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Hammertime or Price Tag: How Does the International Art Market Work?

Tuesday June 1st 2021 | 20:00 – 21:30 | Zoom |

The international art market is a world apart for many students. We often hear intriguing and bizarre stories in the news of auctions in which contemporary art is sold for millions. Next to that, we also hear stories of the art sellers and buyers such as the Saudi Crown Prince. He had put a Da Vinci painting, the most expensive painting in history, on a wall in his sailing yacht in an non-sterile environment. This led to a conflict with the Louvre. Or more recently, last Saturday the famous YouTube video ‘Charlie bit my finger – again’ was auctioned as an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) for more than 750k. These stories raise questions about the international art market and the actors that are involved. Is it true that the art market is only accessible for the rich? How does this international art market actually work? What actors are important and what role do countries play? What is the position of the artist in this story? What an NFT to begin with and why are people interested in it?

All of these and more questions will be answered by Olav Velthuis. He is a professor at the Department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, specializing in economic sociology, sociology of the arts and cultural sociology. Olav has studied the emergence and development of art markets in the BRIC-countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), is the author of the book Talking Prices. Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art (Princeton University Press, 2005), and can call himself president of The International Art Market Studies Association.

This Talk will take place via Zoom, so make sure to sign up beforehand! You can sign up with the following link until June 1st 14:00: https://forms.gle/67s2FSHbowxPBc3w5