For Art Museums by the Numbers 2018, AAMD's annual report that informs audiences about key aspects of art museum operations, we partnered with Stax Inc., a data-driven consulting and advisory firm (with whom we also partner on our annual Salary Survey). Working with AAMD, Stax provided the data analysis and insights for all of the report’s recurring components and, for this year, also included analyses of selected data points over a fifteen-year timespan. This historical analysis takes both a pre-recessionary (2003–2008) and post-recessionary (2013–2017) view, in order to better understand museum performance in the context of the broader economy.
Since the first report in 2014 report, the numbers demonstrate stability and flexibility within the field. Looked at over time, the data reflects how art museums adjusted during—and then recovered from—the recession.