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.

The team also hope that members of the cluster will participate in the forthcoming TIAMSA (The International Art Market Studies Association) conference on Museums and the Art Market which will be held at ECA and the National Galleries of Scotland on 15-17 July 2021.

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


Forthcoming events:

Tuesday 20 October 2020 - 3:00pm GMT

Dr Kirsten Lloyd and Julie-Ann Delaney, 'Collecting Contemporary: University Art Collections in the 21st Century'

The University’s Contemporary Art Research Collection was established in 2015 in partnership with academics in the School of History of Art. Taking globalisation as its central theme, the collection sets a specific focus on women's experience and the contribution of feminist thought.  Presented by Julie-Ann Delany, Art Collection Curator, and Kirsten Lloyd, Lecturer in Curatorial Theory and Practice, this talk explores the purpose of a research collection today and asks what a feminist approach might look like in this context.

Find out more and book your place >


Wednesday 25 November 2020 - 5:30PM GMT

Dr Shir Kochavi, '"Heirless" Jewish cultural Property Post-Holocaust: the case of two museums'

Despite the extensive research over the past twenty years on Holocaust related restitution, little is known about the disposal process of ‘heirless’ Jewish cultural property at Central Collecting Points (CCPs) in Germany. This talk follows the involvement of two institutions in this process: the Bezalel Museum in Jerusalem and the Jewish Museum in New York. In the early 1950s, both museums were used as repositories for a large number of the items shipped from Germany by the staff of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction (JCR) that was responsible for the allocation of ‘heirless’ Jewish property.

Find out more and book your place >


Tuesday 15 December 2020 - 5:30pm GMT

Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth, '"Sèvres-mania" and the late 19th-Century art market'

This talk will look at the mania and prices for old Sèvres porcelain at auction and focus on a court case between dealers Werheimer and Goode about authenticity/counterfeits and Sèvres in the 1880s.

Find out more and book your place >


Thursday 15 - Saturday 17 July 2021, 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 is the historic and contemporary intersections of the art market and museums. The conference will consider 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.


Previous events:

Wednesday 12 February 2020, 3pm - 5pm, Evolution House Room 5.21

Prof Candace Jones (University of Edinburgh Business School, Chair of Global Creative Enterprise) presented on the topic of art brokerage and how technology is replacing auction houses and art dealers. We also heard from Josh Jenkins (University of Edinburgh, ECA, History of Art, PhD candidate) on art investment and speculation in 19th century Britain.


Wednesday 13 November 2019, 3pm - 5pm, Lauriston Fire Station Seminar Room C

Dr Dave O'Brien (University of Edinburgh Chancellor's Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries) presented a talk entitled "Inequality talk: How discourses by senior men reinforce exclusions from creative occupations". We also enjoyed a contribution from Irene Walsh (University of Edinburgh, ECA History of Art PhD candidate) titled "Researching the early 20th-century New York art market: sources, methods, challenges, surprises".


Wednesday 16 October 2019, 3pm - 5pm, Lauriston Fire Station Seminar Room C

Professor Frances Fowle (University of Edinburgh, History of Art) provided a talk on the early twentieth century British collector Mrs. Elizabeth Workman. MaryKate Cleary (University of Edinburgh, ECA History of Art, PhD Candidate) contributed a discussion on Modernist collecting and the mediation of social and aesthetic experience, as well as symbolic value, in the public sphere, through the case study of the art dealer Paul Rosenberg.


Wednesday 20 March 2019, 2pm - 4pm, Evolution House

ECA PhD candidate Alina Sinelnyk provided an introduction to her research and its links to the Chinese contemporary art market. We also welcomed Alice Farren-Bradley, a Lecturer in Art and Cultural Property Law at Kingston University, and PhD candidate at Newcastle University, whose research focuses on US/UK military cultural property protection initiatives, in WWII-era Greece and Italy, as well as Iraq in the early 2000s, and the respective impact on the art trade.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019, 2pm - 4pm, Room P7, Hunter Building, ECA

We enjoyed a talk from 2nd Year History of Art PhD candidate Danielle Smith, whose research examines the socio-cultural functions of eighteenth-century Spanish printed costume books; and from Colin Brady, 3rd Year History of Art PhD candidate, who investigates how the West came to know Asian art through Yamanaka and Company, art dealers operating during periods of conflict that included the Boxer Uprising (1899-1901).

Wednesday 15 May 2019, 2pm - 4pm, Torridon Room, Charles Stewart House

We were treated to a wonderfully informative lecture by Cultural Sociologist Dr Lisa McCormick (Lecturer in the Department of Sociology) who explained how the sociological theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Howard Becker are applicable to art market studies. Nikki Kane, PhD candidate in History of Art, then introduced her research which focuses on the role of festivals in contemporary art careers and examines issues around cultural labour, festival and biennial cultures and cultural practices.

Saturday 28 September 2019, Women Collectors in Britain Conference, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, National Galleries of Scotland

The aim of this conference was to raise awareness of the important contributions made by women collectors in Britain, focusing on the visual arts from the 18th century to the present day.

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