London conference on the Art Market

January 17 2014

Image of London conference on the Art Market

Picture: Sotheby's Institute

Here's a call for papers for a conference on the art market, past and present, being organised by the Burlington Magazine and Sotheby's Institute (on 31st October). Here's the blurb:

A one-day conference on relations between the art market in history and the art market today, organized by Sotheby's Institute of Art – London and The Burlington Magazine, to be held at Sotheby’s Institute of Art - London on Friday 31 October 2014.

The aim of this joint conference is to explore critically what the history of the art market can teach us about the behaviour of the art market today, and vice versa. We hope to bring together historians of the art market working on a wide range of historical periods and places, and utilising varying methodologies, and to engage them in creative dialogue, via thematic groupings, with present-day art market experts of different kinds. We hope that a wide range of expertise and interests will be represented from both the past and the present dimensions of this subject.

Many fundamental topics are implicated in this conference, for example the nature of consumerism in societies past and present, the history and nature of art collecting, and the role of art institutions. We have singled out four key themes for this event which we envisage will comprise discreet sessions: 

  • Modes of artistic production, market strategies and sale
  • Localities, networks and globalization
  • Value and valuation
  • Patrons and dealers

It all sounds a little bit academic and potentially guffy to me. I've been involved in the art market for some years now, and I don't entirely know what the first two bullet points mean. Of course, you could say that the conference only really needs one theme; 'How to make a profit'.

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