Pioneers of the Global Art Market


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By the turn of the twentieth century, Paris was the capital of the art world. While this is usually understood to mean that Paris was the center of art production and trading, this book examines a phenomenon that has received little attention thus far: Paris-based dealers relied on an ever-expanding international network of peers. Many of the city's galleries capitalized on foreign collectors' interest by expanding globally and proactively cultivating transnational alliances. If the French capital drew artists from around the world-from Cassatt to Picasso-the contemporary-art market was international in scope. Art dealers deliberately tapped into a growing pool of discerning collectors in northern and eastern Europe, the UK, and the USA. International trade was rendered not just desirable but necessary by the devastating effects of wars, revolutions, currency devaluation and market crashes which stalled collecting in Europe.

Pioneers of the Global Art Market assembles original scholarship based on a close inspection of and fresh perspective on extant dealer records. It caters to an amplified curiosity concerning the emergence and workings of our unprecedented contemporary-centric and global art market. This anthology fills a significant gap in the expanding field of art market studies by addressing how, initially, contemporary art, which is now known as historical modernism, made its way into collections: who validated what by promoting and selling it, where, and how. It includes unpublished material, concrete examples, bibliographical and archival references, and should appeal to academics, curators, educators, dealers, collectors, artists and art lovers alike. It celebrates the modern art dealer as transnational impresario, the global reach of the modern-art market, and the impact of traders on the history of collecting, and ultimately on the history of art.

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