The idea to establish an international network for art market studies was first voiced by a small circle of enthusiasts after ‘The Art Market Past and Present’ conference organized jointly by the Burlington Magazine and Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London on 31 October / 1 November 2014. Four members of this circle (Frances Fowle, Johannes Nathan, Barbara Pezzini and Jonathan Woolfson) pursued the idea in the course of 2015 when different models for such networks were explored – particularly during a meeting in The Hague on 23 May 2015. In the end, the solution that seemed most suitable was that of a scholarly association funded by its members as this model provides a maximum of independence and also allows us to reach the many individuals and disciplines that study the art market.
TIAMSA – The International Art Market Studies Association took further shape during a meeting of our founding members on 2 April 2016 following the ‘Dealers and Museums’ conference at the National Gallery London. All those attending supported the idea of the creation of such an association. The ensuing weeks thus saw the drafting of our constitution, the establishment of our website, and eventually the actual foundation in London on 31 May 2016 – in a meeting room kindly provided by the Burlington Magazine. Having constituted ourselves we formed an interim board comprising seven of the founding members. These, together with the additional ‘events officer’, were officially elected by almost forty members present at our first annual general meeting (AGM) on 13 July 2016 at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Thanks to the wonderful support we have received from friends and colleagues in many countries, TIAMSA was joined by 100 members within the first seven weeks of its official launch (July 2016).
In 2017 we gathered additional momentum with our first, very well received international conference on ‘Art Fairs’, held in July at Sotheby’s Institute London in conjunction with our second AGM when additional art market experts from a range of disciplines were elected to our board. 2017 also saw a strengthening of our transatlantic ties as TIAMSA became an affiliated society of the US College Art Association (CAA), resulting in our first appearance with two sessions at the CAA conference in Los Angeles in February 2018 – complemented by a memorable members’ event generously hosted by the Getty Research Institute. Since then, we have held conferences at the Belvedere and the Dorotheum in Vienna (Sept 2018), the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon (Nov 2019), the National Gallery and University of Edinburgh (May-July 2021, online) and at TU and Liebermann-Villa in Berlin (Sept 2022) – events that further expanded our network across Europe. In line with its constitution, TIAMSA elected a partly renewed board after the Berlin conference; it currently has 400+ members (Sept 2022).
Last but not least, we are particularly happy about the constitution and growth of several TIAMSA groups worldwide, many of them unfolding their own exciting activities. Our membership base continues to expand at a healthy rate – so we are confident that TIAMSA is here to stay, on course for an exciting future!