For once, roles are reversed and this is art historians talking cultural economics. The goal of this book, at the intersection of both disciplines, is to show art historians the potential of economic tools to understand how art is perceived, valued, and consumed over time.
Beginning of September was time for the fifth workshop in the series Tools for the Future: Researching Art Market Practices from Past to Present. The workshop took place online in organization of the France Stele Institute of Art History of the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). Its topic was the role of legislation and legal regulators in the art market and included some of the best researchers on art markets at the intersection of art history, legal studies and cultural economics.
In the cold winter’s night of 9 to 10 January 2005, criminals left a devastating scene at the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, the Netherlands. Glass doors were shattered, wooden panels were destroyed, and valuable porcelain was smashed into hundreds of pieces. Possibly more devastating was the additional theft of 70 pieces of silver and 24 paintings of important 17th century artists like Jan van Goyen, Jacob Waben, and Matthias Withoos with an estimated value between €250.000 and €1.3 million. A few years later, without violence but with similar devastating consequences, seven paintings belonging to the Triton Family Foundation were stolen from the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Amongst these were works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Lucian Freud. Estimated value: €18.1 million. The 2002 thefts of two unique Van Gogh paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, finalizes the list. ‘Childishly easy’ is how the theft was described in the media. With a rope, ladder, and a broken window, the criminals could steal one of only two seascapes made by Van Gogh from his Dutch years. The described cases are considered to be the most notable art crimes that took place in the Netherlands in the past 20 years.Continue reading “POLICING ART CRIME”→
Can art can be considered a safe haven during volatile times or a hedging option in general? we analyze long-term art auction sales data focusing on and around financial crisis periods in a volatile emerging market. Our findings suggest Turkish art returns are either negatively correlated or at low correlation with other investments, including the equity market.
Respect for art is high, also among those who do not consume serious art, though subsidy cuts testify of a decreasing respect for the “serious arts”. In spite of cuts, the so-called “excellent art”, like the very costly performances of certain high-end opera companies, continues to receive much public support —support of which almost exclusively well-to-do people profit. The performances are sometimes innovative, but not more than most of the less costly performances.
By Robert B. Ekelund, Jr., Richard Higgins and John D. Jackson
Interest in recent art “discoveries” and attributions is at high pitch. Most starling has been a “new” Leonardo initially sold for a modest price in a regional New Orleans auction house then only to become the most expensive painting ever sold at auction at almost half a billion dollars. Attributions are changing constantly depending on a consensus of “experts,” with changes motivated by new evidence or connoisseurship as in the case of a recent Rembrandt attribution. But for some of these works, expert opinion substitutes for falsification. That is an issue for Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi and it can be related to the economic nature of certain goods.