CFP, Seminars in the History of Collecting 2019, The Wallace Collection, London

Seminars in the History of Collecting 2019

Call for Papers

The seminar series was established as part of the Wallace Collection’s commitment to the research and study of the history of collections and collecting, especially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Paris and London.  In 2019, as in previous years, we plan to organise a series of 10 seminars.

We are keen to encourage contributions covering all aspects of the history of collecting, including:

  • Formation and dispersal of collections
  • Dealers, auctioneers and the art market
  • Collectors
  • Museums
  • Inventory work
  • Research resources

The seminars, which are normally held on the last Monday of every month during the calendar year, excluding August and December, act as a forum for the presentation and discussion of new research into the history of collecting. Seminars are open to curators, academics, historians, archivists and all those with an interest in the subject. Papers are generally 45-60 minutes long and all the seminars take place at the Wallace Collection between 5.30 and 7pm.

If interested, please send a short text (500-750 words), including a brief CV, indicating any months when you would not be available to speak, by Friday 7 September 2018.

For more information and to submit a proposal, please contact:


Please note that we are able to contribute up to the following sums towards speakers’ travelling expenses on submission of receipts:

  • Speakers within the UK – £ 80
  • Speakers from Continental Europe – £ 160
  • Speakers from outside Europe – £ 250
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CFP: Small Things in the Eighteenth Century, York.

Small Things in the Eighteenth Century

Small Things 1Image: Still Life with Silver Wine Decanter, Tulip, Yixing Teapot and Globe, Roestraten, Pieter van, born 1629 – died 1700 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Thursday 6 June 2019, 9.00am7 June, 18.00

Speaker(s): This conference is co-organized by Dr Chloe Wigston Smith, University of York and Professor Beth Fowkes Tobin, University of Georgia.

We invite proposals for papers that address the scale of material objects, in particular the smaller things that have received less critical attention than larger, substantial goods. We are interested in how the scale of things shapes the cultural and / or literary significance of objects and what size might illuminate more broadly about the value and meanings of material culture.  Do small things merit different kinds of attention across genres or types of media? How does monetary value, labour and time affect perceptions of the minute? What is the place of the small in scholarly conversations about material culture across humanities disciplines?

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words, along with a very brief biography, to by October 15, 2018. Support from the British Academy will cover registration costs and food for all speakers.

Location: The King’s Manor, University of York

Admission: Ticketed. Further information to follow.


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CAA session for The International Art Market Studies, deadline extended to Aug 15: The Studio as Market

CAA session for The International Art Market Studies, deadline extended to Aug 15: The Studio as Market

Chair: Julie F. Codell

Artists’ studios have been the site of workshops, collaboration, promotion, mystery, and myth, at times considered a hallowed space, at other times a disreputable one. They have also been the places of social, political, and economic transactions that shape aesthetic values. In the studio artists self-fashioned their social status and promoted their works. They invited critics, dealers, and patrons into their studios turning studios into sites that combined a presumed mysterious creative energy with economic exchange while purposely misapprehending economic considerations. This session will explore how artists from the eighteenth century on under dwindling church and aristocratic patronage strategically entered the “free” market by using their studios to promote and sell works in conjunction with creating marketable public identities to engage buyers and generate symbolic capital for their name and their work. Topics can include the nature and function of the studio in the free market, artists’ strategies to both engage in economic activities and misrecognize economics in the studio, the studio as a site of conflicts over agency in overlapping aesthetic and economic transactions or as an exhibitionary site to display the creative process itself, the studio’s combined production and reception functions, among other topics.

By August 15 send submission materials: CAA form (at…/programs/conference/CFP-form.pdf), 1-2 pg CV and 250-word proposal– to Julie Codell, Arizona State University, at

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CFP: Tools for the Future: Researching Art Market Practices from Past to Present, Utrecht, 17-18 December 2018


International workshop series


Workshop 2 – The artist as an entrepreneur: Old and new business models in the art market

December 17-18, 2018

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, The Netherlands


We are pleased to invite you to participate to the Second International Workshop The artist as an entrepreneur: Old and new business models in the art market, organised by Creative Economy – HKU University of the Arts Utrecht on November 20-21, 2018. This workshop is part of the International Workshops Series “Tools for the Future: Researching Art Market Practices from Past to Present”, jointly organised by ART-Dev University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, Creative Economy-HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and IESA & Institute of Historical Research, London. Through individual presentations followed by group discussions, the series aims at bringing together scholars from different disciplines and areas of study of the art market to confront key issues and related methodologies that can be used to analyse the structures and principals of the art market. The first workshop was on art collectors and the third one will be on the emerging art market.


[The conference will be opened by a keynote paper given by a renowned expert on artists’ careers in the contemporary art market]


The market of the visual arts has been characterised by a traditionally short and apparently simple value chain, where between the supply (the artist) and the demand (collectors, museums) operate a growing variety of intermediaries (art galleries, dealers, critics, auction houses and, more recently, fairs and online platforms). The artist’s labour market is highly selective and uncertain, where most successful artists at the top of professional careers correspond to global celebrity brands. On the other hand, at the bottom, a multitude of emerging artists may require greater entrepreneurial skills, where risk-taking, networking and business and financial capacity can crucially complement talent.

What are the implications of these issues for artists’ career building, artistic innovation and value creation? What are the necessary skills for artists in order to emerge, consolidate and maintain their positions and compete on the labour market? What are the opportunities and challenges implied by the new technologies and, more in general technological innovation?

Entrepreneurialism is not new in the history of art, and has formed the career paths and life cycles – besides the art – of a number of famous, and less famous, artists. Entrepreneurialism also contributes to blur the separation of roles between the artists and their intermediaries (besides collectors) in, among others, the concept, production, organisation, promotion and distribution of new art, opening to new business models. In particular, the creation of the artists’ identity through the management of studio production, as evidenced by Damien Hirst or Muarakami is not new, as can be seen in the practices of artists from Rubens or the Brueghel families. Eventually, entrepreneurialism encourages less successful artists to invent alternative successful careers in other areas of the art market or elsewhere (through the internalisation of knowledge and network spillovers).

At the same time, we cannot face all these questions without considering the underlying aesthetic and ethical implications connected with the creation of artistic value. For instance, this allows us to reflect on certain artists’ conformism to market strategies in the past as in the present, perhaps aimed at diminishing the uncertainty of value creation in the market, favouring the star system and a homogeneity of taste, against the benefits of cultural diversity. Historic cases, where business as such might not be seen in the same way, will consider both how star artists created their identities and market and how critics and collectors created star artists Michaelangelo and Guido Reni being just two of such examples.


Paper submission and deadlines

We welcome submission of rigorous quantitative, theoretical, and/or qualitative studies contributing to treatment of the questions illustrated above. We particularly appreciate interdisciplinary submissions from the social sciences and the humanities.

Abstracts of papers of up to 300 words (in English) on the above mentioned topics should be sent to before September 15 2018. Notification of acceptance will be given by September 30 2018. Full papers (about 10,000 words) need to be submitted prior to the workshop by 20 November 2018.

Submissions should ideally be structured as follows:

 Introduction (Problem definition, research gap and objective)

 Theoretical foundation

 Methodology / empirical research context

 Finding/results

 Implications for art market research and practice

Each paper accepted for presentation will be assigned a discussant who will provide in-depth feedback.


Registration for the workshop is free. It closes on 7 December, 2018.



Scientific committee

Prof. Elisabetta Lazzaro, Creative Economy-HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, The Netherlands

Prof. Nathalie Moureau, ART-Dev University Paul Valéry Montpellier 3, France

Adriana Turpin, IESA & Institute of Historical Research, London, United Kingdom


With the support of the Association of Cultural Economics International (ACEI).

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CFP: Art Market and Art Collecting from 1900 to the Present in Germany and France, Berlin, Paris, 2018 and 2019.


Art Market and Art Collecting from 1900 to the Present in Germany and France

German-French Research Programme

Berlin, Germany, 8-10 November 2018

Paris, France, 18- 20 March 2019


Deadline for submissions: 14 September 2018


Refugee crises, trade wars, migration debates: within the context of global geopolitical, economic and cultural-political upheavals, Europe is presently undergoing a process of transformation. At the same time, European territorial occupations and colonial rule of the past are coming increasingly into the focus of national and transnational scholarship and the politics underlying it.


The 2018-2019 German-French Research Programme organised by the Forum Kunst und Markt/Centre for Art Market Studies of the Technische Universitat Berlin and the Centre Georg Simmel of the Paris-based École des Haute Études en Sciences Sociales in cooperation with the Deutsches Forum fur Kunstgeschichte Paris responds to these dynamics. The programme’s thematic emphasis is research into the art market and art collecting in national and transnational networks in Germany and France as well as how they relate to art and cultural policy from 1900 to the present. This historical timespan encompasses two world wars, occupations, world economic crises, stock market crashes, economic miracle years, the Cold War, the founding of the European Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and, not least importantly, the above-mentioned crises of the present.


The chief aim of the programme, which is being carried out with financial support from the Université franco-allemande/Deutsch-Franzosische Hochschule (UFA/DFH) is to network doctoral and post-doctoral scholars currently carrying out research on the art market, museums and collecting in the contexts described above across national and discipline boundaries. To this end, it provides them with opportunities to present their research at conferences in Berlin and Paris and enter into exchange with experts and specialists in the respective countries, as well as access to museum and research labs, auction houses, galleries and archives.


The prerequisite for the selected doctoral and post-doctoral scholars’ participation in the German-French research network is the attendance of both research conferences, the one taking place in Berlin (8-10 November 2018) and the one in Paris (18-20 March 2019), which build on one another and the presentation of a twenty-minute lecture on their own research projects in the context of the programme themes at one of the two conferences.


Assistance towards travel and lodging expenses will be granted. Participants will be informed about the administrative modalities of the respective German-French project partners following the selection procedure.


The conference languages will be English in Berlin (conference subject: Art Market and Art Collecting in Germany and France from 1900 to 1945), and French and English in Paris (Art Market and Art Collecting in Germany and France from 1945 to the Present).


Please send your application, complete with a lecture synopsis of 2,000 characters maximum, including spaces, and a CV to: by 14 September 2018.


The German-French organisers will carry out the selection procedure and announce the participants by the end of September 2018.


Concept and organisation: Dorothee Wimmer, Elisabeth Furtwengler (Centre for Art Market Studies/TU Berlin), Denise Vernerey-Laplace, H. Ivanoff (Centre Georg Simmel/EHESS, Paris), Julia Drost (DFK Paris)

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Book review: The Shift: Art and the Rise of Power of Contemporary Collectors by Marta Gnyp, Art and Theory Publishing, Stockholm. 2018.

art for people.pngThis discussion of the art market and the role of the collector today provides an excellent overview of the different aspects of the contemporary art market. Based on Gnyp’s PhD thesis and combined with her professional experience as a consultant in Berlin, this book  connects the collector with his world: the art fairs, auctions, art advisors and dealers. It also considers the sometimes vexed and hotly debated topic of the growing importance of financial investment in the art market. In this as in other areas, although information is taken directly from the players, through interviews and case studies, it is difficult to go below the surface. It is difficult to break certain myths, for example that the collector buys for love and with his/her heart, that he/she doesn’t sell except for very good reasons. Gnyp tries and some of her interviews honestly assess the market- one collector describes the art fair as not selling art but selling a commodity or an artist describes the dilemma when his collectors sell his works, in spite of promises to keep them forever, because they have become too valuable. The study of the Columbian artist, Oscar Murillo and his rapid rise to international stardom is interesting, particularly when Gnyp  discusses the comments by collectors on his work.  The book is an excellent coverage of the main aspects of the contemporary art market; the introduction is a model summary of what someone entering the study of the art market should consider. As the book proceeds, it gives a detached  and measured account of the art market today and the increasingly important role the collector is playing in determining the success of an artist.

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Book review: A Rothschild Renaissance: A New Look at the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum, ed. Pippa Shirley and Dora Thornton, The British Museum, London, 2017.

rothschildIn 2015 a conference was held at the British Museum to celebrate the re-installment of the Waddesdon Bequest. This has now appeared as a series of essays which reflect the range of the collection and its history from a private collection at Waddesdon Manor to its gift by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild to the museum. As such it makes fascinating reading, providing indepth analysis of some of the key works of art in the collection and placing their acquisition in the context of the taste of the time. Baron Ferdinand’s collection in the smoking room at Waddesdon was exceptional in English collecting taste,concentrating on primarily sixteenth-century works of art, including small sculptures and bronzes, silver goblets, Venetian glass, Italian maiolica, Limoges enamels, jewels and miniatures.

The introduction by Dora Thornton and the essay on the collection at Waddesdon by Pippa Shirley bring together the illustrations of the collection in 1897 from The Red Book, a copy of which has also been acquired by the British Museum, with a comprehensive account of the original collection. Written by Baron Ferdinand it gives a first-hand account of the collection and provides the most important information about the formation of the collection.

The next group of essays covers the contest of the collection, including its transfer and acquisition by the British Museum, providing an insight into collecting habits at the end ofthe 19th century in Britain as well as Ferdinand’s own concerns as he created a collection worthy of donating to a museum.

These are followed by a number of essays examining particular objects in detail:  the Palmer Cup, gilded and enamelled glass vessels, the collection of Limoges enamels and two Nautilus and Bacchus cups As well as examining the art historical value and importance of these objects, the selection offers the opportunity to see the criteria by which Ferdinand acquired these works. Quality of design and workmanship, provenance and the historical importance were all of value to him, and for the most part he has been proven correct in his assessments. However, as the final essays point out, the interest and high prices being paid for Renaissance works of art at the time also resulted in dealers such as Frédéric Spitzer or forgers such as Salomon Weiniger entering the market and creating their copies or amalgamations of original works.

This book thus covers the many fascinating and intertwined histories of one of the most important of British collections, which we are still able to study as a single collection in its new display.

Adriana Turpin, July 2018.

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Book review: Revolutionary Paris and the Market for Netherlandish Art by Darius A. Spieth, Brill, 2018.

rev paris.jpg

The growth of interest in Dutch and Flemish painting in eighteenth-century Paris has been a subject of considerable interest and research by recent scholars such as de Marchi and van Miegroet, Michel, Thomas and Barbara Gaehtgens, to mention only a few. What is of exceptional interest in this study by Darius Spieth is the detailed understanding of the workings of the art market in Paris from the Ancien Regime up to the 1830s.  The book concentrates on the career of Jean Pierre Lebrun, and as such is rich in detailed accounts of individual sales and purchases during this period in the market as well as Lebrun’s negotiations and government acquisitions under the Revolution.

Another fascinating discussion is on the taste for Netherlandish painting as evidenced by the Orleans collection.  Usually rather a neglected aspect of the Orleans collection, the author analyses in some detail their subject matter, arguing that the concentration on libertine subjects reflects the Regent’s particular taste. The points made are interesting, but perhaps underplays the role that mythological subjects had played in secular collections of Italian as well as Flemish paintings from the seventeenth century. It is perhaps rather curious to deal with this collection, formed primarily in the early eighteenth century after, rather than before analysing the Revolutionary sales. It underlies the difficulties in discussing the taste rather than the market for these paintings.

Taste is taken up in the last chapter, entitled ‘A History and Taste and Money across Three Centuries’, which Spieth uses to conclude his book, emphasizing that after the Revolution, Netherlandish art was made acceptable and old value judgments were revised. As the discussion throughout the book shows, however, the taste and market for Dutch and Flemish paintings was complex; Italianate Dutch paintings,  as with works by Rubens, certainly were one aspect of the eighteenth-century market, reflecting perhaps the replacement of difficult to find Italian paintings, with easier and more accessible Dutch paintings. However, the eighteenth-century collectors also acquired genre paintings by Ostade, Steen and Teniers of a far more earthy type: so, was it the Revolution that gave these their value? This is an important addition to the literature on the art market in Paris, covering a new area of the subject and linking the taste for Dutch and Flemish paintings of the eighteenth century to that of the later-nineteenth.

Adriana Turpin, 2018.

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Recent Society visit to Longford Castle, 30 June 2018

event-longford-castle-garden-wide-bannerOn 30 June, SocHistColl visited the unusual hexagonal country seat of Longford Castle, near Salisbury, for a private tour round the house, with time afterwards for a look round the splendid gardens, which looked particularly fine in their summer glory.

The visit was organised by Susanna Avery-Quash, who as Senior Research Curator (History of Collecting) at the National Gallery, is responsible for the public tours that the Gallery organises with Longford Castle. To start proceedings off, Susanna explained the long association that Longford has had with the National Gallery: some of the finest paintings now in the Gallery’s collection came from Longford, notably, Holbein’s Ambassadors and Poussin’s Adoration of the Golden Calf, while some other very great pictures from Longford are currently on loan at Trafalgar Square, including Holbein’s Erasmus. She explained how the partnership developed in a few years ago through a Collaborative Doctoral Award with Birkbeck University of London, through which research was undertaken into the collectors who built up the extraordinary art collections at Longford during the long eighteenth century. Dr Amelia Smith, the student who undertook the research, has subsequently published a book on the topic, which some members purchased at the end of their tour as a memento!

Longford’s chief guide, Alexandra Ormerod with one of the other two house guides, Paul Chapman, treated us to a really wonderful and eye-opening ‘double-act’ round the house, explaining how the collection had been formed by successive generations of the Des Bouverie family. The family were descended, they explained, from the Huguenot, Laurens Des Bouverie, who, having fled from religious persecution during the Reformation, settled in London and became a prosperous silk merchant, with his enterprising descendants becoming wealthy landowners in England. The family was ennobled in 1747 with Sir Jacob Des Bouverie becoming First Viscount Folkestone while his son, William, was created an Earl in 1765. Longford has continued to be home to the Earls of Radnor ever since and last year, 2017, they celebrated 300 years of residency at Longford.

As for the collections, Alexandra and Paul explained how the Radnor family had historically interested themselves in Italian and French art as well as art from the Low Countries, and how alongside purchasing paintings by the most esteemed masters of the day like Anthony van Dyck, Claude, Teniers and Hals, they had commissioned likenesses of family members from the most fashionable British portrait painters of the day like Hudson, Reynolds and Gainsborough. They also explained how paintings were just one of the type of objects purchased and how during the eighteenth century oriental porcelain, Brussels tapestries, and exceptional English and continental furniture had also been accumulated. The members enjoyed the chance to ask questions and share ideas and information with the guides and among themselves. Everyone went away having learnt a lot and having seen a cornucopia of beautiful works of art, with something for everyone’s tastes.

The trip was rounded off by a tasty Saturday lunch in the local pub where members could continue to relax with friend s and colleagues in a convivial atmosphere.

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SocHistColl Americas Curatorial Walk-Through, Tuesday 12 June 2018, New York.

webimage-4EB10514-5D3D-4CBF-A33C1436A17F96EA.jpgInstallation view including Thomas Mulcaire, The Struggle Continue (A Luta Continua), 2003.

The Society for the History of Collecting – Americas
invites members to a curatorial walk-through
with Florence Derieux, Director of Exhibitions, Hauser & Wirth,
of “A Luta Continua”: The Sylvio Perlstein Collection

To take place at Hauser & Wirth, Chelsea,
548 West 22nd Street
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 11am
To RSVP, please email
For press on this extensive collection:

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