This interdisciplinary research cluster welcomes all those interested in collecting, the art market and related issues.

The cluster provides a forum for discussion and presentation through holding regular seminars, workshops and talks by invited speakers, as well as Edinburgh-based researchers – both students and staff, and from disciplines as diverse as art history, business and sociology. Individuals have the opportunity to present their latest findings to a specialist audience in a relaxed environment.

To join this research cluster or to suggest a topic for a ten-minute presentation, please contact Professor Frances Fowle and MaryKate Cleary, PhD candidate

Previous events:

Thursday/Friday 6 - 7 May; Thursday 3 June; and Thursday/Friday 15 - 16 July, The Art Market and The Museum: Ethics and Aesthetics of Institutional Collecting, Display and Patronage from c.1800 to the Present

The theme of the TIAMSA 2021 conference was is the historic and contemporary intersections of the art market and museums. The conference will considered both how museums affect the art market and how art market stakeholders, including art dealers, collectors and patrons have, both historically and in more recent years, shaped museum collections and affected exhibition practices – from art dealers like Thomas Agnew, Paul Durand-Ruel or Leo Castelli, to collectors like Sir Richard Wallace, Albert C. Barnes and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, to museum directors such as Hugo von Tschudi at the Berlin National Gallery and Jean Cassou at the Museé National d’Art Moderne in Paris.


Tuesday 1 June, 5.30pm GMT

Dr Alycen Mitchell (Queen Mary, University of London): 'The Goldschmidt auction & the Development of the Modern Auction Market 1954-1965'

On 15th October 1958, Sotheby’s mounted a spectacular evening auction featuring the seven most important Impressionist paintings from the collection of the late Jakob Goldschmidt. It took Peter Wilson, Sotheby’s chairman, the auctioneer that night, exactly twenty-one minutes to sell those seven paintings for a total of £781,000. That total broke all previous records for a single event auction. This high-profile sale marked the beginning of a new era in art auctions. In her talk Alycen Mitchell discusses the early Impressionist auctions before and after the Goldschmidt auction. She explores the Goldschmidt auction’s contribution to Sotheby’s growing lead in the global auction market and assesses its legacy.


Tuesday 18 May 2021, 5.30pm GMT

Simon Kelly (Curator and Head of Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum): 'Theodore Rousseau and An Artist's Marketing Strategies in Nineteenth-Century France'

This talk examines the various innovative marketing strategies developed by the Barbizon landscape painter, Theodore Rousseau (1812-1867). It addresses Rousseau's fresh approaches to the exhibition of his work, his cultivation of extensive dealer and auction house networks, and the internationalization of his artistic project within a rapidly expanding nineteenth-century art market. Rousseau's example will be placed within the context of his artistic peers in order to highlight the extent of his difference.


Tuesday 27 April 2021, 5pm GMT

Dr Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya (Senior Curator at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar): 'Collecting practices in the Gulf: the contribution of Sheikh Saoud Al Thani to the building of national collections in Qatar'

Sheikh Saoud bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani (1966-2014) was one of the most prominent art collectors of the last decades. He was very influential in the constitution of collections for Qatar Museums and the state of Qatar in general. His legacy as a collector is of crucial importance to Qatar Museums as he laid the foundations of the major collections within the institution. In connection with the exhibition, 'A Falcon’s Eye: Tribute to Sheikh Saoud Al Thani', presented at the Museum of Islamic Art Doha (MIA) from August 2020 until April 2021, this talk presents the different aspects of Sheikh Saoud’s collecting practices.

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