High Art Down Home: An Economic Ethnography of a Local Art Market

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 1, 1996 - Art - 250 pages
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How do artists, collectors, dealers, and curators whose lives and livelihoods are so intimately affected by the valuation of art manage to cope with such an intangible market?

To answer this question, Stuart Plattner eschews the spotlights and media-hype of glitzy New York galleries, and focuses instead upon the more localized, and much more typical, world of the St. Louis art scene. What emerges is the most comprehensive description ever published of a contemporary regional avant-garde center, where noble aesthetic ambitions compete with the exigencies of economic survival. Plattner's skillful use of in-depth interviews enables the market's key participants to speak for themselves, giving voice to the many frustrations and rewards, motivations and constraints that influence their interactions with their work, the market, and each other.

"Plattner analyzes the social and economic factors that govern art markets outside the long shadow cast by chic New York galleries. An insightful and fascinating work."—Library Journal

"Explains much about the conundrums and paradoxes of the art world as a whole."—Eddie Silva, Riverfront Times
 

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High art down home: an economic ethnography of a local art market

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Why is one painting worth many tens of thousands of dollars while another only a few hundred? What forces create the contemporary art market? And does such a market even exist outside the most ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Rise of the Modern Art Market
27
The St Louis Metropolitan Area
48
Artists
78
Dealers
124
Collectors
164
Conclusion
194
Areas
214
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