The Back Story of Twentieth-Century Art
AbstractThe back story of twentieth-century art concerns the changing intellectual, economic, and technological setting that would cause the art of the past century to be fundamentally different from that of all earlier times. The single most important change involved the structure of the market for advanced art. Innovation had always been the hallmark of important art, but since the Renaissance nearly all artists were constrained in the degree to which they could innovate by the need to satisfy powerful individual patrons or institutions. The overthrow of the Salon monopoly of the art market in Paris and the rise of a competitive market for art in the late nineteenth century removed this constraint, and gave advanced artists an unprecedented freedom to innovate. Conspicuous innovation subsequently became necessary for important modern art. All artists recognized the increased demand for innovation, but it would be conceptual artists who could take advantage of it more quickly than their experimental counterparts. Early in the twentieth century Pablo Picasso became the prototype of the conceptual innovator who maximized the economic value of his inventiveness in the new market setting, and during the remainder of the century, a series of young conceptual artists followed him in producing more radical innovations, and engaging in more extreme new forms of behavior, than had ever existed before, making this an era of revolutionary artistic change.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14066.
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as The Back Story of Twentieth-Century Art , David W. Galenson. in Conceptual Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Art , Galenson. 2009
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2008-06-13 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2008-06-13 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.