A new book on the art business market has been published today, edited by Dr Iain Robertson, and Professor Jos Hackforth-Jones of Sotheby's Institute in London.
I attended the book launch at Sotheby's Institute and it was good to catch up with colleagues and friends. The book offers a thorough perspective on the art market and the business of art, from a historical perspective up to the present day. There aren't many books that cover such a wide range of subject areas and historical references, all focused on art business.
The key topics covered range from larger-scale questions about the globalisation, funding, and ethics of the art market, to the art objects themselves, such as connoisseurship, authenticity and conservation. The book gives an in-depth introduction to the processes, structures, trends and peculiarities of the global art business.
When asked about when did art become a business, and what makes the art business of the 21st century distinctive, Iain Robertson said that the consensus is that the modern art market started around the 17th century in the Netherlands. In the 21st century two things have really changed. One is financialisation - art’s now considered by many to be an asset class and therefore the value and the price have gone up accordingly. The other is technology. Because we can now trade and market art online, it’s a much more liquid commodity.
You can buy a copy of the book here: http://www.lundhumphries.com/products/75459
and it's on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Business-Today-Handbooks-International/dp/184822091X