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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.

Australia was a relative latecomer to dedicated institutional support for contemporary art, with the country’s first and only public contemporary art museum opening in Sydney in ...


While the main public art museums in Australia are to be found in its capital cities (see Australia §XII), throughout Australia there are over 160 regional art galleries, which are owned and funded by local and state governments. As well as displaying their own permanent collections, these art galleries have extensive exhibition programmes that include major national and international travelling exhibitions, together with community-based art shows. As Australia’s landmass is greater than Europe but with a relatively small population (22.68 million), this is an excellent way of taking art to people in country towns, isolated communities, and the hinterland of major cities. Regional galleries have outstanding art collections, acquired through philanthropic endowment and the Federal Government’s taxation concessions for cultural gifts. These collections constitute a significant percentage of the country’s Distributed National Art Collection and include key paintings in the history of Australian art.

Although some regional galleries date from the 19th century, there were still only seven in existence in ...


Thierry Lenain

The concept that a thing (person, object, type of behaviour, etc.) is what it seems, or is said, or believed to be. Implicit in the very notion of authenticity is the possibility of misrepresentation. In essence, to be authentic is to be the opposite of fake or phony. Authenticity is judged by performing tests to verify that external appearance and substantial reality actually match. An artwork can be deemed ‘authentic’ as a work of art (as opposed to a mere product without artistic value); as the product of a particular artist (a Monet, rather than a work by another artist in his style); as an artefact of a specific time (a 14th-century sculpture, as opposed to a Gothic Revival imitation); or as an object composed of a particular material (a bronze sculpture, versus one made of plaster with a bronze-like patina).

Each judgement of authenticity is based on a different set of criteria. To conclude that someone is authentic as a person is to say that his or her way of behaving is in accordance with their inner self, personal values, social background, and life choices; this is a moral judgement that cannot be reduced to assessing the presence or absence of objective features. Similarly, pronouncing an object a genuine artwork denotes that it is the result of real artistic talent and sincere commitment. This assessment relies on an element of subjectivity and is always dependent on a specific cultural context that will define which class of objects can be elevated to the status of art. It also carries moral overtones as it amounts to a declaration of whether the object in question was made by a true artist acting as such, that is, by someone faithful to the essential and somehow transcendent demands of art....


M. Sue Kendall

(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 2, 1872; d Chester County, PA, July 24, 1951).

American chemist and collector. Barnes made his fortune after discovering the drug Argyrol in 1902. By 1907 he had become a millionaire. He and his wife moved to the suburb of Merion on Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line and with his new income began to collect paintings of the Barbizon school. In 1910 he renewed contact with a former school friend, William J. Glackens, who introduced him to the works of Maurice Prendergast, Alfred H. Maurer and Charles Demuth, and who encouraged Barnes to collect Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings instead of Barbizon works. In 1912 Barnes gave Glackens £20,000 to go to Paris and buy whatever art he saw fit. Glackens, with the help of Maurer, acquired for Barnes works by Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Cézanne, Monet, Gauguin, Pissarro, Sisley and Seurat. In Paris, Glackens introduced Barnes to Gertrude and Leo Stein, through whom he became familiar with the work of Picasso and Matisse....


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 2014 Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report conducted by the China Association of Auctioneers and Artnet, Beijing Poly International Auction’s turnover accounted for 14 per cent in global market share, by value, of Chinese art and antiques....


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 1942 and 1945. After a period working as a journalist in Munich and in the museum section of UNESCO, he set up as an art dealer in Paris in 1948, based from 1950 onwards in a modest gallery on the Rue de l’Université. The Berggruen Gallery specialized in modern graphic art, including Pablo Picasso, and was the principal source in Paris of the work of Paul Klee. Berggruen retired in 1980 and focused on his personal collection of classic modern art. In 1996 Berggruen was invited to put his collection on public display in Berlin in what was originally barracks for the Gardes du Corps, designed by Friedrich August Stüler, where it was known as the Berggruen Collection. In ...


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....



Anne McClanan

American collectors. Robert Woods Bliss (b St Louis, MO, 5 Aug 1875; d Washington, DC, 19 April 1962) and his wife, Mildred Bliss (née Barnes) (b New York City, Sept 1879; d Washington, 17 Jan 1969), developed their interest in art while living abroad, where Robert Bliss served as a diplomat until his retirement in 1933. They were particularly concerned with the then neglected areas of Pre-Columbian and Byzantine art. Their Byzantine collection included coins, icons, ivories, mosaics, jewellery, and textiles; their Pre-Columbian collection was similarly wide-ranging. In 1920 Robert and Mildred Bliss purchased Dumbarton Oaks, a large house in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. Although they lived there intermittently for only seven years, they extensively renovated the house and over 53-acre garden. Lawrence Grant White (1887–1956), who had worked at McKim, Mead & White (where his father, Stanford White, was a founding partner), was the architect responsible for adding the music room in ...


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 (1881–1949). Blondel was also interested in the applied arts, dealing for instance in Jean-Jacques Ruhlmann furniture and Gallé glass, when few collectors were interested in these objects. After studying architecture, Blondel became keenly interested in art, developing a special fascination with Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer who famously created the iconic Parisian Métro entrances. In 1966 Blondel’s passion inspired him to open his first gallery, the Galerie des quatre vents (Gallery of Four Winds), in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. His intention at the time was to re-value forgotten artists from the first half of the 20th century. Due to public indifference, many paintings and objects from this period were very accessibly priced. Demand for such objects was very low, and a functioning market for this niche hardly existed. At the same time, Blondel and Laurent Sully Jaulmes began an urban photography project, which they pursued between ...



Molly K. Dorkin

[Jones and Bonham; Bonhams & Brooks; Bonhams & Butterfields; Bonhams & Goodman]

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 Christie’s and Phillips. In the 1820s Dodd and fellow print dealer Martin Colnaghi catalogued the print collection belonging to Horace Walpole prior to its sale. Dodd and Colnaghi also catalogued the 50,000 works in the collection of Francis Douce for their donation to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. By the 1850s Jones’s son Henry and Bonham’s son George had taken over the business, which became known as Jones and Bonham. Paintings had been offered in their sales alongside print collections since the 1840s....


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 1957 he co-founded (with Donald Kaufman, a builder) the Detroit company Kaufman & Broad, which produced inexpensive homes for the rapidly expanding post–World War II population.

Kaufman & Broad attained considerable success in the 1950s, and continued to expand in the decades that followed. In an attempt to diversify its income stream, Kaufman & Broad entered the insurance market, beginning with its acquisition of Sun Life Insurance in the late 1970s, and its addition of a second insurance firm—Coastal States Corp.—by the mid-1980s. With the acquisition of still more insurance and financial companies, Broad’s holdings were organized under a new firm—Broad Inc.—later renamed SunAmerica, which in turn would be acquired by the international insurance giant American International Group (AIG). Broad remained with AIG through to the end of the 1990s, when he retired and, with his wife Edythe, began to pursue their interests in collecting and philanthropy....


Simon Pepper

(b Dunfermline, Scotland, Nov 25, 1835; d Lenox, MA, Aug 11, 1919).

American industrialist and patron of Scottish birth. Aged 11, Andrew Carnegie immigrated with his parents to Allegheny, near Pittsburgh, PA, where he educated himself while working as an office messenger and telegraph operator, before rising to enormous wealth through railroads, oil, and the iron and steel industries. During his lifetime he gave more than $350 million to a variety of social, educational, and cultural causes, the best known being his support for public libraries, which he believed would provide opportunities for self-improvement without ‘any taint of charity’. Here communities had to pay for the building site and the books, and to commit at least 10 per cent of Carnegie’s initial gift in annual support. As Carnegie struggled to give away money—for ‘to die rich was to die disgraced’—music, fine art, archaeology, and technical schools also became beneficiaries, together with programmes for the education of minorities in recognition of civilian heroism and world peace (still a central concern of the Carnegie Foundation)....


Titia Hulst

(b Trieste, Austro-Hungarian Empire [now Italy], Sept 4, 1907; d New York City, Aug 21, 1999).

American art dealer. Leo Castelli opened his eponymous gallery in 1957 and he gave Jasper Johns his first solo show in 1958, which established both the artist’s and the dealer’s reputations as Castelli sought to identify the successor generation to the Abstract Expressionism; the gallery’s stable included Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Lee Bontecou, and Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Andy Warhol. After the Green Gallery closed in 1965, the Minimalist artists Robert Morris, Larry Poons, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin joined as well, establishing Leo Castelli as the pre-eminent dealer in American avant-garde art.

Leo Castelli obtained a law degree from the University of Milan in 1924 and started his career in banking and insurance. He married Ileana Shapiro, the daughter of a wealthy Romanian industrialist in 1933 (they divorced in 1959), and moved to Paris in 1934. He partnered in 1939 with interior designer René Drouin to open the Galerie d’Art Décoratif. A childhood friend from Trieste, the artist ...


Alex Ross

Descriptive, systematic list of objects gathered together temporarily or permanently or otherwise associated in some way. Art catalogues are compiled to serve a variety of purposes: museum and collection catalogues record the works in public or private collections; catalogues raisonnés attempt to establish the oeuvre of an artist; exhibition catalogues document the contents and intellectual thrust of temporary exhibitions; other catalogues inform potential buyers about art works available for sale at auction or in dealers’ galleries.

Because art history is concerned with works of art as physical objects, art historians have found the information about individual works in art catalogues useful. The fullness of information and scholarly apparatus provided in modern catalogues, as described below, is a recent development that roughly parallels the growth of art history as a scholarly discipline. Art inventories (or inventories of possessions that include some art objects) compiled before the 17th century, mainly by stewards, notaries, or other functionaries, are difficult to use, since their information is so meagre. It can be hard to identify a specific work when its dimensions are not given, the artist’s name omitted or the subject-matter sketchily described. An inventory (...


Linda Whiteley



Noël Annesley

[Christie, Manson & Woods]

Auction house founded in London by James Christie (1730–1803). After a few years spent in the navy, James Christie worked as an assistant to an auctioneer named Mr Annesley in Covent Garden, London. He left Annesley in 1763 to set up on his own and in 1766 established his firm at the print warehouse of Richard Dalton in Pall Mall, where the Royal Academy held its exhibitions in its early years. In 1770 he moved his premises next door to Schomberg House, Pall Mall, where Thomas Gainsborough lived. The first known catalogue is dated 5 December 1766; it includes little of value except for a picture by Aelbert Cuyp. Christie rapidly established himself as one of the foremost auctioneers, however, cultivating a circle of friends and advisers that included Gainsborough, Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Garrick, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Edmund Burke, and receiving many auction consignments from royalty and the nobility. During the French Revolution the firm did particularly well through the abundance of works then coming into Britain. Among the more notable early Christie sales were that of the former collection of Pope ...


[CPPC; Cisneros Collection]

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.

The modern art collection includes a great many important works by 20th-century Latin American artists, particularly geometric abstractionists from such countries as Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and the Cisneros’ native Venezuela. This segment of the collection takes on a global aspect, with the inclusion of major European and North American artists whose work relates to the masters of Latin American art. Representative modernists include Joaquín Torres García, Gego, Lygia Clark, Roberto Matta, Hélio Oiticica, Francisco Narváez, and Alejandro Otero, among others....


Robert Cumming

Act of assembling groups of objects. Any account of collecting works of art has to cover a very wide field of enquiry. Its history is often obscure and complicated, and many issues such as aesthetics, finance, psychology, and indeed the definition of the phenomenon must also be considered, including how culturally widespread collecting is. It can be identified in most of the great civilizations throughout history, from China and Japan to the Islamic and Western worlds, and in each instance there are many features in common. Although some of the general points made in this article apply to all forms of collecting, it concentrates on the example provided by the West. Collecting in other civilizations is discussed under the appropriate geographic or cultural headings. There are also sections discussing collecting in most modern country surveys.

In any discussion of collecting, one of the first problems to be dealt with is that of evidence: what did a particular collection contain, when, and where? Most collections, however painstakingly built up, are dispersed after the death of the collector, sometimes in spite of the conditions of a bequest. The important collection of paintings and sculpture of ...


Enrico Castelnuovo, Jaynie Anderson, Stephen B. Little, Christine M. E. Guth, S. N. Chaturvedi and Anna Tummers

Term given to the technique or art of recognizing works of art. In the Western world this particularly involves the evaluation, distinction, and appreciation of the work’s quality and, above all, the ability to determine the time and place of its execution and, as far as possible, the identity of the artist. A lack of signatures, precise documentation, and other information concerning most figurative works has meant that the establishment and development of criteria and classification and thus the practice of attribution have been highly dependent on the development of collecting and of an art market. Connoisseurship is not an exclusively Western phenomenon, however: it has evolved alongside the development of collections of art in such countries as China, where the role of the connoisseur was established as early as the Bronze Age.

Enrico Castelnuovo

In the earliest literature on the history and appreciation of art, dating to Classical times and then the Renaissance (...


Andrew Oddy, Sarah Staniforth, Jill Dunkerton, Myriam Serck-Dewaide, David Leigh and Perry Smith

Terms for the preservation of the manmade material remains of the past. Conservation is an all-embracing term that includes the processes of cleaning, stabilization, repair and restoration. To many people, the words ‘conservation’ and ‘restoration’ are interchangeable, and this confusion is exacerbated by the fact that in French a conservateur is the equivalent of an English curator, and a restaurateur is most usually rendered in English by the title conservator. The English title of restorer is now little used within the museum profession but is widely employed in the antiques and antiquities trade to mean someone who ‘restores’ a painting or an object to make it more functional and/or saleable. Restoration is also in general use as a term to describe the repair and renovation of ancient buildings and historic monuments, but its meaning is not really so far removed from the limited use in the museum to mean a part of the whole process of conservation....