Private Collecting, Public Display: Art Markets and Museums was the 2-day inaugural conference hosted by the Research Centre for the Study of the Art and Antiques Market at University of Leeds on 30-31 March 2017.
With eighty delegates from a variety of academic and cultural institutions in attendance, it was an international affair. With seven themed panels, ranging from the birth of the museum, to deaccessioning and questions surrounding ‘museum quality’, a roundtable session featuring a dealer, private collector, and museum curator, and a powerful keynote from Dr Susanna Avery-Quash, Senior Research Curator (History of Collecting) at the National Gallery. Dr Avery-Quash opened her keynote by promoting the notion of collaboration between the academic fields of the history of collections and the art market, citing a variety of recent conferences, publications, and scholarly programmes. In fact, the notion of collaboration re-appeared throughout the conference as speakers discussed relationships between agents, dealers, and collectors, as well as the interdependency between museums and the art market, in aiding the transition from private collection, to public display. Drawing the conference to a close on the final day, Dr Mark Westgarth, Director of the Centre, summarised the key themes, and looked forward to continuing conversations and collaborations between the scholarly fields of art markets, museums, and the histories of collecting.