The study of the art market has gained remarkable momentum in recent years. Conferences, lectures and publications are devoted to its history and its present state, addressing both general developments and the impact of particular art galleries and dealers on the history of taste or the “making” of certain artists and styles. Moreover, the growing interest in the provenance of cultural artefacts has further strengthened the consensus that the trade plays a significant role in the history of art. Its study seems presently all the more promising as the market’s sources and documents are still largely unexplored or indeed undiscovered.
This exciting outlook is occasionally attenuated by difficulties, however. Among these are the lack of methodological models, the dearth of specialized research centres, and a lingering scepticism among academics concerning the relevance of art market studies. Students of the art market thus still lack many of the resources and networks common in other areas of scholarly research. A group of twelve international scholars is therefore calling for the foundation of an
International Art Market Studies Association.
The purpose of this association will be to support the study of art markets of all periods and geographic areas. It aims to encourage research by providing a platform for networking, gatherings and information exchange open to all.
Following the time-tested model of comparable scholarly organizations, the association will establish a website featuring general announcements such as conferences, new publications, lectures, exhibitions, etc.; a list of members giving brief indications of research areas and principal publications; reviews of publications, conferences, etc.; background information on the association such as aims, statutes, board, etc.; and a mailing list providing regular news of new events. The association will also hold a biannual conference alternating with a biannual event such as field trips to archives, fairs, exhibitions, galleries, congresses, etc. An annual general meeting will be scheduled to coincide with these events.
The association will be open to individuals and institutions of all backgrounds interested in the study of the art market; it will charge a modest annual membership fee (higher for institutions and commercial enterprises; lower for students). In the interest of its international network, the association will be based in Britain and will communicate in English.
Lynn Catterson, Alan Crookham, Frances Fowle, Antoinette Friedenthal, Jeremy Howard, Christian Huemer, Veronika Korbei, Johannes Nathan, Barbara Pezzini, Inge Reist, Catherine Scallen, Jonathan Woolfson