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Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b Roubaix, March 5, 1949). French businessman, patron, and collector. Born into an industrial family from northern France, Bernard Arnault studied at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. After completing his studies, Arnault took over the family’s construction business, Ferret-Savinel, which he converted into a real estate company by the name of Ferinel in the 1980s. He then took over the Boussac Group, which was facing financial difficulties but controlled the department store Le Bon Marché and the fashion label Dior, among other assets. The ‘Arnault System’, which evolved from these moves, relied on a series of acquisitions that culminated on ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like ...

Article

Thomas P. McNulty

International modern and contemporary art fair. The brainchild of three Swiss art dealers (Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner, and Balz Hilt), the first annual Art Basel fair was held in 1970, at which 90 galleries and 30 publishers from 10 countries exhibited. Participation has grown significantly, with its ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Statistical measure showing the development of art prices since a chosen base year. Index series are often represented as graphs, and allow for a comparison with the performance of other assets. An index also enables the measurement of the correlation of art returns with changes in valuations of other investments. Two techniques are commonly used to construct an art price index based on auction transaction data. First, so-called ‘hedonic’ methods use all available sales information to measure changes in quality-adjusted average transaction prices. Second, ‘repeat-sales’ regression models only use price information on artworks for which at least two transactions are observed to estimate the average return in each period....

Article

The collecting cycles and art market trends in Australia from 1995 to 2010 clearly reflected the developments in art markets all around the world. The market for all periods in Australian art peaked in 2007, decreasing by a third before forming a plateau. Primarily, the building of Australian art collections dominated art sales, with only a small percentage of collectors involved in collecting international art. Although the latter was a growing trend, accessibility to the international art market limited this area of collecting....

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (...

Article

Bénédicte Martin

French auction company, headquartered in one of the most prestigious hôtels particuliers at the intersection of the Champs Elysées and the Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Artcurial was created in 2001 and specializes in fine art sales, design, and fashion; it also has built a reputation for sales of multiples, including comics and photographs, as well as watches, jewellery, and collectable cars. The rise of France’s foremost domestically owned auction house should be perceived in the context of events unfolding in ...

Article

Molly K. Dorkin

Prior to the 20th century, the attribution of works of art was not governed by rigid regulations, and art dealers and auctioneers assigned attributions based purely on aesthetic grounds. Works were attributed to the artist whose manner they most closely resembled, but they were not further distinguished on the basis of quality; as a result, many paintings purchased as Renaissance masterpieces in the 18th or 19th century have since been downgraded to studio works or even much later pastiches....

Article

From the 1990s onwards, Australian contemporary art experienced significant growth in exhibition venues, both quantitatively, in terms of the number and scale of available spaces, and qualitatively, in terms of their scope, ambition and critical impact. The boom in physical exhibition spaces including museums, artist spaces, and commercial and non-profit galleries on the one hand and, on the other, the boom in such event-based institutions as biennales, triennials and festivals is consistent with global trends but also sits within the more general process of increasing confidence and internationalization of Australian art and its institutions that has been under way since the late 1960s. As such, these changes were a response to the country’s specific geographical and cultural conditions, and to shifts within art practice itself. It is important to note, however, that they have been neither constant nor consistent, and have involved significant challenges at the level of sustainability....

Article

Chinese auction house established in 2005. Before the foundation of Beijing Poly International Auction Company (Beijing Poly Auction), China Guardian was the largest auction business in China. Since taking over China Guardian in 2010, Beijing Poly Auction became the foremost auctioneer and the world’s third largest auction company in terms of auction sales turnover, after Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The rise of Beijing Poly Auction, as well as other auction houses in mainland China, above their Western competitors can be explained by the high tax rates applicable to foreign companies as well as government regulations in the antiques trade applied to foreign companies. Beijing Poly Auction specialized in fields benefiting from the boom in the Chinese art market since the turn of the 21st century: Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphy, Chinese modern and contemporary paintings, antiques and ceramics, rare books and manuscripts, jewellery, and wine. According to the ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

(b Berlin, Jan 6, 1914; d Paris, Feb 23, 2007). German American art dealer and collector, active in France. Berggruen came from a middle-class Jewish family. He immigrated to the USA in 1937, and was granted American citizenship in 1941. He served in the army between ...

Article

Chin-tao Wu

Over the two decades straddling the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, biennials and art fairs mushroomed across the globe. While art fairs have a specific commercial interest, which biennials do not necessarily possess, both are institutional structures designed to display art works on an impressively large, transnational scale. They comprise often hundreds, if not thousands, of distinct exhibits ranging from painting and sculpture in traditional modes to avant-garde installations and post-modern films and videos. While biennials and art fairs both have histories dating back many decades, the progressive globalisation of the contemporary art world since the 1980s profoundly modified these two means of exhibiting art in the public arena, and, particularly in the case of biennials, radically re-orientated their forms as well as their functions. Whether or not such changes have been accompanied by a measure of democratisation or by a meaningful re-alignment in the power structures of cultural politics, as has sometimes been maintained, remains an open question....

Article

Bénédicte Martin

(b 1939).French art dealer. Blondel became active as an art dealer in Paris in the late 1960s, and his high-profile gallery in the Marais district closed in December 2014. Blondel is best remembered for restoring attention, in the market and in the scholar community, to figurative painters from between the two world wars such as Tamara de Lempicka, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel (...

Article

Bonhams  

Molly K. Dorkin

Auction house established in London 1793 by William Charles Bonham, a book dealer (also recorded as Walter Bonham), and George Jones, from a gallery founded by Thomas Dodd (1771–1850), a dealer in antiquarian prints. Bonhams originally specialized in sales of prints in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the market was robust. By the 19th century Bonhams was also holding sales of antiques, which were advertised in the London press alongside similar offerings from ...

Article

Thomas P. McNulty

American philanthropists and art collectors. Eli Broad (b New York, June 6, 1933) spent most of his youth in Detroit, MI. In 1954 he graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting, and married Edythe Lois Lawson. Upon graduation, Eli Broad began his career as a professional accountant but changed course when in ...

Article

Collection of Latin American art based in New York and Caracas. Founded in the 1970s by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and her husband, Gustavo A. Cisneros, the mission of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) is to support art education throughout Latin America, and to promote the region’s vast contributions to the visual arts internationally. To this end, under the auspices of the Fundación Cisneros, the CPPC supports a rich and varied programme of collecting, exhibitions, and publications. The CPPC is organized around five major sub-collections: modern art, contemporary art, colonial art, the work of artists who recorded their travels to Latin America, and the art of the Orinoco region....

Article

Joseph R. Givens

The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) developed cultural capital theory as way to examine the influence of intangible resources on the phenomena of social reproduction and social mobility. He described a society of competing classes, arranged in a hierarchy of prestige. The classes are composed of individual agents who attempt to climb the socio-economic ladder by maximizing the use of capital resources, which include both material objects of symbolic value and intangible attributes that imply prestige and power. Bourdieu identified four types of capital: economic, social, symbolic, and cultural. Economic capital represents one’s financial resources, social capital consists of one’s social support system, symbolic capital describes one’s prestige, and cultural capital includes the knowledge, values, and skills that support an understanding of cultural relations and cultural artefacts. The forms of capital are inequitably distributed among classes, and one form of capital can be converted to another. Since the value of capital is defined by social relations within a specific field, agents strategize the best way to leverage their capital for maximum gain of the valued capital within that field....

Article

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi

Dak’Art was established by the Senegalese government as the first art biennial in sub-Saharan Africa in 1989. Its mandate was to promote the latest examples of contemporary African art in Africa and create international visibility for it. Thus, it served as an important nexus between the African and international art worlds. Dak’Art’s growth in the 1990s coincided with the global expansion of the art world with regard to the proliferation of non-Western art biennials and new forms of cultural mediation. At its first iteration in ...

Article

Joseph R. Givens

American art dealer, curator, and critic. Deitch is best known for transforming the American art market with the introduction of post-industrial business practices. A Connecticut native, he studied art history at Wesleyan University (1970–74) and opened his first gallery in 1972 at the Curtis Hotel in Lenox, MA. He studied the economics of art at Harvard Business School, and earned an MBA in ...

Article

Thomas P. McNulty

International art exhibition held since 1955 every four to five years in the German city of Kassel (and subsequently other venues as well), which features avant-garde art and culture. Each exhibition lasts for 100 days and its primary exhibition space is in the Museum Fridericianum. Since its inception, the focus of documenta became increasingly global, culminating in the election of the first non-European artistic director, Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor (...