New Sales Data Trace the First Hundred Years of the British Auction Market
The Getty Provenance Index has, for three decades, been a leading resource for scholarship on the history of collecting. Founded in the early 1980s by Burton Fredericksen, the first curator of paintings for the Getty Museum, the Provenance Index has evolved into a collection of online databases with 1.75 million records indexing the works of art described in source documents such as auction catalogs, archival inventories, and dealer stock books. This data can be used to trace the ownership of works of art and to examine patterns in collecting and art markets.
Read Eric Hormell’s full announcement about the exciting addition of 138,000 database records on ‘the Getty iris’.
The rush of activity among London’s auction houses in the first few weeks of summer has long been a familiar occurrence that persists even today. However, this intense seasonal concentration of sales was not always so. This paper draws on quantitative methods to explore the gradual emergence of a tightly scheduled auction season in London at the turn of the nineteenth century, focusing on the sale of paintings.
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.