As the highest region on Earth, the Tibetan Plateau’s
unique, often inaccessible geographical location has
given rise to a distinct culture. Deeply influenced by
Buddhism, Tibetan art has a long-standing tradition,
which only recently has been affected by external
stimuli. Particularly since the People’s Republic of
China’s (PRC) take-over of Tibet in the 1950s, the influx
of new roads, railways, and the immigrants and tourists
who came with them, have influenced traditional
Tibetan culture. Moreover, the loss of Tibetan autonomy
has led to a Western spotlight, both politically and
culturally and, one could convincingly argue, Tibetan’s
weakened political position has in turn strengthened
Tibet’s global cultural status. Yet, the move to the global
stage may itself be a threat to Tibet’s cultural autonomy.
Maintaining traditional Tibetan culture and identity
within the dominant Eurocentric cultural world system is
problematic, as much previous scholarship has shown.
This research examines how contextualization of artists within historical cohort networks affects art historical commemoration. Examining a population of 236 artists who first exhibited between 1946 and 1955 in three of the Netherland’s largest museums (Boijmans, Stedelijk, and Van Abbemuseum), we examine the cohort connections curators create for these artists through exhibition and analyse how such connections affect historical commemoration. We argue a “historic network” is created through museum exhibitions, where exhibitions position artists within history. Employing network analysis, we examine exhibition connections established for artists with prior (1930–1945), concurrent (1946–1955), and subsequent artist cohorts (1956–1989)—altogether examining connections across 317 exhibitions and analysing a network of 4 428 individual artists. Using sequence analysis, we show when historic cohort networks are employed within exhibition and how these networks evolve over time. Next, we examine which type of networks receive the greatest art historical commemoration. Our findings indicate those artists with the most consistent and coherent networks are far more likely to be recognized and remembered. We argue because history is presented relationally, those artists with overarching historic cohort connections fit more easily into a historical narrative, leading to a greater likelihood of being commemorated over time. Overall, the research introduces the idea of historic cohort networks to provide an analysis of how museum exhibitions contextualize artists within history and affect art history and commemoration.View Project
This study examines differential recognition of top art collectors. Using the population of 617 international art collectors named by ARTnews, ArtReview, and Art+Auction from 1990 to 2011, I examine factors that affect the extent of a collector’s recognition through naming on ARTnews’s annual list of the world’s top collectors. The research draws on both humanities and sociological perspectives to model two sets of characteristics that may affect the amount of critical recognition conferred on a collector.
First, conceiving that recognition is based on the art object, status characteristics of art collections are considered. Next, characteristics of the art collection’s owner (rather than the art objects themselves) are considered. Findings indicate that the extent of recognition a collector receives is based on both collection and collector attributes, even when holding the other constant.
Notably, collections specializing in art originating from both culturally dominant and peripheral regions are favored with extended critical recognition, though only collectors residing in culturally dominant regions are consistently distinguished. Overall, results suggest that important overarching status characteristics of object and owner affect the extent to which elite taste and expertise are critically recognized, with the expectation that the greater the extent of recognition, the greater the validation.View research article
This research considers the process of consecration by tracking all 308 artists who exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show to see which are included in prominent art history textbooks nearly a century later. In particular, I examine how artist attributes (e.g., gender) and a legitimating organization (the Museum of Modern Art) shape this process. Regression results indicate that, among other things, the number and type of exhibitions that Armory artists garnered at MoMA from 1929 to 1967 dramatically raise the odds that they are featured in 21st century textbooks. Meanwhile, many artist attributes (e.g., gender) have no bearing on the odds of textbook inclusion. However, several artist attributes – particularly gender – matter in that they significantly predict which artists ever-exhibited at MoMA in the mid-1900s. Such findings suggest that certain types of contemporary valorization (MoMA exhibition) matter for later consecration – especially when a legitimating organization functions as a gatekeeper that grants exposure to certain types of artists while excluding others.View research article
This research examines artist networks created by shared museum exhibition. While
previous research on artistic careers assesses self-cultivated networks, historical
recognition may be further influenced by connections created by important others,
such as museum curators and art historians. I argue when museum exhibitions show
artists together, curators are creating symbolic associations between artists that
signal the artist’s import and contextualization within his or her peer group. These
exhibition-created associations, in turn, influence historians who must choose a
small selection of artists to exemplify a historical cohort. The research tests this idea
through a cohort of 125 artists’ exhibition networks in the Museum of Modern Art,
New York, from 1929 to 1968 (996 exhibitions). Individual network variables, such as
number and quality of connections, are examined for impact on an artist’s recognition
in current art history textbooks (2012-2014). Results indicate certain connections
created by exhibition have a positive effect on historical recognition, even when
controlling for individual accomplishments of the artist (such as solo exhibitions).
Artists connected with prestigious artists through “strong symbolic ties” (i.e.,
repeated exhibition) tend to garner the most historical recognition, suggesting robust
associations with historical peers may signify an artist’s exemplary status within his or
her cohort, and consequent “good fit” into the historical narrative.
Dans le domaine de l’art, où le processus central d’évaluation prend la forme de la
composition d’un canon, les institutions sont d’essentiels gardiens du temple. Elles sont
responsables à la fois de la composition du canon et de sa diffusion auprès des publics.
Différents travaux sur l’art et la culture ont mis au jour l’influence de leur fonction
d’évaluation sur la valeur culturelle des œuvres. En revanche, la façon dont ces institutions
développent et adoptent des évaluations communes demeure méconnue. Quels choix
émergent quand ces institutions parviennent à un accord sur des classifications et des critères
de valeur ? Et plus particulièrement, comment les institutions s’unissent-elles autour d’une
nouvelle idéologie pour retenir des œuvres relevant de courants émergents, au sein desquels
les valeurs sont encore indéterminées ? Nous nous proposons de répondre à ces questions en
analysant la façon dont deux institutions légitimantes de premier ordre, le monde académique
et les musées, se sont accordées pour définir ce qu’étaient les artistes modernes. Alors qu’il
est identifié en Europe dès la fin du XIXe siècle, le mouvement de l’art moderne n’apparaît aux
États-Unis que pendant la première moitié du XXe siècle. Nous montrerons que les institutions
légitimantes états-uniennes ont développé un canon de l’art moderne spécifique au monde de
l’art américain. Nous défendrons l’idée que l’évaluation institutionnelle des artistes modernes
est un processus structuré principalement par l’idéologie émergente de l’histoire de l’art, ainsi
que par des intérêts nationaux.
The effect of an artist’s prestige on the price of artwork is a well-known, central tenant in
art market research. In considering how an artist’s prestige proliferates, much research examines
networks, where certain artistic groupings and associations promote individual member’s artistic
standing (i.e., “associative status networks”). When considering the role of associative status networks,
there are two models by which status may increase. First, the confirmation model suggests that
actors of similar status are associated with each other. Second, the increase model suggests that a
halo effect occurs, whereby an individual’s status increases by association with higher-status artists.
In this research, we examine the association of artists through museum exhibition to test confirmation
versus increase models, ascertaining whether prestige acquisition is a selection or influence process.
This research capitalizes on the retrospective digitization of exhibition catalogues, allowing for
large-scale longitudinal analysis heretofore unviable for researchers. We use the exhibition history
of 1148 artists from the digitized archives of three major Dutch museums (Stedelijk, Boijmans-Van
Beuningen, Van Abbe) from 1930 to 1989, as well as data on artists’ market performance from
artprice.com and bibliographic data from the WorldCat database. We then employ network analysis
to examine the 60-year interplay of associative status networks and determine how different networks
predict subsequent auction performance. We find that status connections may have a point of
diminishing returns by which comparison to high prestige peers increases one’s own prestige to a
point, after which a high-status comparison network becomes a liability