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By Kevin F. McCarthy

Supplying information regarding advancements within the visible arts global, this e-book promotes and research of the sphere, describing the features of visible arts shoppers, artists, funds, and association.

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Extra resources for A Portrait of the Visual Arts: The challenges of a New Era

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419) continues: This is too large and too disparate a group to be studied systematically; the best one can do is to fall back on the lists of collectors published by the art magazines. Allowing for overlap and changes from year to year, these lists provide a microcosm of between 250 and 350 very serious collectors, whose collections are worth millions. Sandler (1996, p. 426) also suggests the select nature of the buyers in the elite market by quoting Diana Brooks, former president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s, who estimated that there were roughly 100,000 serious private clients in the auction market in the mid-1980s.

Since then, art museums—where art is exposed to a wide public audience—have been central to framing the public’s awareness and experience of art. Significantly, American museums, unencumbered by ties to aristocratic households, anchored their missions from the beginning in the edification of the public. As Taylor (1975, pp. 34–35) points out, the earliest permanent museums were established in the mid- to late-19th century and were founded by associations with the dual aim of fostering the creation of art and the elevation of public taste.

Watson (1992, p. 420), for example, describes three different groups of collectors in terms of their tastes: Collectors of contemporary art being the first and largest. Collectors . . who are not at all interested in contemporary art and have the funds and the appetite to acquire the very best in their chosen field. . And a third group, characterized by the idiosyncratic nature of their collections. Watson (1992, p. 419) further states that collecting contemporary art is twice as popular as collecting Modern—that is twentieth century—art; three times as popular as collecting Impressionists and four times as popular as collecting Old Masters.

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