This paper analyzes the performance and risk-return characteristics of three major emerging art markets: Russia, China, and India. According to three national art market indices, built by hedonic regressions based on auction sales prices, the geometric annual returns are 10.00%, 5.70%, and 42.20% for Russia (1985-2008), China (1990-2008), and India (2002-2008), respectively. The Russian art market exhibits positive correlations with most common financial assets and a positive market beta, whereas the Chinese art market demonstrates a negative correlation overall and a negative market beta, and the Indian art index reveals a negative market beta and varying correlation results. Portfolio optimization under a power utility framework suggests limited diversification potential, but with a downside beta of 0.43, investing in Chinese art offers hedging potential during financial market downswings. Investigating the linkages between art and the economy through co-integration and causality analyses proves that emerging art markets share a significant long-term relation with other financial market instruments, but short-term relations are largely absent. © 2010.