The Society for the History of Collecting
Invites you to its Online Lecture
Collecting as a Public Good
Prof. Julie Codell
Thursday, July 30 2020 at 6.30 pm (BST)
Public good is a microeconomic term meaning a good that is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous, from which individuals cannot be excluded from use or could benefit from without paying for it, and where one individual’s use does not reduce availability to others. While museum collections are often considered a form of public good, private collections have not been considered public goods. I will explore how private collections became public goods in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in two cases: F. G. Stephens’ 100 articles written from 1873 to 1887 on private collectors in Britain for the Athenaeummagazine, and the work of art dealer and much sought-after art agent Martin Birnbaum who required his American collector-clients to share their collections with public institutions in order for him to purchase works for them.
Julie Codell is Professor of Art History at Arizona State University and affiliate faculty in Film and Media Studies and Asian Studies. She wrote The Victorian Artist (2003; 2012 pbk rev. ed.) and edited Victorian Artists’ Autograph Replicas: Auras, Aesthetics & Economics (Routledge 2020); Transculturation in British Art (2012; 2017 pbk); Power and Resistance: The Delhi Coronation Durbars(2012); The Political Economy of Art (2008); Imperial Co-Histories (2003); and co-edited Replication in the Long 19th Century: Re-makings and Reproductions (2018); Orientalism, Eroticism and Modern Visuality in Global Cultures (2016; 2018 pbk); Encounters in the Victorian Press (2004), and Orientalism Transposed (1998; rpt. Routledge Revivals series, 2018). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Getty Foundation, Kress Foundation, Huntington Library, Harry Ransom Center, American Institute for Indian Studies, and the Yale Center for British Art.
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