Call for Papers | Creating Markets, Collecting Art

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 21, 2015

Of the twelve sessions slated for inclusion in the conference, Creating Markets, Collecting Art, I’ve listed details for two that seem particularly relevant for the eighteenth century. The full listing is available here. CH

Creating Markets, Collecting Art: Celebrating 250 Years of Christie’s
Christie’s King Street, London, 14–15 July 2016

Proposals due by 7 December 2015

To commemorate the anniversary of the foundation of Christie’s auction house in 1766 a two-day conference will be held at Christie’s King Street, St James’s. Organised by Christie’s Education, the theme of Creating Markets and Collecting Art has been chosen to reflect a progressive, collaborative and cross-disciplinary approach to the study of works of art. The conference is designed to explore the interrelationship between commerce, collecting and the idea of the ‘academy’ and how this has evolved over time.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Craig Clunas, University of Oxford and Inge Reist, Director of the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting.

Please send your proposal to the Session Convenor/s listed at the top of each Session by 7 December 2015. Papers should be 20–25 minutes in length and there will be 3–4 in each 2-hour session, with time for discussion. Proposals should be accompanied by a brief biography and the whole submission not more than 250 words. Please also cc your proposal to conference2016@christies.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

Rebecca Lyons, Head of Subject: Renaissance to Modern
M Michael, Academic Director, London
Véronique Chagnon-Burke, Academic Director, New York

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Christie’s and the Birth of the European Art Market
Filip Vermeylen, Erasmus University Rotterdam; vermeylen@eshcc.eur.nl

The basic structure of today’s global art market has its roots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the establishment of auction houses and art dealerships. These are fascinating times when the art markets of Europe were becoming inter-connected and the cross-border trade in works of art was expanding rapidly. Christie’s in London was a prime mover of these developments, as the company fast rose to primacy after its inception in 1766. This session aims to explore how Christie’s pioneering business practices were instrumental in shaping the London art market, and how the company was able to secure the sale of the most prominent art collections of the period. The session thereby addresses one of the seminal themes of the conference by examining how intermediaries in the art ecosystems may have shaped national tastes in the visual arts in the early years of Christie’s, and how this relates to the business models of the major auction houses in the contemporary art market. In addition, the internationalization of the art trade invites interesting comparisons with today’s emerging art markets.

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Home Subjects: The Art Market and the Domestic Sphere in Britain
Anne Nellis Richter, American University and Morna O’Neill, Wake Forest University; anne.nellis@gmail.com / oneillme@wfu.edu

The commonly-held assumption that the English style of living is intertwined with tastes in collecting and patronage can be traced back centuries. In the 1790s, for example, when important Italian paintings were being imported into Britain during the French Revolution, the idea that such pictures might be unsuitable for English collectors and houses gained a certain currency. One critic wrote, “A most puerile objection is…made against the pictures of Paul Veronese, because…they cannot be admitted into our London houses.” The decoration of the private home has become the focus of a tremendous amount of academic energy during the past five years. What is missing from these accounts, however, is a consideration of the vital role that the art market played in enabling the decoration of interiors at all social ranks. This session seeks to reconsider the relationship between the art market and the domestic sphere in the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. We welcome proposals that explore the complicated set of expectations governing the acquisition and sale of artworks intended for private display, including but not limited to the role of the art dealer as interior decorator, the auction ‘house’ and the domestic ideal, and the relationship between private and public modes of display and decoration, plotting a new trajectory for modernity traced through the private, domestic sphere.

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