Abstract: “With Old Masters, it’s all about the name.” The title of this New York Times article, published in 2014, is revealing of a market largely driven by the pursuit of the artist’s name. While such behaviors date back to, at least, the 18th century, many art buyers still seek to acquire established names to secure their investment, ideally opting for names associated with strong visual characteristics and compelling storytelling, akin to successful brands.
While most academic works have approached artist brand identity from the perspective of modern and contemporary artists, such as Andy Warhol or Pablo Picasso being commonly cited examples, my work explores this issue from the perspective of old masters. In a market segment where information about the artist’s name and the guarantee of authorship is challenged by the vagaries of time, other brand-building strategies come into play to overcome information asymmetries and create value.
Following a general introduction to the topic and providing methodological insights, I will present the findings of three case studies that exemplify the significance attributed to the artist’s name as a brand in the art market. Concentrating on the contemporary market for European old masters, I will first discuss the impact of expert opinion in confirming authorship through the publication of a catalogue raisonné. Subsequently, I will delve into the market’s reception of co-branding strategies and investigate a naming strategy referred to as “provisional names.”
Date: 26/06/23, 18:15-19:45 h CEST
TU Berlin-Zoom-Link: https://tu-berlin.zoom.us/j/69109161574?pwd=MzZkSVV3QlpkaUtxQmY1b05wYy9UUT09
Anne-Sophie V. Radermecker is an assistant professor in Cultural Management at the Université libre de Bruxelles. She graduated in both art history (University de Liège) and Cultural Management (Université Libre de Bruxelles). In 2019, she defended an original PhD dissertation dedicated to the contemporary market for Flemish old masters, at the crossroads of art history and economics. She is also a B.A.E.F. fellow from Duke University (DALMI – Duke Art Law & Markets Initiative) and a lecturer at Erasmus University Rotterdam (Master in Cultural Economics & Entrepreneurship). Her main research interests are the economics of art and culture, the market for old master paintings, the economics of antiques and indeterminate works of art, the reciprocal interactions between museums and the art market (including acquisition policies and deaccessioning), the issue of value in cultural economics, and quantitative methods applied to art history. She has published several cross-disciplinary papers in art history, cultural economics, economic history, economic, and cultural management journals. Her book entitled Anonymous Art at Auction was released in July 2021 (Brill, Studies in the History of Collecting & Art Markets). In 2023, she was granted an ERC starting grant for her project MOOVA – Making Old Objects Valuable Again. The Cultural, Economic Challenges and Sustainability Opportunities of Antiques in the 21st Century.