Markets and Value


Works of art are commonly acknowledged to have "aesthetic value" and "market value," but defining these terms and the relationship between them has been a persistent challenge. These two notions of value have often been aligned, with great material worth and cultural renown accorded to the same objects. This has led a few scholars to take the extreme position that there is no meaningful distinction between market and aesthetic value: arguing that, especially in the modern economy, works of art are merely cultural commodities. Most scholars persist in maintaining that the psychic, symbolic, and intellectual satisfactions provided by works of art cannot be reduced to the measure of the market; yet any meaningful history of taste, consumption, and display requires that the aesthetic and the economic be correlated. The 2003–2004 Scholar Year at the Getty Research Institute will focus on theoretical approaches to assigning value in art and on empirical studies of how emotive, cognitive, and economic values have been intertwined in the history of art.

An important tool in reconstructing the "cultural biographies" of works of art is the Getty's own Provenance Index. In providing records of ownership and documentation of how objects have changed hands (inheritance, auction, sale, gift, theft, etc.), the Provenance Index can illuminate trends in collecting and artistic taste. Cultural biographies of individual objects can contribute to larger social histories of classes and groups of objects over time. While the cultural biography of a single van Gogh painting might tell us how changes in taste have affected the valuation of a painting or an artist, a larger social history might look at how particular institutional structures, laws, and technologies have led to the revered status and exorbitant prices for Impressionist and Postimpressionist paintings in contemporary society. In addition to the resources of the Provenance Index, the Getty Research Institute has extensive collections relating to art markets and value—including numerous archives of important galleries like Goupil and Duveen and such varied materials as a unique, annotated copy of Baudelot de Dairval's seventeenth-century treatise on collecting and the papers of the modernist critic Clement Greenberg.

This Scholar Year accommodates a broad range of interdisciplinary inquiries: from the reception history of an ancient pendant—valued in one era for its apotropaic power, in another for its gold, in a third for its craftsmanship, and today for its antiquity—to an analysis of how tax law led to its placement in a museum; from philosophical debates about judgment to concrete investigations of dealers as arbiters of taste; from histories of auction houses and commercial galleries to studies of pre-capitalist systems of patronage; from analyses of the circulation of works of art in early modern Europe to studies of the global economy's effect on art in Asia; from the history of competing theories of value to linguistic analysis of the terms and metaphors in which market and aesthetic values are currently promoted, distinguished, and evaluated. Applications are welcome from scholars from any discipline who are seeking to understand relations between markets and value in the broadest senses of these terms.

Twenty-four scholars will participate in the Getty Research Institute's 2003–2004 scholar year devoted to the theme "Markets and Value."

Getty Scholars


Malcolm Bull, university lecturer in fine art and head of art history and theory, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford, England.
Economies of Value

Ting Chang, assistant professor of art history and communication studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Collecting Asia: Values, Cultural Politics, and the Acquisition of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century France

Serge Guilbaut, professor of art history, visual art, and theory, University of British Columbia, Canada.
The Golden World: Art Criticism and Power

Robert Jensen, associate professor of art history, University of Kentucky, Lexington.
The Rise of the One-Person Dealer Exhibition in the 20th Century and Its Impact on Artists' Conceptions of Their Work

Carol Knicely, professor of art history, visual art, and theory, University of British Columbia, Canada.
For the Love of Jewels: The Multifaceted Role of Treasure in the Art of the Middle Ages

Miwon Kwon, associate professor of art history, University of California, Los Angeles.
Exchange Rate: The Economy of Obligation and Reciprocity in Art since 1965

Mark Meadow, associate professor of history of art and architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Merchants, Marvels and the Origins of the Kunstkammer

Rochelle Ziskin, associate professor of art and art history, University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Sheltering Culture: Gender, Class, and a New Public Realm

Visiting Scholars


David Bindman, professor of the history of art, University College London, England.
Canova, Thorvaldsen and the Reception of Sculpture in the Early 19th Century

Linda Borean, professor of the history and preservation of cultural heritage, University of Udine, Italy.
Marketing Value in 18th-Century Venice, Bologna and London: The Correspondence between Giovanni Maria Sasso, Giovanni Antonio Armano and Abraham Hume

Susan Hollis Clayson, professor of art history, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
Mary Cassatt's Accent, or the (un)Making of a Cosmopolitan in Paris

Neil De Marchi, professor of economics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Targeted Selling: Dealing in Early Eighteenth-Century London

Michael Hall, curator to Edmund de Rothschild, Southampton, England.
Rothschild Picture Provenances

Charles Harrison, professor of history and theory of art, Open University in the South, Oxford, England.
The Relationship and Relative Values of "Originals," Multiples, Duplicates, Versions and Travesties in Art since 1965

Michael Hutter, professor of economics and management, Universität Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany.
Two Major Plays of Value; On the Interdependence of Economy and Art

Michael North, professor of history, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Germany.
Perceptions and Consumption of Art in 18th-Century Germany

Raymond Pettibon, artist, Long Beach.

Valeria Pinchera, professor of economics, University of Pisa, Italy.
The Art Market in Florence (XVIth - XVIIIth Centuries); Art Consumption by Florentine Aristocracy

Allan Sekula, artist, Los Angeles.


Continuing Predoctoral Fellows


A. Cassandra Albinson is a graduate student in the department of the history of art at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
Artist and Aristocrats: Portraiture and Presence in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Christopher Heuer is a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art and architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.
The City Rehearsed: Hans Vredeman de Vries and the Performance of Architecture

Matthew Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of history of art at the University of California, Berkeley.
Answers of the Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Gardes

Tatiana Senkevitch is a Ph.D. candidate in the history of art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
The Printmaker's Perspectives: Abraham Bosse and the Pedagogic Debates at the Academie de la peinture et de la sculpture, 1648–1661

Isabelle Tillerot is a Ph.D. candidate in art history at the University of Paris X in Nanterre, France.
Ancient and "Modern" Art in Parisian Collections in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century

Sebastian Zeidler is a graduate student in the department of art history and archaeology, Columbia University, New York.
Carl Einstein's History and Theory of Art

Museum Guest Scholars


Kathleen Adler is Head of Education at the National Gallery, London. During her stay, she researched an essay for the catalogue of the National Gallery's planned exhibition Americans in Paris, and developed a conference to accompany the exhibition.

Alastair Laing is the Adviser on Pictures and Sculpture at the National Trust, London. Laing continued his research into the paintings and drawings of François Boucher.  He also worked on the catalogue of miniature paintings in National Trust collections and the catalogue of drawings at Waddesdon Manor.

Lance Mayer is Conservator at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, Connecticut. While at the Getty he worked to complete scholarly articles on the use of toning layers and the use of wax as an additive to oil paint in 18th- and 19th-century American and British painting.  He also continued work on the book he is co-authoring with Gay Myers, the working title of which is American Painters on Technique:  1760-1945

Gay Myers is Conservator at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, Connecticut. While at the Getty she worked to complete scholarly articles on the use of toning layers and the use of wax as an additive to oil paint in 18th- and 19th-century American and British painting.  She also continued work on the book she is co-authoring with Lance Mayer, the working title of which is American Painters on Technique:  1760-1945

Nancy H. Ramage is Charles H. Dana Professor of the Humanities and Arts at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. Ramage used her time at the Getty to examine the career of Vincenzo Pacetti, a prominent early 19th-century sculptor and restorer of ancient marble statuary; his place in history; and his relationships with his workmen and his patrons.

Françoise Reynaud is Chief Curator of Photographs at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, France. During her residency, she surveyed the Getty's photographic collections, continuing her work on classifying and analyzing the ways in which trees have been depicted in the history of photography, in preparation for a future exhibition and publication.

Peter Schatborn is Emeritus Head of the Rijksprentenkabinet at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. While at the Getty, Schatborn prepared a catalogue of the drawings by Rembrandt and his pupils in the Collection Frits Lugt at the Fondation Custodia, Paris.

Christa C. Mayer Thurman is the Christa C. Mayer Thurman Curator of Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the Getty she conducted research on the unpublished collection of seventy significant European tapestries, dating from 1490 to the 20th century, in the Art Institute of Chicago, in preparation for a forthcoming publication.

Roger S. Wieck is Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. During his residency, Wieck worked on researching and writing the commentary volume to accompany a facsimile of Morgan Library MS M.451, a Book of Hours dated 1531 and illuminated by the Flemish artist Simon Bening.