College Art Association (CAA) Call for Participation – 105th Annual Conference, New York, NY, 15-18 February 2017
Exploring Art Markets of the Past: Tools and Methods in the Age of ‘Big Data’
The recent proliferation of data and the emergence of new computational techniques are not only influencing decision making processes in contemporary culture; they also have an increasing impact on our understanding of the past. Big data analytics, defined as the process of examining large amounts of information to uncover hidden patterns and unknown correlations, lend themselves to the study of art markets.
Yet, contrary to more quantitatively inclined disciplines such as cultural economics (which usually focus on contemporary data), art history has barely started to endorse this new opportunity. The study of art markets more generally has gained remarkable momentum in recent years. Numerous conferences are being held on the topic worldwide; case studies are covering a wide array of subjects ranging from the transalpine art trade of the fifteenth century to the emerging markets of Asia and South America and their impact on our globalized contemporary culture. For many of the core questions addressed in this burgeoning subfield of art history we now have large aggregations of data at our fingertips, prepared in formats amenable to computational analysis. There are digital records from auction catalogs, dealer stock books, probate inventories, artist’s account books, price indices, receipts of payments, etc. To name just a few possible areas of inquiry, this session invites papers that make use of larger datasets to analyze the networks and aggregate behavior of agents on the art market, shifting tastes and values in history, or the flow of objects through time and space.
Session Specialization: Primary:
Art History-General Art History
Session Specialization: Secondary:
Session Specialization: Tertiary:
Getty Research Institute
For further information please consult the CAA pdf