Global Art in Local Art Worlds : Changing Hierarchies of Value book cover
1st Edition

Global Art in Local Art Worlds
Changing Hierarchies of Value

  • Available for pre-order on March 9, 2023. Item will ship after March 30, 2023
ISBN 9780367653279
March 30, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
280 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the attribution and local negotiation of cultural valuations of artistic and art-institutional practices around the world, and considers the diverse ways in which these value attributions intersect with claims of universality and cosmopolitanism. Taking Michael Herzfeld’s notion of the ‘global hierarchy of value’ as point of departure, the volume brings together six empirical studies of the collection, circulation, classification and exhibition of objects in present-day Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Africa and Indigenous Australia in light of Europe’s loss of global hegemony. Including reflections by a number of senior scholars, the chapters demonstrate that the question of valuation lies at the heart of artistic and art-institutional practices writ large– including museum practices, museum architecture, galleries, auction houses, art fairs and biennales.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Global Art in Local Art Worlds and the Global Hierarchy of Value-Oscar Salemink; Reflection 1: Going Beyond, notes on cultural valuations and spatial difference-Hou Hanru; Part 1: Tropicalism and canonization; 1 Inhotim, an international tropical museum: Distinction and the canonization of Brazilian Avant-Gardes-Amélia Siegel Corrêa; Reflection 2: The tropics as convention and consecration; Lilia Moritz Schwarcz; Reflection 3: Is there a Global Cannon? Reflections on World Art History-Nora A. Taylor; Part 2: recognition and ambivalence; 2 Ambivalent Art at the Tip of a Continent: the Zeitz MOCAA and its Quest for Global Recognition-Vibe Nielsen; Reflection 4: Recognition-Michael Rowlands; Reflection 5: Ambivalence and the racial politics of value-Deborah Posel; Part 3: Global circulation of ideas and universality; 3 A local universal modernity: World-Heritagizing Le Corbusier’s building for the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo-Jens Sejrup; Reflection 6: The role of public statuary in the global circulation of ideas-Sven Saaler; Reflection 7: Provincializing the universal-Peter Pels; Part 4: Curation and authorization; 4 Curatorship and authorization in Chinese contemporary art institutions-Oscar Salemink; Reflection 8: Curation-Pi Li; Reflection 9: Authorization-Parul Dave Mukherji; Part 5: Validation and circuits of valuation; 5 From Mumbai to London: Co-constituting value in art from India via local and global circuits of valuation-Olga Kanzaki Sooudi; Reflection 10: Validation and the global hierarchy of value: moving in a rugged landscape-João Rickli; Reflection 11: A mandala of value: A granular approach to art valuation across geopolitical fragments-Manuela Ciotti; Part 6: Indigenous art and Indigenous cultural capital; 6: Re-collecting, Re-classifying, Re-ordering: Indigenous Art and the Contemporary Australian Art Field-Tony Bennett; Reflection 12: Indigenous protagonism and its impact on the Brazilian art system-Ilana Seltzer Goldstein; Reflection 13: Indigenous Art: Decolonization through the Looking Glass-Ruth B. Phillips; Afterword: Agency and Hierarchy in the Creation of Aesthetic Value-Michael Herzfeld

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Oscar Salemink is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Jens Sejrup is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark with a joint appointment in the departments of anthropology and cross-cultural and regional studies.

Amélia Siegel Corrêa is a Lecturer in Art History at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil.

Vibe Nielsen is affiliated as postdoctoral researcher at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, where she is a Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College.


This timely and fascinating collection asks whether we have reached an important juncture in those all-important, yet rarely revealed, hierarchies of value that shape global discourses of art, culture and heritage. Going beyond decolonisation debates that privilege Europe and America, the essays here richly analyse other geographies, other institutional histories and practices, against a shifting global economy and geopolitics. Accessible and interdisciplinary, the book will be of interest to students and scholars interested in international trends in the politics and policy of heritage, museums, and market circulations of art.  
— Prof Tim Winter, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, author of Geocultural Power and The Silk Roads: connecting histories and futures.

Artists and anthropologists have long been stimulated by each others’ methods and work. It’s therefore paradoxical that contemporary anthropology has shied away from interpreting or theorising the increasingly dynamic and prominent worlds of contemporary art. This book, which interweaves deeply researched case studies with reflections by some of the most eminent ethnographers and theorists working today reveals how fertile and exciting the field could be.

Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge