IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Was Jackson Pollock the Greatest Modern American Painter? A Quantitative Investigation

Listed author(s):
  • David W. Galenson

A survey of the illustrations in textbooks of modern art demonstrates that scholars do consider Jackson Pollock the most important modern American painter, but not by a wide margin over Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, the leading artists of the following generation. The distribution of the illustrations furthermore reveals a sharp contrast in the careers of the major artists of these two generations: the Abstract Expressionists produced their most important contributions late in their careers, whereas their successors innovated early in theirs. This difference resulted from the differing approaches of the artists, for the Abstract Expressionists were experimental innovators, who developed new visual images by a process of trial and error, while the leading artists of the 1960s were conceptual innovators, whose work embodied new ideas.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8830.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2002
Publication status: published as David W. Galenson, 2002. "Was Jackson Pollock the Greatest Modern American Painter?: A Quantitative Investigation," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, vol 35(3), pages 117-128.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8830
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Orazio Attanasio & Patrick Bolton & Hyun Song Shin, 1999. "Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-2.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8830. See general 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.