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Title: Acquiring contemporary art in today’s global market: collecting strategies at small, mid-sized and regional American museums
Authors: Jankauskas, Jennifer Kathleen
Supervisors: MacLeod, Suzanne
Knell, Simon
Award date: 1-May-2015
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Over the years, prices for contemporary works of art have continued to rise to the point that many small, mid-sized and regional American art museums have difficulties collecting in this arena. Few authors have examined this phenomenon, or the different tactics in place to combat it. This study aims to fill this gap by undertaking a detailed analysis of successful museum acquisition processes at several museums. To ground the discussion I closely examine the hierarchical systems of the art world and its subset, the art market, and investigate the ways in which particular actors, including collectors, dealers and museum curators, negotiate this realm. Despite the economic hardships that they face, many museums embark on creative strategies to compete in this global market. In order to identify and evaluate these strategies I take an ethnographic approach to the research. Participant observations were undertaken at three American art fairs to fully understand the role of key participants in the market. Furthermore, semi-structured interviews with gallery dealers, museum curators and museum directors revealed both the challenges and solutions involved in the acquisition process, and led to the examination of six key strategies currently in place at museums around the United States. An analysis of these strategies demonstrates the creativity and entrepreneurial nature necessary for continued collecting of contemporary art in a market that has outpaced acquisition budgets.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Museum Studies

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