Books (Part 2)
Go here to check out the first part of the recommended books.
“Collecting Art for Love, Money and More”
Ethan and Thea Wagner
Collecting Art for Love, Money and More looks at why collecting art is a completely unique experience that offers emotional, intellectual and social rewards. The authors argue that the motivations for acquiring a work of art and building a collection, unlike buying anything else, may be any combination of investment potential, aesthetics, love of art, challenge, intellectual exploration, social status, adrenaline rush, ego-building or public attention.
“50 Years at Pace”
Pace Gallery, 2010
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, The Pace Gallery presents a multi-venue retrospective of the gallery’s history highlighting the many artists, exhibitions, people, literature and ideals that have influenced its narrative over the past five decades. 50 Years at Pace will bring together some of the key masterpieces that have passed through Pace’s doors, featuring loans from important public and private collections worldwide. With works spanning more than a century and a selection of rare archival materials, 50 Years at Pace will shed light on some of the landmark exhibitions and sales from the gallery’s extensive history.
“London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780-1820”
Susanna Avery-Quash and Christian Huemer (eds.)
Getty Publications, 2019
In the late 1700s, as the events of the French Revolution roiled France, London displaced Paris as the primary hub of international art sales. Within a few decades, a robust and sophisticated art market flourished in London. ‘London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, 1780-1820’ explores the commercial milieu of art sales and collecting at this turning point. In this collection of essays, twenty-one scholars employ methods ranging from traditional art historical and provenance studies to statistical and economic analysis; they provide overviews, case studies and empirical reevaluations of artists, collectors, patrons, agents and dealers, institutions, sales and practices. Drawing from pioneering digital resources-notably the Getty Provenance Index-as well as archival materials, such as trade directories, correspondence, stock books and inventories, auction catalogs and exhibition reviews, these scholars identify broad trends, reevaluate previous misunderstandings and consider overlooked commercial contexts to illuminate artistic taste. From individual case studies to econometric overviews, this volume is groundbreaking for its diverse methodological range that illuminates artistic taste and flourishing art commerce at the turn of the nineteenth century.
“The Inner Mirror: Conversations with Ursula Hauser, Art Collector’
Edited by Laura Bechter, Michaela Unterdörfer
Hauser & Wirth, 2019
This book presents the first-ever extensive account of her life and art collection. More than a straightforward biography, The Inner Mirror reads like an intimate conversation with a highly intelligent friend. Hauser recounts her discovery and support of artists such as Pipilotti Rist, Roni Horn and Paul McCarthy, as well as her acquisitions of the estates of artists such as Eve Hesse, Lee Lozano and Francis Picabia. Interspersed with photographs of Hauser at artist’s homes or studios, this volume provides invaluable insight into the life and work of one of today’s finest gallerists and collectors.
“The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art”
Why would a smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock’s drip painting No. 5, 1948 sell for $140 million?
Intriguing and entertaining, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark is a Freakonomics approach to the economics and psychology of the contemporary art world. Why were record prices achieved at auction for works by 131 contemporary artists in 2006 alone, with astonishing new heights reached in 2007? Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored.
This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on interviews with past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art. Surprising, passionate, gossipy, revelatory, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark reveals a great deal that even experienced auction purchasers do not know.
“Galerisme a Barcelona. 1877_2012. Descobrir, defensar, difondre l’art”
Jaume Vidal Oliveras
Ajuntament de Barcelona & Associació Art Barcelona, 2012
This book was published to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the Barcelona Art Association, and it is a journey through the history of Barcelona’s art galleries over the 135 years between 1877 and 2012. The book is supplemented by an appendix that includes a list of all the city’s gallery exhibitions and activities between 1970 and 2012.
“Talking Prices: Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art”
Princeton University Press, 2007
How do dealers price contemporary art in a world where objective criteria seem absent? Talking Prices is the first book to examine this question from a sociological perspective. On the basis of a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data, including interviews with art dealers in New York and Amsterdam, Olav Velthuis shows how contemporary art galleries juggle the contradictory logics of art and economics. In doing so, they rely on a highly ritualized business repertoire. For instance, a sharp distinction between a gallery’s museumlike front space and its businesslike back space safeguards the separation of art from commerce. Velthuis shows that prices, far from being abstract numbers, convey rich meanings to trading partners that extend well beyond the works of art. A high price may indicate not only the quality of a work but also the identity of collectors who bought it before the artist’s reputation was established. Such meanings are far from unequivocal. For some, a high price may be a symbol of status; for others, it is a symbol of fraud. Whereas sociological thought has long viewed prices as reducing qualities to quantities, this pathbreaking and engagingly written book reveals the rich world behind these numerical values. Art dealers distinguish different types of prices and attach moral significance to them. Thus the price mechanism constitutes a symbolic system akin to language.
“Collect Contemporary Photography”
Thames & Hudson, 2012
Where does one begin when assembling a collection of contemporary photography? How can one identify prints of lasting appeal? From discovering photographers to determining editions and displaying prints, Collect Contemporary Photography accompanies collectors through the whole process of acquiring photographic works. It also provides guidance on practical matters, including information about different photographic techniques.
Forty photographers to consider when collecting are profiled in detail, with information about their background and training, and sources of inspiration. The selection is truly international, covering the United States, Germany, Turkey, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and beyond. Photography lovers and collectors will feel inspired by the diversity and creativity of the artists. Among the featured names are Gregory Crewdson with his well-known Twilight scenes, Denis Darzacq with his freeze-frame photographs of Paris youths, Julia Fullerton-Batten with her images of teenage girls, Youssef Nabil with his hand-coloured star portraits and Izima Kaoru with his fictional death scenes.
“Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in its Struggle to Be Understood”
Particular Books, 2014
Now Grayson Perry is a fully paid-up member of the art establishment, he wants to show that any of us can appreciate art (after all, there is a reason he’s called this book ‘Playing to the Gallery’ and not ‘Sucking up to an Academic Elite’.) Based on his hugely popular Reith Lectures and full of words and pictures, this funny, personal journey through the art world answers the basic questions that might occur to us in an art gallery but seem too embarrassing to ask. Questions such as: What is “good” or “bad” art—and does it even matter? Is art still capable of shocking us or have we seen it all before? And what happens if you place a piece of art in a rubbish dump?
“I Have a Friend Who Knows Someone Who Bought a Video, Once”
Edited by LOOP Barcelona
Mousse Publishing, 2016
The act of collecting artists films and videos poses undoubtedly interesting questions and it implies delving into a complex terrain that is at once unregulated and vital. Having its starting point in the most pressing debates surrounding the moving image, this book results from team working and years’ worth investigation to promote video art and its production.
In a market that constantly demands for materiality, video and film are perceived as ephemeral and often regarded with suspicion by some private collectors and galleries. While escaping the traditional definition of “unique objects” and qualifying as “misfit creations”, they get dismissed by the market as something that cannot be monetized. In drawing a historical trajectory that encompasses the introduction of the moving image into public museums first, and private collections later, this publication simultaneously deals with issues related to the acquisition, production, distribution, display and conservation of time-based art.
“A Strange Business: Making Art and Money in Nineteenth-Century Britain”
Atlantic Books, 2015
Britain in the nineteenth century saw a series of technological and social changes which continue to influence and direct us today. Its reactants were human genius, money and influence, its crucibles the streets and institutions, its catalyst time, its control the market. In this rich and fascinating book, James Hamilton investigates the vibrant exchange between culture and business in nineteenth-century Britain, which became a centre for world commerce following the industrial revolution. He explores how art was made and paid for, the turns of fashion, and the new demands of a growing middle-class, prominent among whom were the artists themselves. While leading figures such as Turner, Constable, Landseer, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Dickens are players here, so too are the patrons, financiers, collectors and industrialists; lawyers, publishers, entrepreneurs and journalists; artists’ suppliers, engravers, dealers and curators; hostesses, shopkeepers and brothel keepers; quacks, charlatans and auctioneers. Hamilton brings them all vividly to life in this kaleidoscopic portrait of the business of culture in nineteenth-century Britain, and provides thrilling and original insights into the working lives of some of our most celebrated artists.
“Art for Sale: A Candid View of the Art Market”
Hatje Cantz, 2011
Record prices and substantial profits have been and still are being achieved on the art market. Yet anyone who wants to get involved needs to be informed: what distinguishes the English type of auction from one in the Netherlands? What differentiates a vintage from a period, modern, or estate print? Dirk Boll, managing director of Christie’s in Zurich, explains this and other technical terms while providing us with insight into the rapidly changing art market: the increasingly symbiotic relationship between auctioneers and art dealers, the strategies used by the big auction houses, recognizing and creating trends, the profiles of the individual art fairs, promising new areas for collectors, and the future development of the art market are just some of the fascinating themes the expert knowledgeably and humorously deals with in concise chapters. A trained lawyer, Boll is as competent at shedding light on the legal parameters regulating the acquisition of art as he is in elucidating the difficulties surrounding looted art and restitution procedures.
Hatje Cantz, 2007
In 2006, The New York Times’ art critic Roberta Smith described Art Basel Miami as, …”a decentralized sprawling mass of excitement and display, plus lots of disposable wealth. It is the art world’s version of Mardi Gras.” The Miami fair’s more established European partner, Art Basel, has been described as “the Olympics of the art world,” and “a modern art mecca” by The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal respectively. Add to these the Venice Biennale, Documenta, Skulptur Projekte Munster, the Armory show, SITE Santa Fe, the Whitney, Liverpool, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Sharjah, Sydney, Beijing, Prague and Istanbul biennials and dozens of other international fairs seemingly proliferating without check, and you have a pretty accurate depiction of the state of the roving art world epicenter today. For years, Berlin photographer Gabriele Heidecker has documented the key moments, players and artworks of this evolving phenomenon. Produced to accompany the 2007 Art Basel Miami fair, this probing photographic study includes analytic essays by a consortium of experts in the field.
“Duveen: The Story of the Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time”
Daunt Books, 2014
In this exceptional biography S. N. Behrman tells the story of Duveen’s rise to prestige, from delftware peddler to selling the greatest European paintings to the greatest American millionaires. Duveen was a skilled salesman, enticing his well-heeled and business-savvy clients with visions of cultivation through acquisition of high-culture. He even laid the foundations for the great American museums of art, including the National Gallery and the Frick Collection, by persuading his clients to bequeath their purchases to the nation.
“Out of this Century. Confessions of an Art Addict. The autobiography of Peggy Guggenheim”
Andre Deutsch Ltd, 2005 (first edition 1979)
Known as ‘the Mistress of modern art’, Peggy Guggenheim was a passionate collector and major patron. She amassed one of the most important collections of early 20th century European and American art embracing cubism, surrealism and expressionism. A ‘poor little rich girl’, (her father, Benjamin, went down with the Titanic in 1912), she was magnetically drawn to the avant-garde artistic community of Paris. She bought works by, and befriended, such artists as Picasso, Duchamp, Man Ray and Dali. In 1938 she opened her first gallery of modern art in London, followed by the ‘Art of this Century’ gallery in New York. Then, after a 4-year marriage to Max Ernst, she returned to Europe, setting up her collection in Venice where she lived until her death in 1979. This is the fascinating autobiography of a society heiress who became the bohemian doyenne of the art world. Written in her own words it is the frank and outspoken story of her life and loves: her stormy relationships with such men as Max Ernst and Jackson Pollock, of artistic discoveries and the excitement of promoting great work. A must read for anyone with an interest in these major league artists, this seminal period of art history, and the ultimate self-invented woman.
“Art Production beyond the Art Market?”
Karen Van Den Berg, Ursula Pasero (eds.)
Sternberg Press, 2013
Much evidence suggests that a fundamental reordering of artistic production and a transformation of the art field are about to take place. Heated debates have been sparked over new forms of work, public subsidies, and the expanding impact of the creative industries. Independent education programs, self-organized urban planning, artistic practices in the outer field of scientific research, and similar initiatives have unfolded over the last few years. This publication addresses this wide field, focusing on theoretical reflections and exemplary insights into alternative artistic working models. The anthology assembles expert studies and artists’ interviews, in order to reflect on new forms of practices that have been established beyond the exhibition-gallery nexus and hegemonic market activity. These strategies in particular are investigated concerning their selfimages, organizational structures, networks, and economies—and the potential for usurpation.
“Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World”
A & C Black, 2014
“Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World offers the first complete overview of risk in the art market by bringing together contributions from a wide range of international thought-leaders on the topic—both practitioners and leading scholars who investigate the specific types of uncertainty that exist in the art market as well as the dominant models used to manage the risks. An essential read for art world practitioners as well as scholars and students, Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World illustrates the dynamics and unique qualities of the art market as well as developing insights relevant to other sectors, including sociology, business and management, economics and finance.”
Contributors include: Tom Christopherson, Sotheby’s Europe; Anders Petterson, ArtTactic; Olav Velthuis, University of Amsterdam; Tom Flynn, Kingston University; Hans J. Van Miegroet and Neil DeMarchi, Duke University; Marina Bianchi, University of Cassino; Rachel Pownall, University of Tilburg and University of Maastricht; Elroy Dimson, London Business School; Steve Satchell and Nandini Srivastava, Cambridge University; Christophe Spaenjers, HEC Paris; Laurent Noel, Audencia Nantes School of Management; Arjo Klamer, Erasmus University.
“The Artist-Gallery Partnership: A Practical Guide to Consigning Art”
Tad Crawford and Susan Mellon
Allworth Press, 2008
Artists, dealers, and gallery owners will welcome this clear explanation of the consignment contracts that lie at the heart of the relationship between artists and galleries. Updates include the latest developments in state laws and all of the current statutes in the 32 states that have laws regarding consignment sales. A thorough discussion of the Standard Consignment Agreement, covering agency, consignment, warranties, transportation, insurance, pricing, gallery commissions, promotion, return of art, and more, plus a ready-to-use contract, is included.
“African Art in Transit”
Christopher B. Steiner
Cambridge University Press, 1994
African Art in Transit is an absorbing account of the commodification and circulation of African art objects in the international art market. Christopher Steiner’s analysis of the role of the African middleman in linking those who produce and supply works of art in Africa with those who buy and collect so-called ‘primitive’ art in Europe and America is based on extensive field research among the art traders in Côte d’Ivoire. Steiner provides a lucid interpretation which reveals not only a complex economic network with its own internal logic and rules, but also an elaborate process of transcultural valuation and exchange.
“The Art Fair Age”
Are there too many art fairs? Are art fairs outdoing biennials as cultural events? How should we interpret the increasing involvement of curators with art fairs? Are we experiencing a sort of “New Fairism”? And what about the motivation that drive collectors to take on a much more active role? Analytical, well-documented and irreverent, The Art Fair Age is an unprecedented book that examines the ongoing evolution of the art fair phenomenon.
“Making it in the Art World: New Approaches to Galleries, Shows and Raising Money”
Allworth Press, 2011
Making It in the Art World is an invaluable resource for artists at every stage, offering readers a plethora of strategies and helpful tips to plan and execute a successful artistic career. Topics include how to evaluate your own work, how to submit art, how to present work to the public, how to avoid distractions in the studio, and much more.
“Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art”
Michael C. FitzGerald
Farrar Straus Giroux, 1995
Picasso’s stature as the foremost artist of this century is inseparable from his profound engagement with the art market. In Making Modernism, Michael C. Fitzgerald illustrates how Picasso enhanced his reputation in the art world—and in so doing transformed that world—by adroitly orchestrating the commercial presentation of his work. Drawing on previously unpublished correspondence between Picasso and his dealers and museum curators, Fitzgerald follows the artist from his search for a gallery in Paris through his acceptance by the renowned dealers Paul Rosenberg and Georges Wildenstein to the acclaimed 1939 retrospective of his work at the museum of modern art in New York.
“Diary of an Art Dealer”
Farar, Straus, & Giroux, 1966
Published posthumously as “Journal d’un collectionneur: marchand de tableaux”(1963, revised edition 2011) and translated and published in English in1966 (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), “Diary of an Art Dealer”constitutes a primary source for the history of modern art and of collecting between the World Wars.
“How to Sell Your Art Online: Live a Successful Creative Life on Your Own Terms”
HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2016
“’How to Sell Your Art Online’ shows any artist how to make a successful living from their work. Cory Huff dispels the myth of the starving artist and provides the effective business strategies necessary to make artistic creations pay. He helps individual artists find their niche; outlines the elements essential for an effective website; and provides invaluable advice on e-mail marketing, blogging, social media marketing, and paid advertising—explaining how to tie all these online activities into offline success.” (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2016)
“Antiquities in Motion. From Excavation Sites to Renaissance Collections”
Getty Trust Publications, 2019
Barbara Furlotti presents a dynamic interpretation of the early modern market for antiquities, relying on the innovative notion of archaeological finds as mobile items. She reconstructs the journey of ancient objects from digging sites to venues where they were sold, such as Roman marketplaces and antiquarians’ storage spaces; to sculptors’ workshops, where they were restored; and to Italian and other European collections, where they arrived after complicated and costly travel over land and sea.
“The Business of Art Unveiled: New York Art Dealers Speak up”
Ulrike Bielstein Klein
Peter Lang Publishing, 1994
The recession of the 90’s has caused fundamental changes in the art world. «Surviving» is the name of the game nowadays. In the 80’s a broad public discovered the art market as a playground which resulted in an exorbitant rise in prices. The origins of this speculation-driven buying frenzy were the auction houses. What we see at auctions are works from artists who have already succeeded in building a reputation and a market. But how do these artists get there? Who discovers artists and builds a market for their work? These activities are the responsibility of art dealers. Art dealers used to conceal from the art-interested public how they work and how the market mechanisms function. To explore the nucleus of the art world was the goal of this research, conducted among New York Art Dealers.
“Why Are Artists Poor?: The Exceptional Economy of the Arts”
Amsterdam University Press, 2002
Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is ineffective: subsidies only increase the artists’ poverty. The economy of the arts is exceptional. Although the arts operate successfully in the marketplace, their natural affinity is with gift-giving, rather than with commercial exchange. People believe that artists are selflessly dedicated to art, that price does not reflect quality, and that the arts are free. But is it true?
“Artists and Society in Germany 1850-1914”
Manchester University Press, 1997
This wide-ranging and original study examines painters as a creative professional group in the context of developing German nationalism, and cultural rivalry between Germany and France. It contrast the careers of officially-favoured figures such as Anton or Werner with those of controversial outsiders like Max Liebermann, Wilhelm Leibl and Lovis Corinth. It explores the links between artists’ fortunes, economic and political change, and the shifting relative importance of Germany’s major art centres: Dresden, Dusseldorf, Munich and the increasingly wealthy and dynamic Reich capital, Berlin. A central theme is the development of the art market in the vital formative decades between the onset of the industrial revolution and the outbreak of the First World War, a period that witnesses growing market integration, links with tourism and the emergence of a pervasive dealer network. At the same time private art buying expanded rapidly and Germany’s public galleries of modern painting achieved an international stature rivalled only by those of the United States.
“The Shift: Art And The Rise To Power Of Contemporary Collectors”
Art And Theory Publishing, 2015
The Shift takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the world of contemporary art. While analyzing the motives and behavior of internationally operating collectors, it explains the current popularity of contemporary art and discloses the unwritten rules, active networks, and persistent myths of the rapidly expanding territory of art collecting. Collectors engage in ingenious ways with artists, galleries, museums, and auction houses while pursuing their passions and goals. Examining the attraction of collecting at large, its multifaceted social life, and the financial opportunities it seems to offer, this book also addresses how taste is formed and identifies possible radical shifts in the art system.
“Les galeries d’art contemporain à Paris. Une histoire culturelle du marché de l’art, 1944-1970”
Editions de la Sorbonne, 2019 (first published: 2012)
A revised version of a doctoral thesis based on unpublished archives and abundant documentation, this work offers a cultural history of the Parisian art market after 1944. It explains the growing role taken by gallery owners in the discovery, promotion and consecration of contemporary artists. Adopting the point of view of Paris, it historically analyzes the loss of influence of France in the international recognition of contemporary creation, while showing how much the exchanges and circulations between the different metropolises intensify. (own translation)
“The Art Crowd”
iUniverse, 2000 (first edition: David McKay, 1973)
Money and power in the contemporary art world of dealers, collectors, artists and museums. Funny, bitchy, insightful, revealing—The Art Crowd changed the way the art world did business.
“Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas”
Combining a rich and diverse blend of aesthetic traditions from Africa, the Caribbean, and America, African American art has emerged as the most actively collected art in the marketplace. This guide presents both emerging and established artists and identifies dealers throughout the nation specializing in the field. Insightful and accessible, it is the first book to define the role of the collector of African American art. The result is a unique and essential guide to developing a meaningful and rewarding collection.
“Art Markets and Digital Histories”
Claartje Rasterhoff and Sandra van Ginhoven (eds.)
Arts, MDPI AG, 2020
Digital art history or historical research facilitated by computer-technology in general is omnipresent in academia and increasingly supported by an infrastructure of seminars, workshops, networks, journals and other platforms for sharing results, exchanging notes and developing criticism. As the wealth of historical and contemporary data is rapidly expanding and digital technologies are becoming integral to research in the humanities and social sciences, the essays in this volume showcase different strategies that art market scholars employ to navigate and negotiate digital techniques and resources.
“The American Matisse: The Dealer, His Artists, His Collection”
Sabine Rewald and Magdalena Dabrowski
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010
In a career spanning over six decades, the New York art dealer Pierre Matisse (1900–1989) contributed substantially to the advancement of modern art. At his eponymous gallery on East Fifty-seventh Street, he showed several now legendary artists for the first time outside Europe. The collection—paintings, sculpture, and drawings by Balthus, Bonnard, Chagall, Derain, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Magritte, Miró, and the dealer’s own father, Henri Matisse, among others—was donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004 by the foundation established by his widow. These extraordinary artworks are presented with informative entries addressing the circumstances of each work’s creation and the dealer’s relationship to the artist.
“Collecting and Provenance: A Multidisciplinary Approach”
Jane Milosch and Nick Pearce
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019
This book promotes the study of the history of collecting and collections in all their variety through the lens of provenance, and explores the subject as a cross-disciplinary activity. Perhaps for the first time in a publication, it draws on expertise ranging from art history and anthropology, to natural history and law, looking at periods from antiquity through the 18th century and the Holocaust era to the present, and materials from Europe and the Americas to China and the Pacific. The issues raised are wide-ranging, touching on aspects of authenticity, cultural meaning and material transformation and economic and commercial drivers, as well as collector and object biography.
“The End of The Salon: Art and The State in the Early Third Republic”
Cambridge University Press, 1993
The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic examines the cultural forces that contributed to the demise of the most important series of art exhibitions in nineteenth-century Europe and America. Tracing the history of the Salon from the French Revolution, when it was taken away from the Academy and opened to all artists, to its abandonment by the state in the 1880s, Patricia Mainardi shows that its contradictory purposes, as both didactic exhibition venue and art marketplace, resulted in its collapse. She situates the Salon within the shifting currents of art movements, from modern to traditional, and the evolving politics of the Third Republic, when France chose a republican over a monarchic form of government. This book provides a rich overview of art production during the final decades of the nineteenth century, government attitudes toward the arts in the early Third Republic, and the institution of exhibitions as they were redefined by free-market economics. The End of the Salon demonstrates how all artists were forced to function within the framework of the major social, economic, and cultural changes taking place in France during the nineteenth century and, as a result, how art history and social history are inextricably intertwined.
“Art Law and the Business of Art”
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019
Art Law and the Business of Art is a comprehensive and practical guide to the application of UK law to transactions and disputes in the art world. Written by Martin Wilson, an art lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the field, it outlines and explains the relevant law and how the art business operates in practice, as well as offering a discussion of the most pressing ethical questions involving artworks.
“The Thannhauser Gallery: Marketing Van Gogh”
Stefan Koldehoff and Chris Stolwijk (eds.)
Yale University Press / Van Gogh Museum, 2017
While legend has it that Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) sold only one work during his lifetime, it was not long after his death that sales of his paintings began to shatter auction house records. In this carefully researched book, leading Van Gogh scholars provide us with a glimpse into classified client files and illuminate the critical role that the Thannhauser Gallery occupied in cultivating and shaping an early clientele for the artist’s works. Founded in Munich in 1909, the Thannhauser Gallery was Germany’s preeminent promoter of the avant-garde in the decades before World War II. In other European cities and in New York, the business thrived, selling an impressive number of Van Gogh’s oeuvre: roughly 110 works, including many masterpieces, now part of museum collections all over the world.
“Lost Art: Missing Artworks of the Twentieth Century”
Tate Publishing, 2013
Many assume that modern works of art are easily preserved; that their whereabouts can be readily established, thanks to sophisticated documentation sys¬tems; and that, in general, they are not subject to loss or destruction. But many important works have disappeared over the last century in a variety of ways, including war, theft, natural catastrophe, and carelessness. Most signifi¬cantly, loss itself has been a major theme within modern and contemporary art, with elements of transience central to the practice of many well-known figures. Grouped into 10 sections―Discarded, Missing, Rejected, Attacked, Destroyed, Erased, Ephemeral, Transient, Unrealized, and Stolen―this unique book surveys 40 case studies, looking at the stories behind lost works of art by artists such as Kandinsky, Miró, Kahlo, Christo, Keith Haring, and including Michael Landy’s 2001 project Break Down, in which he systematically destroyed every one of his possessions himself.
“Art Worlds, 25th Anniversary Edition”
Howard S. Becker
University of California Press, 2008; first edition: 1982
This classic sociological examination of art as collective action explores the cooperative network of suppliers, performers, dealers, critics, and consumers who—along with the artist—”produce” a work of art. Howard S. Becker looks at the conventions essential to this operation and, prospectively, at the extent to which art is shaped by this collective activity. The book is thoroughly illustrated and updated with a new dialogue between Becker and eminent French sociologist Alain Pessin about the extended social system in which art is created, and with a new preface in which the author talks about his own process in creating this influential work.
“Edith Halpert, the Downtown Gallery, and the Rise of American Art”
Yale University Press, 2019
For forty-plus years, Halpert’s gallery brought recognition and market success to now-legendary American artists—among them Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keeffe. She relentlessly championed nonwhite, female, and unknown artists and was a formative advisor in the shaping of many of the nation’s most celebrated art museums and collections, from San Francisco to Boston. Not content with those achievements, she also pioneered the appreciation and collecting of American folk art. Richly illustrated with works that passed through her groundbreaking gallery, this book tells the extraordinary and largely overlooked story of her career and legacy.
“ABC for Collectors of American Contemporary Art”
Downtown Gallery, 1954
An investor buys his stocks from a ‘broker he can trust, a housewife her food from a reliable grocer, but a surprising number of intelligent people are lured into purchasing pictures from an itinerant peddler or the kind of cheap store that fills its windows with shoddy wares marked down to half ‘the original price’ and usually worth a good deal less. A collector must be very sure of his own knowledge and taste before venturing into the bargain basement of art, for this seldom produces anything but disappointment. (excerpt)
“Acquiring Cultures. Histories of World Art on Western Markets”
Bénédicte Savoy, Charlotte Guichard and Christine Howald (eds.)
De Gruyter, 2018
As more parts of the world outside Europe became accessible – and in the wake of social and technological developments in the 18th century – a growing number of exotic artefacts entered European markets. The markets for such objects thrived, while a collecting culture and museums emerged. This book provides insights into the methods and places of exchange, networks, prices, expertise, and valuation concepts, as well as the transfer and transport of these artefacts over 300 years and across four continents.
“The Art of Buying Art: How to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector”
The art world can appear impenetrable to the beginner. This classic book, in print since 1990, is an invaluable primer that will help anyone to penetrate the thickets of inscrutable ‘insider info’ and esoteric jargon. Updated for today’s art market, including online buying, ‘The Art of Buying Art’ is without a doubt the most accessible book on how to research, evaluate, price and buy artworks—for anyone who wants to buy art. No previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.
“Art i vida a Barcelona. Memòries 1911-1996”
Elvira Farreras & Joan Gaspar
Edicions La Campana, 1997
This book, published in 1997 and edited by Antoni Ribas, collects the memories of Gaspar and his wife’s, offering a rich social and artistic account of the Barcelona’s cultural life for almost a century. “Joan Gaspar and Elvira Farreras have formed a marriage that has lived Barcelona in depth, but they have added an exceptional merit to their career: they have given life to Barcelona. The Sala Gaspar has been the most visible and brilliant platform for a tireless struggle for art, along which there are unrepeatable milestones. But Elvira Farreras and Joan Gaspar have also been linked to the most diverse cultural and social activities, and this has made them privileged witnesses of almost a century of history.” (own translation)
“Auctioneers Who Made Art History”
Dirk Boll (eds.)
Hatje Cantz, 2014
Auction houses have become dominant avenues of distribution, as have art fairs, galleries and art dealers. Even today the ritual dramaturgy of the auction resembles an archaic competition, captivating participants and bystanders. At the center of the action is the auctioneer, whose performance is increasingly critical to the success of the auction. This volume tells the story of the art auction business through portraits of auctioneers. Key events in cities such as New York, Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Stuttgart and Pompeii come alive, and show how the auctioneer is emerging from the anonymity of a service provider and stepping into the limelight as a star of the show.
“Plundering Beauty: A History of Art Crime during War”
Lund Humphries, 2018
The roll-call of wars down the centuries is paralleled by an equally extensive narrative of the theft, destruction, plundering, displacement and concealing of some of the greatest works of art during those conflicts—a story that is expertly told in this original publication. (…) Plundering Beauty: A History of Art Crime during War charts the crucial milestones of art crimes spanning two thousand years. The works of art involved have fascinating stories to tell, as civilisation moves from a simple and brutal ‘winner takes it all’ attitude to the spoils of war, to contemporary understanding, and commitment to, the idea that our artistic heritage truly belongs to all humankind.
“The Economics of Taste”
Barrie and Rockliffe, 1961–1970
“How fascinating the price of pictures has become in this humdrum world. But in fact there has been a peculiar fascination in the price of pictures since the early sixteenth century. At a time when painters still charged a fixed rate for the job, as if they were making a pair of shoes, certain paintings began to acquire a prestige value. They were painted, not into the plaster of walls but on portable panels or canvases in order that their owners might trade them, if need be. Sometimes fantasy prices were paid by princes and cardinals, just to show that they were princes and cardinals, like Arab khalifs who filled the mouths of poets with gold. But quite often high prices were reached, because two or three magnates wanted the same picture. By the time that the collecting of pictures of the past as well as the present reached England, that is to say a hundred years later, in the reign of James I, there was already an international market.” (excerpt)
“Souvenirs d’un marchand de tableaux”
Albin Michel, 1937
Celebrity, art merchant, socialite, publisher, and writer, Ambroise Vollard (1867–1939) was one of the most extraordinary figures in 20th-century art. He possessed an uncanny ability to recognize genius in painters—dozens of important artists received valuable commissions and gallery space with his help, and his galleries presented the first one-man shows for such luminaries as Matisse, Cézanne, and Picasso. Vollard’s warmth, candor, and intelligence earned him the friendship of a generation of artists and make this memoir an enthralling and often hilarious account of an exciting Golden Age of painting. (back cover, Dover edition, 2003)