The origins of the term and concept of the “canon” can be traced to antiquity when the Greek word for “measuring stick,” or kanon, originated, but the meaning and connotations of the term canon has changed over the course of the history of art. In this context, the canon is a flexible construct used to identify exceptional artworks, selected by authority, against which all other artworks were to be judged. The idea became a central focus of western artistic production during the 18th and 19th centuries, when academic institutions, the center of power and influence in the art world, used rigid and hierarchical models to develop an “academic style” which valued, in form, a stoic realism and, in content, neoclassical themes. With the introduction of the avant-garde and modernism in the 20th century, the field of art became a more open system with artists and galleries challenging canonical norms. However, academic institutions maintained their defense of the art historical canon until the late 1950s....
Joseph R. Givens
Over the modern period, the art market and the press (referring to the publishing apparatus associated with news reporting) developed a close symbiotic relationship as borne out in the histories that unfolded in western Europe and North America. When The Times of London launched in 1785, for example, it included listings of ‘Sales by Auction’; an advertising section that flagged up such goods as ‘fine Paintings, some of which are by esteemed Masters’ (1 Jan 1785, 4). The press and the art market were driven by a similar need to reach the educated classes who were willing to pay for information and opinion, and likely to have the discretionary income to acquire art. Both the press and the art market also expanded over the course of the 19th century, benefiting from the rapid growth of the middle classes as well as technological changes, such as the development of the steam ship and railroad, which sped up the exchange of information and goods. Likewise, the establishment and commercialization of the Internet at the turn of the 21st century brought a new level of visibility to the intersection of the press and the art market....
Thomas P. McNulty
(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 13, 1938).
American patron and collector. Born the second of six children to wealthy parents in Cleveland, Gund was exposed to the arts—and to art collecting in particular—by her father, George Gund (1888–1966), a banking and investment professional. Gund received a BA in art history from Connecticut College, New London, in 1960, and an MA, also in art history, from Harvard University in 1980. The mother of four children with her first husband, Albrecht Saalfield, she is perhaps best known for her work in museum administration and governance. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, since 1976, as the Board’s President from 1991 to 2002, and subsequently as a Member Emerita. As President of the MOMA board, she built upon the progress made by her predecessor Donald Marron (an executive at Paine Webber). She also served as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at MOMA PS1—an affiliation that began in ...