What percentage cut do art dealers/galleries make on selling art?

Kenney Mencher
M.A. Art History, U.C. Davis
M.F.A. Fine Art, University of Cincinnati (1995)
Most of the galleries that I’ve worked with have taken 50% or more. A few will take under that amount, sometimes 30% or 40%.
I know that this seems like a lot of money, but if you think about it the gallery has some really big expenses. The biggest expense probably is paying the rent or owning the building. In San Francisco, or another big city like Chicago or New York it can cost as much as $20,000 a month and be as low as $1000 a month for rent if it’s a really small space in Brooklyn.
The gallery also pays for the person who is selling your work, and other staff and other bills such as power,, advertising, paint for the walls, etc.
Okay so that was my fair response. I don’t work with galleries because I’ve never made real money showing at a gallery even when I sold for five paintings for close to $4000 each at a show of my own.
The reason for this is that the overhead that I have had to pay to get my stuff to the gallery and also to attend my reception often can cost almost the whole amount of what I can make from a gallery show. Shipping is perhaps the biggest expense and if I were shipping an entire show of work, let’s say 20 paintings each had $100, well you get the idea.
Throw in the cost of airfare, hotel, meals,, dog sitter, etc. almost all the money that I made is spent just on the show itself. Now you minimize all those costs you can make money.
I’m making pretty good money since I stopped showing with galleries by summing most of my work on etsy or privately in studio visits. It Seems like I’m headed to make about 30 to 40 K I don’t want to curse myself by being more optimistic, this year. I live in the Bay Area so my cost a very high for food and rent but I also am able to do it because I’m a retired college professor who has a good pension.
I have a course if you’re interested in how I did it.

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