Category Archives: Art

Something New – Markets and Art

As an experiment in sociology and blogging, Jenn (from and I have put together a brief video on culture and markets, the beginning of what we hope will be a conversation at the intersection of culture, sociology, and economics. We’ll work on the lighting and switch off the big-head/small-head, but we hope you like […]

All right, stop, collaborate, and listen

On Galenson

The New York Times printed an article today about David Galenson, and I have nothing really to add. Oh, wait, other than to say that: 1) Economists prey on disciplines with low self-esteem, and the fact that anyone in the art world would even bother with Galenson is evidence that art history, and the arts […]

Anonymity, thing of the past?

Jenn notes with sadness the unmasking of Banksky, and how she is both saddened and mildly implicated in the process. Authority and identity are largely left understated in someone like Max Weber’s societal theories on the trajectory towards rationalization, and picked up instead in Foucault’s notions of governmentality. I wonder what it means for us […]

Rethinking markets – market metaphors

I think it’s time to regroup, and actually do some of the ‘re’ thinking of markets I’m always planning to get around to. I want to do so in the context of three recent observations: The Examples The first observation comes from Fabio Rojas, over at the orgtheory blog – though it is slowly becoming […]

Anchoring, art-style

At the Tate Modern, there are a number of paintings by Pablo Picasso. Ten are currently on display (well, as of last week, this obviously changes). Interestingly, however, there is no room where you can see ‘the Picasso paintings’ in one place. Contrast this with the room of Gerhard Richter’s, or the gallery of Rothkos. […]

Museums as value-chargers

I have not worked out the distinctions between value and values, or the separate spheres arguments of Zelizer as it fits more generally into economic sociology – efforts to bend her work to my frameworks don’t generally work, and it’s a failure of my frameworking. Still, this excerpt from Kopytoff seems incredibly insightful to me: […]

Chagall v Cezanne

I was a panelist yesterday discussing art markets, at the Christie’s education center. Great group of people, and really lovely of Marisa Kayyem to invite me. One of the more interesting moments was in our discussion of the primacy of market prices as a measure of value for a work. I had put up a […]

No seriously, how do you know what you like?

This article from the NYT today highlights “art anxiety,” the inability for wealthy folks to purchase real art for fear that they will either pay too much, or be outed as having poor taste. There’s interesting stuff here, though I’ve mostly given up on the Times’ feature articles nowadays (good gracious they’ve moved from interesting […]

How do you know what you like?

While partaking in a stupendous lunch, the conversation turns to the question of how do people know what they like? Drinking deeply from his Effervecense de Pomme, PL chimes: There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take […]