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The New York School vs. the School of Paris: Who Really Made the Most Important Art After World War II?


  • David Galenson


American historians of modern art routinely assume that after World War II New York replaced Paris as the center of the western art world. An analysis of the illustrations in French textbooks shows that French art scholars disagree: they rate Jean Dubuffet as the most important painter of the era, ahead of Jackson Pollock, and they consider Yves Klein's anthropometries of 1960 as the greatest contribution of a single year, in front of Andy Warhol's innovations in Pop Art. Yet the French texts also show that the French artists' practices and conceptions of art paralleled those of the Americans. Thus while French and American scholars disagree over the relative importance of their nations' artists, there is no disagreement that the most important art of the 1950s was produced by experimental seekers, and that of the 60s by conceptual finders.

Suggested Citation

  • David Galenson, 2002. "The New York School vs. the School of Paris: Who Really Made the Most Important Art After World War II?," NBER Working Papers 9149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9149
    Note: LS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Casacuberta & Ianina Rossi & Máximo Rossi, 2003. "El arte y el éxito: un matrimonio incómodo," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0303, Department of Economics - dECON.

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    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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