Call for Papers – ‘Tools for the Future: researching art market practices from past to present’ – an international workshop organised by HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht, University Paul Valery, Montpellier, IESA, Paris and IHS, London.
As part of a series of events surrounding the Masterpiece art, antiques and design fair in London in late June, there’s a very interesting and timely public debate on the relationships between museums and the art trade on SATURDAY 30th June in London. The topic is something very close to the heart of research we are all doing at the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market.
The symposium is FREE but you need to book a place – see attached Flyer for information on the event and how to book Masterpiece Symposium 2018
Museums, Collections, & the Appearance of Value in ArtA day of discussion with Nizan Shaked (California State University Long Beach), hosted by the Centre for Critical Materialist Studies in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of the Arts and Antiques Markets (University of Leeds).**Please register via Eventbrite**: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-substance-of-symbolic-value-museums-collections-the-appearance-of-value-in-art-tickets-43713792129
*Scroll down for link to readings*
In the morning, Nizan… will give the following lecture:
‘The Substance of Symbolic Value: Museums, Collections, and the Appearance of Value in Art’
Despite recent fluctuations, the market for contemporary art has increased incrementally since the late 20th century, and has been at an all time historic high since the beginning of the 21st century. Art institutions are intertwined in this trend, with record numbers of new museums dedicated to contemporary art opening across the globe, and established universal survey museums turning over more resources to exhibit and collect the current. Yet, while historical artworks and collectibles have inheritance and rarity to guarantee their worth, what is it, beyond the market, that can insure the prices of contemporary art? Although art prices are determined on the market (auction houses, galleries, fairs, and other formats of art dealing), this paper makes the claim that the network of museums, nonprofit art spaces, and alternative spaces are a necessary condition in facilitating the market. I focus on collecting institutions, arguing that it is the unit of “the collection” that guarantees the symbolic value of art, giving it the power to siphon and hold objectified abstract labor. This paper will use recent work on the value of art, with that of Diane Elson and Ann E. Davis, to describe the interaction between symbolic and monetary value and theorize its historical specificity in relation to the establishment of money as a general equivalent. Particularly, I ask: what was the substance of an object’s worth during the development of European mercantilism, how is it different under capitalism, has the monetization and financialization of art affected its flow, and what are the implications for the art institution today?
The afternoon discussion will centre around four texts:
Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Forms of Capital’, from J.E. Richardson (ed.), Handbook of Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education (Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 241-58.
Nizan Shaked, ‘Art and Value – Museum Collections as Commons’, forthcoming issue of Historical Materialism, and published here: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/blog/art-and-value-reviewed-nizan-shaked
Beverley Best, ‘Distilling a Value Theory of Ideology from Volume Three of Capital’, Historical Materialism 23.3 (2015) 101–141.
Ann E. Davis, ‘The New “Voodoo Economics”: Fetishism and the Public/Private Divide’, Review of Radical Political Economics (2012) 45(1) 42–58.
These texts, plus three supplementary readings and the PROGRAMME, can be accessed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nqw-7uHeCXyKjgTEx9BqB68w3nKYeU_3
We are very pleased to announce a new fully funded AHRC CDP PhD studentship – applications are NOW OPEN.
A Great Commerce in Curious Paintings: the role and practices of art dealers and agents in the reception and re-evaluation of pre-1500 European paintings in Britain 1800-1865
AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Studentship in collaboration with The Bowes Museum, The National Gallery, London and the University of Leeds.
The School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds, The Bowes Museum and the National Gallery are pleased to announce a funded studentship for doctoral research, awarded under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.
The acquisition of pre-1500 paintings of the Italian, German and Netherlandish Schools was of limited interest to collectors in Britain during the first decades of the nineteenth century. Such art, often categorized as ‘curiosities’ and known at the time as ‘Primitives’ or ‘Ancient Masters’, was collected by a few pioneering individuals but during the second quarter of the 19th century tastes had begun to shift and by the 1860s such paintings were also appearing with increasing frequency in public art collections in Britain. Such a shift in taste is illustrated by the collecting activities of John Bowes (1811-1885), one of the founders of the Bowes Museum, who in 1840 acquired of a number of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings from the auction sale of the Duke of Lucca’s collection. In the same period the acquisition policy at the National Gallery was paying increasing attention to ‘Ancient Masters’. This places both The Bowes Museum and the National Gallery at the nexus of these significant shifts.
To date the histories of art collections have concentrated on the role of collectors and institutional histories in the expanding taste for art collecting in the early 19th century and consequently comparatively little is known about the art dealers and agents who facilitated the increasing desire for ‘Ancient Masters’. This studentship offers the potential to investigate the collecting activities of John Bowes and the developments at the National Gallery as two interconnected case studies, set against the the developing art market for ‘Primitives’, in the period. The research aims to shed new light on the mechanisms by which collectors and institutions built up their collections of early art. The focus on the Bowes Museum and the National Gallery could be further contextualised through comparative studies of other collections in the period which also amassed early art through art dealers and agents. The research will contribute significantly towards the understanding of and potential interpretation of the extensive collections of early paintings at both the Bowes and National Gallery.
The project is flexible enough to allow a student to develop their own ideas with this broad framework, but some key research questions could be:
- What were the criteria for the inclusion of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings in collections in the opening decades of the 19th century? How did these criteria shift by the 1860s?
- What role did the structures, rhythms and dynamics of the art market play in the increasing interest in ‘Ancient Master’ paintings?
- How were collections of ‘Ancient Master’ paintings introduced and circulated in the art market? How did art dealers and agents respond to or stimulate demand?
- Who were the key art dealers in ‘Ancient Masters’ in the period? What constituted their expertise?
- What was the relationship between evolving notions of connoisseurship and art market structures?
- What were the relationships between the collecting activities of John Bowes and the developments of the collections at the National Gallery?
- How influential were art dealers in the assembly of the collections of John Bowes and at the National Gallery?
It is envisaged that the research will underpin new museum interpretations on the history of the collections and individual paintings.
Subject to AHRC eligibility criteria, the award will cover tuition fees and a standard AHRC grant of £14,777 per year towards living expenses for three years; plus £550 additional stipend payment for Collaborative Doctoral Students. This studentship also includes an additional six months funding to contribute towards expenses for a Student Development Project (SDP). In addition, the student will receive additional support of £1,000 per year towards research expenses from The Bowes Museum/National Gallery Consortium over the course of the research studentship. The successful applicant will be able to participate in additional training and other opportunities provided to CDP students by The Bowes Museum/National Gallery CDP Consortium and receive Museum staff passes for Bowes/NG, access to a workspace with computer at Bowes Museum, and research library access and staff privileges at Bowes/NG. The student will also have access to all of the research support provided to PGR students at the University of Leeds and be part of the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market (www.csaam.leeds.ac.uk) in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies.
This studentship will be supervised by Dr Mark Westgarth, University of Leeds, Dr Howard Coutts at The Bowes Museum and Dr Susanna Avery-Quash at the National Gallery. This full time studentship is funded for 3.5 years and will begin 1 October 2018.
For more information on how to apply for this studentship see the University of Leeds Scholarships website – a University of Leeds application form for PhD study is available on the website.
In place of the standard personal statement and research proposal, please construct an alternative, two-page statement to convey your motivation and enthusiasm for this project, and to demonstrate your suitability for your intended studies at the University of Leeds, The Bowes Museum and The National Gallery. It should include examples that draw on relevant work, voluntary or study experiences and illustrate the transferable skills you will use when you become a CDP student (for example, time management, project management, communication skills, problem solving and working with museum collections).
It should highlight the following:
- Your interest in this project and details on why you have chosen the University of Leeds, The Bowes Museum and the National Gallery
- How you will apply your current skills, knowledge and experience to undertaking a PhD and completing this project
- How the project fits into your career plans and ambitions
Please note that two references will be required. See the application form for details.
The completed application form and both references must be received by the deadline of 5pm Wednesday 11th April 2018. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure referees submit references on time.
Interviews are scheduled to be held at The Bowes Museum on 17th or 18th May 2018.
Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree in History, Art History or another relevant discipline, satisfy AHRC eligibility requirements including Masters-level advanced research training or equivalent, and be able to demonstrate an active interest in art history, art museums and archival research. Applications from those who have a working knowledge of Italian will be welcomed but this is not essential.
Applicants must be a resident of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA). In general, full studentships are available to students who are settled in the UK and have been ordinarily resident for a period of at least three years before the start of postgraduate studies. Fees-only awards are generally available to EU nationals resident in the EEA. International applicants are normally not eligible to apply for this studentship.
Informal enquires can be made, or further details about the research project’s scope discussed, by contacting Dr Mark Westgarth ( firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr Howard Coutts (email@example.com) or Dr Susanna Avery-Quash (firstname.lastname@example.org) or more information on the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, please see here, and for students’ eligibility requirements, please see the AHRC Student Funding Guide.
An Autopsy of the Sale of the Century
The second of our ‘informal’ occasional research seminar series focused on Contemporary & Historic Issues in the Art Market, organised by the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market (CSAAM) takes place on TUESDAY 19th December, 4.00pm-5.00pm in Fine Art Building, G.04. ‘Contemporary & Historic Issues’ alternately considers the issues and questions raised by events and issues discussed in the context of the current, and historic, art market.
The focus of this seminar will be an ‘autopsy’ on the auction sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi – and the world record price of an artwork (at auction) of $450,312,500.
. Open Discussion format – just come along and ‘discuss’ the issues.
The first in a new ‘informal’ occasional research seminar series focused on Contemporary & Historic Issues in the Art Market, organised by the Centre for the Study of the Art & Antiques Market (CSAAM)
‘Contemporary & Historic Issues’ alternately considers the issues and questions raised by events and issues discussed in the context of the current, and historic, art market. The focus of ‘The Sale of the Century’ seminar is the forthcoming auction sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Salvator Mundi, which is to be sold at Christie’s auction of Post War & Contemporary Art in New York on November 15th. Open Discussion format – just come along and ‘discuss’ the issues.
Image – ArtNews.com
Pricing the Priceless? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Cultural Economy of the Global Contemporary Art Market
The increasing dominance of contemporary art in the structures of production and consumption in the art market in recent years has been of considerable note. This research seminar aims to direct critical attention to the significance of this shift through a concentration on how value is created, conceptualised, mediated, valorised and policed within the contemporary Global art market.
The seminar brings together scholars from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives and expertise to consider, develop and embed methodological and pedagogical strategies in order to engage with the emerging subject of the art market within academia. The structure of the seminar is envisaged as an open discussion between participants, leading to an open forum discussion with attendees.
Our panel includes participants from social anthropology, art law and business, a fine art practitioner, as well as art historians and specialists in art market histories:
Dr Marta Herrero (University of Sheffield), a specialist in the social anthropology of the art market
Dr Emma Waring (University of York), Art Law specialist
Eva Frapiccini (University of Leeds) PhD candidate and artist
Professor David Jackson (University of Leeds) Professor of Russian and Scandinavian Art
Dr Mark Westgarth (University of Leeds), a specialist on the histories of the art market
The venue for this research seminar is Room G.23, 28 University Road, University of Leeds. See here for a campus map.
It is free to attend and all are welcome.
Our next public talk in the ‘Perspectives on the Art Market’ series takes place on MONDAY 6th November 2017, 4.30pm-5.30pm in BAINES WING, room 2.06 at the University of Leeds. Caroline McCaffrey, one of the Centre for the Art & Antiques Market PhD students, will present ‘work in progress’ arisng from her research on the collecting of Sevres porcelain in the 19th century.
‘Sevres-mania’? Collecting Sevres porcelain on the nineteenth-century art market’
Our Chinamaniacs Abroad, before a ‘Vase en porcelaine de Sèvres’, 1877. © Punch.
John and Joséphine Bowes: Collecting the Far East
1st September – 31st October
CSAAM PhD student Simon Spier, together with fellow PhD student Lindsay MacNaughton from Durham University, have developed a new exhibition display at Tennants Auctioneers ‘Garden Room’ at Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Opening on 2nd September, the exhibition is the result of Simon and Lyndsay’s research on the collections at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle. Both are AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD students, working on projects as part of the collaborations with The Bowes Museum. The exhibition is the third loan display of highlights from the extraordinary collections at The Bowes Museum.
Simon and Lyndsay’s display explores nineteenth-century Europe’s fascination with the Far East through the collections at The Bowes Museum. The Bowes Museum’s founders, John (1811-1885) and Joséphine Bowes (1825-1874), collected a significant amount of fine and decorative art that represents non-Western cultures. This exhibition provides the opportunity to highlight some pieces not normally on prominent display, and to investigate them in greater detail. Exquisite examples of furniture, ceramics, textiles, painting and curiosities, mainly from China and Japan, have been selected to illustrate some of the ways in which wealthy Europeans collectors were able to engage with foreign cultures.
The exhibition also investigates the wider influences of the East on Europe. In particular, it describes the influx of exotic objects into the auction houses and the grand International Exhibitions of the middle decades of the nineteenth century.
For more details on the exhibition, and on the public talk that Simon and Lyndsay are doing on 5th October, do follow this link:
Congratulations to Shir Kochavi for passing her PhD viva with minor corrections last week. Shir is the first of the CSAAM PhDs to graduate – her PhD is a fascinating study of the redistribution of Jewish Cultural Property and the art market in post WWII Europe and America – Well Done Shir! Here’s Shir with her supervisors, Mark and Eva, celebrating with champagne.