Session at SECAC, Artists as Art Dealers (Birmingham, AL, 17-20 Oct, 2018)

“Artists Advancing the Cause: Artists as Art Dealers”

Birmingham, Alabama, United States
October 17-20, 2018
SECAC Sessions (pdf)

Artists have been acting as art agents for centuries. For example, late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century American artist John Trumbull maintained his painting career while scouting out work abroad for Thomas Jefferson. Printmaker Samuel P. Avery transitioned from his printmaking career to becoming a full-time art dealer in the late nineteenth century. Art historian Laura Corey has recently examined how Mary Cassatt served as unofficial (and unpaid) art agent to advance the careers of her Impressionist artist friends. In the early twentieth century, photographer Alfred Stieglitz introduced avant-garde art in New York. This session wishes to explore artists acting as dealers in official or unofficial capacities, part-time or full-time. How did patrons or artists initiate the relationship? Who stood to gain more, artistically or financially? What were the terms of the deal? What commissions did the artist agents receive? What did the artist offer clients that an art dealer who had never worked as a professional artist could not offer? How did artist-agents advance the cause of contemporary art, their own art, or the art of their friends? Topics on artists acting as agents from any time period or culture are encouraged.

For further information please see the SECAC application process or write to

Dr. Leanne Zalewski
Associate Professor of Art History
Central Connecticut State University
1615 Stanley Street, Maloney 139
New Britain, CT 06050-4010
Ph: 860.832.2636 | Fax: 860.832.2634 |