient Greek art-blue

Asian art-purple

[For the sake of this project, the regions, such as Asian art, are extremely broad and are rather all encompassing to any nation that could fall under this category. This was done for the sake of collecting the broadest scope of data.]

There are also five different sizes of bubble that represent how many items of a certain region a particular museum contains in its collection.

Extra small-less than 10,000 items                                                          

Small-10,000 items to just under 50,000 items

Medium-50,000 items to just under 150,000 items

Large-150,000 items to just under 200,000 items

Extra Large-200,000 items or more

The nations involved in the process are the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Egypt, and Iraq. The first four were chosen because they are both considered art hubs of Europe as well as known countries of conquest or colonizers. Greece, Egypt, and Iraq were chosen as nations often controlled or conquered. They also served as comparison points, being the nation of origin for three of the five categories.

After selecting the seven countries, I began my data collection by searching for a list of museums containing art from the five art regions (Eyptian, African Middle Eastern, Greek, and Asian). From these lists, I compiled all of the museums listed for each of the seven countries. Then I visited each museum's website, searching for their permanent collections of art from the five regions. The Greek art list was actually Greek and Roman art, so when I visited the websites of the listed museums, I made sure to find the number of items in just the Greek collections. I was unable to find a starting list for African art, so I saved that search for last, and found the number of items in the museums that had appeared for previous regions. I also google searched "museums with african art collections" in the seven countries I selected. Most websites blantantly stated how many items they had in those collections but if a museum had a collection of one of the regions yet did not specify how many items, I could not include it. By no means did I collect all possible data for how many items of the five regions are in every single museum in each of the seven countries. I sought to include the museums with the larger collections that had at least 500 items. Thus, in no way is this a final numerical conclusion of how many items are in each of these countries. But I hope to show a generalized view of where art is in the world, as of 2016. To view the initial starting lists I found, click on the art region name below:

Eyptian                African                 Middle Eastern                  Greek                 Asian

The final counts for each nation with its collections of artworks are as follows: 

 EgyptianAfricanMiddle EasternGreekAsian
United Kingdom 268,000+ 250,500+ 313,000+ 111,620+ 185,000+
France 51,500 70,000 121,600 45,000 108,000
Italy 52,500+ NA NA 130,000 NA
Germany 104,000 80,000 250,000 60,000 20,000
Egypt 100,000+ NA NA NA NA
Iraq NA NA 170,000 NA NA

As one can see, the nations from which art originated often have less of their own art in museums than do other nations. For example, Egypt has 100,000 items of Egyptian artworks, but both Germany and the UK have more than Egypt; Italy and France combined also have more; even Greece has 6,000 Egyptian items and Egypt reportedly has no ancient Greek items. This map seeks to show the imbalance of power throughout the artworld as museums have grown to be sources of national pride, and strong reminders of which nations have the most power.

To view my spread sheet with individual museums and collection numbers click here. This data is best visualized in the map on the home page.