Talking prices symbolic meanings of prices on the market for contemporary art
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Published
Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2007.
ISBN
9781400849406 (e-book)
Physical Desc
xii, 264 pages : ill.
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Published
Princeton, N.J. ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2007.
Format
ONLINE
Language
English
ISBN
9781400849406 (e-book)

Notes

General Note
Originally published: 2005.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-253) and index.
Description
A study of how dealers price contemporary art, this text shows how dealers convey social and cultural meanings to their colleagues, artists, and collectors through their rhetoric about prices, and how the construction of value in the art world is as much about the people who produce and desire art as about the art itself.,How do dealers price contemporary art in a world where objective criteria seem absent? Talking Prices is the first book to examine this question from a sociological perspective. On the basis of a wide range of qualitative and quantitative data, including interviews with art dealers in New York and Amsterdam, Olav Velthuis shows how contemporary art galleries juggle the contradictory logics of art and economics. In doing so, they rely on a highly ritualized business repertoire. For instance, a sharp distinction between a gallery's museumlike front space and its businesslike back space safeguards the separation of art from commerce. Velthuis shows that prices, far from being abstract numbers, convey rich meanings to trading partners that extend well beyond the works of art. A high price may indicate not only the quality of a work but also the identity of collectors who bought it before the artist's reputation was established. Such meanings are far from unequivocal. For some, a high price may be a symbol of status; for others, it is a symbol of fraud. Whereas sociological thought has long viewed prices as reducing qualities to quantities, this pathbreaking and engagingly written book reveals the rich world behind these numerical values. Art dealers distinguish different types of prices and attach moral significance to them. Thus the price mechanism constitutes a symbolic system akin to language.
Additional Physical Form
Also available in printed form ISBN 9780691134031
Reproduction
Electronic reproduction.,Askews and Holts.,Mode of access: World Wide Web.

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Digital Library - Digital Library Browns ebook381.457Available Online