Slow Down and Look for the 4th Annual Slow Art Day

Posted in museums by Editor on April 27, 2013

Slow Art Day

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From ARTInfo:

Kyle Chayka, “Slow Art Day Fights Visual Grazing With a Deep Dive into Museums,” ARTInfo (17 August 2012).

A 2001 study showed that visitors to the Metropolitan Museum looked at individual works of art for an average of just 17 seconds at a time, a visual habit called ‘grazing’. Even the most iconic artworks in the world can’t seem to hold our attention: The Louvre discovered that visitors look at the Mona Lisa for just 15 seconds on average  [link to James Elkins,”How Long Does It Take to Look at a Painting,” The Huffington Post (6 November 2010).] In the age of the moving image and endlessly updated World Wide Web, works of art in more traditional media don’t get the focus they deserve. Slow Art Day, a three-year-old initiative currently ramping up for its 2013 event, is looking to change all that with an orchestrated long art-viewing session at museums around the world.

The full article is available here»

Conference | London and the Emergence of a European Art Market

Posted in conferences (to attend), Member News by Editor on April 27, 2013

From The National Gallery:

London and the Emergence of a European Art Market, c.1780–1820
The National Gallery, London,  21-22 June 2013

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The French Revolution and the ensuing Napoleonic Wars instigated a sweeping redistribution of art throughout Europe. Large volumes of valuable objects – often entire collections, from monasteries, churches, and palaces – were widely dispersed via auction and private treaty sales. Networks of agents provided the infrastructure for the circulation of art works and sales information across borders, which promoted a flourishing international art market.

This two-day conference seeks to examine the role of London in this developing market by shedding new light on the mechanisms of the art trade that connected major European centres around 1800. Scholars from a range of disciplines and countries will discuss broad research questions such as:

• Did the long-term effects of the political turmoil in France alter the existing networks of dealers and connoisseurs?
• What would have been the motivations to ship art works to distant cities?
• How sophisticated was the auction catalogue as economic tool and literary genre in various countries?
• Is it really possible to talk about a European art market or were there still relatively independent local markets?

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F R I D A Y ,  2 1  J U N E  2 0 1 3

10.00  Registration

10.30  Nicholas Penny (The National Gallery), Welcome and introduction

10.35  Christian Huemer (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles) and Maximilian Schich (University of Texas, Dallas), What’s in the data? Visualising the Getty Provenance Index®

Session 1: Collections
Moderator: Adriana Turpin (Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts / University of Warwick)

11.00  Camilla Murgia (Université de Neuchâtel), Collecting patterns for London: From private museums to commercial art galleries

11.25  Break with refreshments

11.45  Wendy Wassyng Roworth (University of Rhode Island), Angelica Kauffman: The acquisition and dispersal of an artist’s collection, 1782–1825

12.10  Elodie Goëssant (Université Paris-Sorbonne IV), A surprising art auction: The George Watson-Taylor sale in 1823

12.35  Discussion

1.00  Lunch break

Session 2: Agents
Moderator: Gail Feigenbaum (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles)

2.00  Julia Armstrong-Totten (Independent Scholar, Los Angeles), From jack-of-all-trades to professional: The development of the early modern picture dealer in 18th-century London

2.25  Sarah Bakkali (Université Paris X Nanterre), The Trumbull sale of 1797: Players in the Paris-London art market during the French Revolution

2.50  Carole Blumenfeld (Palais Fesch-Musée des Beaux-arts d’Ajaccio), Pierre-Joseph Lafontaine (1758-1835) and the formation of European private collections

3.15  Break with refreshments

3.45  Maria Celeste Cola (Sapienza Università di Roma), Thomas Hope and Gioacchino Marini: Roman agent ‘de’ signori inglesi’

4.10  Ana Maria García Fernández (Universidad de Oviedo), Spanish art dealers in the United Kingdom

4.35  Discussion

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S A T U R D A Y ,  2 2  J U N E  2 0 1 3

10.00  Registration

10.30  Thomas W. Gaehtgens (Getty Research Institute), Welcome and introduction

Session 3: Information
Moderator: Hans Van Miegroet (Duke University)

10.35  David Ekserdjian (University of Leicester), William Buchanan’s Memoirs of Painting (1824) and his observations on the art trade during the Napoleonic period

11.00  Bénédicte Miyamoto (Université Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle), British buying patterns at auction sales, 1780–1800: Did the influx of European art have an impact on the British public’s preferences?

11.25  Break with refreshments

11.45  Steven Adams (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Noising things abroad’: Sales catalogues and the construction of value in the early 19th-century art market

12.10  Rebecca Lyons (Christie’s Education, London / University of Glasgow), Marketing and selling the collection of Welbore Ellis Agar in 1806

12.35  Discussion

1.00  Lunch break

Session 4: Artworks
Moderator: Susanna Avery-Quash (The National Gallery)

2.00  Hans Van Miegroet (Duke University) and Dries Lyna (Radboud University Nijmegen), International art dealer networks and triangular arbitrage between Paris, Amsterdam and London

2.25  Guido Guerzoni (Università Luigi Bocconi, Milan), Italian exports of works of art to the United Kingdom

2.50  Peter Carpreau (M – Museum Leuven), The Getty Provenance Index® under examination: The taste for 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting in London (1780–1820)

3.15  Break with refreshments

3.45  Olivier Bonfait (Université de Bourgogne, Dijon), London around 1800: An international art trade or a globalised art market?

4.10  Discussion

4.30  Roundtable
Moderator: Nicholas Penny (The National Gallery)
Thomas W. Gaehtgens (Getty Research Institute)
Guido Guerzoni (Università Luigi Bocconi, Milan)
Patrick Michel (Université Lille 3)
Michael North (Universität Greifswald)

British Sales 1780–1800: The Rise of the London Art Market

Posted in resources by Editor on April 27, 2013

From The National Gallery:

The National Gallery has completed a collaborative project with the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, to augment records about British art sales in the crucial decades from 1780 to 1800


Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 9.43.54 PMThe disruptions caused by the French Revolution had a huge effect on the redistribution of art throughout Europe during the late 18th century. Countless important art collections, including the famous Orléans collection, were dispersed in auction sales. Since many of these auctions took place in Britain’s capital city, London developed into a major import market and soon established itself as the hub of the international art trade.

The Getty Research Institute has been conducting research into European art sales for the past 25 years, notably in relation to art sales catalogues from major cities in Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia from 1650 to 1840. The Institute has been making its findings available on the Getty Provenance Index®.

In relation to British art sales, it concentrated earlier research into early 19th-century British records. By comparison, little attention was ever focussed on late 18th-century British auction records. This big gap in knowledge prevented meaningful analysis into the art markets of Great Britain, into the continuing lives of dispersed French collections, and – due to the interconnectedness of national art markets – into the development of cultural networks throughout Europe.

In order to rectify the situation, the National Gallery and the Getty Research Institute forged a collaboration from October 2009 to August 2012. The aim of this jointly-funded project was to discover all extant British sale catalogues – in London and across the UK – and to enter them into the Index, thus significantly augmenting the coverage of one of the most powerful and important tools for scholars researching art markets and collecting practices.

British art sales catalogues

The research project, ‘British Sales 1780-1800’, has successfully added over 67,000 records from 1,408 British art auction catalogues to the Getty database: 29,000 records from the 1780s and a further 38,000 records from the 1790s. The database now contains almost 80% of known British art sales catalogues in public collections for the period.

Explore British art sales on the Getty Provenance Index®

The research

The research team worked with many institutions in the UK and abroad to find and then consult and photograph relevant holdings of catalogues from the period. Among the important archives and libraries in London, data was input from annotated auction catalogues held by the Wallace Collection, the British Library, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum,  the Courtauld Institute and the National Archives at Kew, as well as from the National Gallery’s own substantial holdings of historic sales catalogues.

In addition, the team sourced catalogues from numerous regional UK record offices, local archives and university collections, including the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham; the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library, Oxford. Furthermore, the researchers forged close links with various foreign institutions, notably the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.


The British Sales research project has resulted in expanded coverage of British materials in the Index®. These tools will allow researchers to track patterns of taste in order to understand better cultural transfers, and to explore more fully the power of art markets. Furthermore, generating new knowledge about the history of the art market will allow greater interdisciplinary exchange among scholars from a variety of fields, including art history, economics, and cultural studies.

To highlight some of the fruits of the collaboration between the National Gallery and the Getty Research Institute, as well as to promote further research in the field, the two institutions are organising a scholarly symposium at the National Gallery on 21–22 June 2013: London and the Emergence of a European Art Market (c. 1780-1820). The theme of the conference will be the European art market of the later 18th century, and in particular, the ways that the market operated at both national and international levels as well as its impact on the history of collecting and taste in public and private spheres.

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