‘Here be dragons’, a trope used by western early modern map makers to signify uncharted or dangerous territories may also describe attitudes to digital approaches in art history within certain circles. But if we aim to understand the histories of art markets at scale and over space and time, we must set sail. This talk will chart potential future directions for art market studies and provenance research, exploring both possibilities and challenges offered by digital methods.
To frame this exploration, the talk will draw on complex issues raised by the transatlantic art trade at the turn of the last century and its key nodes of New York and London. In particular, it is concerned with the role played by dealers, such as Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Knoedler, Yamanaka & Co., and Hagop Kevorkian, and the different forms of archival evidence we can deploy to study this question, ranging from paper documents produced at the time – stockbooks, exhibition catalogues and reviews, correspondence, photographs, etc. – to today’s digital databases and online museum catalogues.
Anne Helmreich is Associate Director, Getty Foundation, and formerly Associate Director, Digital Initiatives, Getty Research Institute, both of the J. Paul Getty Trust. She has also served as Dean, TCU College of Fine Arts; Senior Program Officer, The Getty Foundation; and Associate Professor of Art History and Director, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, Case Western Reserve University. Her current research focuses on the history of the art market and the productive intersection of the digital humanities and art history. Her essay “The Art Market as a System, Florence Levy’s Statistics” appeared in American Art in Fall 2020. “Purpose-built: Duveen and the commercial art gallery,” co-authored with Edward Sterrett and Sandra van Ginhoven, was published by Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide in Summer 2021. She and Pamela Fletcher recently co-authored “Digital Methods and the Study of the Art Market,” for The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities and Art History, (Routledge, 2020) and the epilogue to Art Crossing Borders: The Birth of an Integrated Art Market in the Age of Nation States (Europe, c. 1780-1914) (Brill, 2019).
The lecture will also take place digitally via Zoom – you can attend via the following link:
Meeting-ID: 856 5934 5839 | Password: 148258