1st Edition

Money and Marketing in the Art World

By Henrik Hagtvedt Copyright 2025
    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    150 Pages
    by Routledge

    How does the art market choose its winners, thereby also deciding what millions of visitors to galleries and museums will view, year after year? Whereas art historical writing and contemporary commentary tend to highlight the efforts of specific artists, this book illustrates how money and marketing, in combination with general trends, play decisive roles in shaping the art world and in propelling specific artists and artworks to positions of prominence. 

    Today, perhaps more than ever before, the high-profile art world is primarily shaped by buyers and those who cater to buyers. The actual artists, although most visible to the public, tend to play a secondary role. The time seems particularly ripe for transparency about how the art world works, given the growth in the art market, media attention on—and popular interest in—high-priced art, and controversy surrounding public funding for art and the value of art for contemporary society. With a combination of marketplace observations, marketing insights, and relevant research findings, this book contributes to increased transparency while providing thought-provoking digressions and anecdotes along the way. 

    Money and Marketing in the Art World offers an accessible analysis of the art market for scholars and graduate students across arts marketing and management in particular but will also be an enlightening compilation for those more broadly interested in art and business.  

    1. Introduction : A Clash of Muses

    2. A Few Marketing Principles : Past and Present Practices in the Art Market

    3. The Contemporary Art Market : The Cogs and Wheels of Today’s Marketplace

    4. Trends, Fashions, and Social Influence : How Popular Patterns Emerge in Art and Elsewhere 

    5. Disentangling the Muses : Some Simple Steps Forward

    6. Afterword : Some Additional Reflections on Art Theory 



    Henrik Hagtvedt studied at art schools in Norway, Denmark, and Italy, before enjoying an international career as a visual artist, exhibiting in galleries and museums in Europe and Asia. He was thereby exposed to the inner sanctums of the art world, which sparked his curiosity about how the art market really works, eventually prompting him to return to school. After completing a degree in art history, he went on to earn an MBA and a PhD, both with a major in marketing. He is now a marketing professor at Boston College, and much of his research is focused on art and aesthetics. He has published a number of scholarly articles in top journals in the fields of marketing, psychology, and neuroscience, and his research has been featured in dozens of major news outlets around the world. He has presented this work at national and international conferences and has been invited to speak at diverse venues, ranging from the Western States Arts Federation to the Federal Reserve Bank. He has been designated an MSI Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute, which recognizes internationally leading marketing scholars. His interests also tend to reflect an international perspective, as he has lived in diverse countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, in addition to traveling extensively throughout his life.

    "Does the invisible hand of the art market deliver on Adam Smith's promise that it will promote the public interest? Hagtvedt, who conducts cutting-edge research in marketing, dissects the art market, showing that although both the quality of conception and the quality of execution matter for success, marketing can overshadow both."

    Paul Romer, Boston College professor, Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, and former Chief Economist of the World Bank 

    "This book tackles an interesting and timely topic. Henrik Hagtvedt draws on decades of relevant experience when illustrating the roles of money and marketing in the art world."

    Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and bestselling author of How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, and The Better Angels of Our Nature 

    "Many of us have appreciated art at one time or another, but few of us truly understand the business behind the market. Henrik Hagtvedt provides a fascinating tour of what goes on behind the scenes, and the result is both revelatory and enlightening. A fascinating read." 

    Jonah Berger, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Contagious and The Catalyst 


    "Henrik Hagtvedt brings a diverse set of backgrounds to his discussion of money and marketing in the art world. Fascinating reading." 

    Don Thompson, author of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, the Supermodel and the Brillo Box, and The Orange Balloon Dog