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The Careers of Modern Artists

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  • David Galenson

Abstract

Using transactions from fine art auctionsfor 42 leading American contemporary artists Iestimate the relationship between the value of apainting and the artist's age at the date of itsexecution. The econometric estimates show that artistsborn before 1920 were likely to have produced theirmost valuable work late in their careers, whereasartists born in the 1920s and '30s were more likely tohave done their most valuable work at an early age.Comparison of these results to evidence drawn from arthistory textbooks and retrospective exhibitionsfurthermore indicates that these artists' mostvaluable work has also been that most highly regardedby scholars. I argue that the shift across generationsin the shape of these artists' age-price profiles wasa result of the evolution of modern painting and agrowth in the demand for contemporary American artduring the 1950s and '60s. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • David Galenson, 2000. "The Careers of Modern Artists," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 24(2), pages 87-112, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:24:y:2000:i:2:p:87-112
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1007590329233
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nauro F. Campos & Renata Leite Barbosa, 2009. "Paintings and numbers: an econometric investigation of sales rates, prices, and returns in Latin American art auctions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 28-51, January.
    2. Bertacchini Enrico & Friel Martha, 2013. "Understanding creativity and innovation in industrial design: an historical and empirical assessment," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201311, University of Turin.
    3. BOONE, Christophe & DECLERCK, Carolyn H. & RAO, Hayagreeva & VAN DEN BUYS, Kristin, 2009. "Dissonance and harmony: A study of the recognition of artists in modernistic music in Brussels; 1919-1939," ACED Working Papers 2009006, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. Caballer Mellado, V. & De La Poza, E., 2010. "La Numismática como objeto de inversión y valoración/Numismatics as an object of investment and valuation," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 475(22á.)-4, Agosto.
    5. Ventura Charlin & Arturo Cifuentes, 2013. "A new financial metric for the art market," Papers 1309.6929, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2015.
    6. John Galbraith & Douglas Hodgson, 2015. "Innovation, experience and artists’ age-valuation profiles: evidence from eighteenth-century rococo and neoclassical painters," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(3), pages 259-275, August.
    7. David W. Galenson, 2004. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young or Old Innovator: Measuring the Careers of Modern Novelists," NBER Working Papers 10213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Victor Ginsburgh & Sheila Weyers, 2006. "Creativity and Life Cycles of Artists," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(2), pages 91-107, September.
    9. Olav Velthuis, 2011. "Art Markets," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Galbraith, John W. & Hodgson, Douglas J., 2012. "Dimension reduction and model averaging for estimation of artists' age-valuation profiles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 422-435.
    11. David W. Galenson, 2004. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Very Young or Very Old Innovator: Creativity at the Extremes of the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 10515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Douglas Hodgson, 2011. "Age–price profiles for Canadian painters at auction," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 35(4), pages 287-308, November.
    13. Merijn Rengers & Olav Velthuis, 2002. "Determinants of Prices for Contemporary Art in Dutch Galleries, 1992–1998," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 26(1), pages 1-28, February.
    14. R. Ekelund & Rand Ressler & John Watson, 2000. "The ``Death-Effect'' in Art Prices: A Demand-Side Exploration," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 24(4), pages 283-300, November.
    15. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "The Economics of Latin American Art: Creativity Patterns and Rates of Return," NBER Working Papers 10302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Elena Stepanova, 2017. "The impact of color palettes on the prices of paintings," LEM Papers Series 2017/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    17. Karol Jan BOROWIECKI, 2011. "War and Creativity: Solving the War-Art Puzzle for Classical Music Composition," Trinity Economics Papers tep0711, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    18. Olav Velthuis, 2008. "Michael Hutter and David Throsby (eds): Beyond Price. Value in Culture, Economics and the Arts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 32(4), pages 321-324, December.

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    Keywords

    contemporary art; age-price profiles;

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