The Careers of Modern Artists
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
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