Marketing Art in the British Isles, 1700 to the Present : A Cultural History book cover
1st Edition

Marketing Art in the British Isles, 1700 to the Present
A Cultural History

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ISBN 9781409436690
Published November 20, 2012 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

A cultural history of the first truly modern art market, Marketing Art in the British Isles, 1700 to the Present furthers the burgeoning exploration of Britain's struggle to carve a niche for itself on the international art scene. Bringing together scholars from the UK, US, Europe, and Asia, this collection sheds new light on such crucial notions as the internationalization of the art market; the emergence of an increasingly complex exhibition culture; issues of national rivalry and emulation; artists' individual and collective strategies for their own promotion and survival; the persistent anti-commercialism of an elite group of art lovers and critics and accusations of philistinism levelled at the middle classes; as well as an unquestionable native British genius at reconciling jarring discourses. Essays explore the unresolved tension between artistic aspirations and commercial interest - a tension that has come to shape Britain's national artistic tradition - from the perspectives of artists, dealers and (super-) collectors, and the upwardly mobile middle classes whose consumerism gave rise to the British art market as it is known today. Specific case studies include Whistler, Roger Fry, Damien Hirst, and Charles Saatchi; essays consider art markets from London and Manchester to Paris and Flanders.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: from Hogarth to Hirst. 300 years of buying and selling British art, Charlotte Gould and Sophie Mesplède; Part I An Artist’s Livelihood: Whistler between the British and French art markets, Grischka Petri; From conscription to the Depression: the market for British art in London c. 1914-1930, Andrew Stephenson; Art without commerce in Northern England 1980-2000, Gabriel N. Gee; Beautiful Inside My Head for Ever: the realignment of the artist and the art market in Great Britain in the 21st century, Uta Protz. Part II Dealers, Auctioneers and (Super)Collectors: In search of a British connection: Flemish dealers on the London art market and the taste for Continental painting (1750-1800), Dries Lyna; ’Making pictures marketable’: expertise and the Georgian art market, Bénédicte Miyamoto; Traversing objects: the London art market at the turn of the 20th century, Anne Helmreich; The Fine Art Society and the rise of the solo exhibition, Patricia de Montfort; The collector as phoenix: can Charles Saatchi rise from the ashes?, Chin-tao Wu. Part III Negotiating Artistic Aspirations and Middle-Class Values: Copies on the market in 18th-century Britain, Bärbel Küster; ’One must become half-Catholic’: William Beckford (1760-1844) as ’impolite and uncommercial’ aesthete, Laurent Châtel; ’English pictures are but little known and esteemed out of England’: the Royal Academy of Arts and the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle, Guillaume Evrard; Modernism, commerce and Roger Fry’s Omega Workshops, Anne-Pascale Bruneau-Rumsey; Bibliography; Index.

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Dr Charlotte Gould is a former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Cachan, she is Senior Lecturer at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and works on contemporary British art.

Dr Sophie Mesplède is Senior Lecturer at Université Rennes 2, where she works on eighteenth-century British art.


'The book is an important addition to an expanding literature on the British art market and will be welcomed by those university art history departments that have been expansive enough to embrace the economic history of art. It also has much to contribute to a clearer understanding of the broader patterns of promotion and consumption that have been fashioned over time...' Cercles

'The introduction alone is enough to justify recommending the book ... this dense, well-written book is a constructive contribution to the understanding of the British art market, long-neglected in art history, and will no doubt benefit any scholar interested in the complex links between art and commerce in the British Isles.' Miranda