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January 16, 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015 - , No comments

Introducing ARCA Lecturer Dr. Tom Flynn — ‘The International Art Market and Associated Risk’

Dr. Tom Flynn at Terni Waterfall
Tom will be returning to Amelia this year to teach ‘The International Art Market and Associated Risk’. The course provides a comprehensive overview of the art market’s historical evolution as well as an insight into its diverse business practices today. Students are introduced to the market’s key institutions, public and private, in order to develop a critical awareness of the inherent risks and rewards of art commerce. The lecture program seeks to create a relaxed space of intellectual inquiry and exchange in which students are able to ask testing questions of the status quo and to challenge received wisdom about the market and its institutions. Discussions usually continue beyond the classroom to create a continuous forum for debate and informal exchange of ideas. 

The course interweaves historical and contemporary strands with a view to understanding the evolution of the market’s core relationships and business practices and how these often inadvertently create an environment in which a range of unethical activities can occur. We explore how the European art market developed out of the princely and royal collections of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; its emergence as a commercial activity during the eighteenth century; the rise of the professional art dealer in the nineteenth century; and culminating in the globalization and ‘financialisation’ of the market during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Throughout, students are prompted to explore the relationship between the aesthetic and economic spheres in the creation of value and to develop an understanding of the art market as a nexus of socio-economic activity.

The teaching introduces students to: • a historical view of the economic, social, political and cultural forces that have contributed to the development of the art market. • the concept of connoisseurship and its relationship to a fast developing culture of scientific and forensic analysis. • the broad range of objects and ‘commodities’ that constitute the art market’s multiple categories and specialist sub-markets • the sociological make-up of the art market’s key actors and institutions, embracing artists, auction houses, art dealerships, museums, contemporary art consultants, insurance agents, investment fund managers, fair organisers, public relations specialists, legal advisors, art critics, and the commercial interdependence of market participants • the increasing importance of finance and investment strategies in the global art market, including the growing prominence of art funds, arbitrage activities, art finance, portfolio diversification, etc. • the increasingly global nature of the twenty-first century art market and the forces propelling the markets of the ‘emerging’ BRIC economies and beyond • new communication and information technologies and their impact on art business
What will be the focus in your course? As in past years, the main aim is to create a relaxed, interactive environment in which students can help each other learn through dialogue and creative exchange. The content is built around understanding the relationships between the key actors and institutions constituting today’s market. At every point, we seek to explore the complex interchange of price and value, and how these concepts are created and negotiated.
Do you have a recommended reading list that students can read before the course? I would recommend that students start keeping an eye on the online market reports from Bloomberg, the International New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Art Newspaper. A comprehensive reading list will be provided closer to the course commencing, but meanwhile any of the following titles would be worth looking at: Dempster, A., (Ed), (2014) Risk & Uncertainty in the Art World, Boomsbury, London; 
Gould, C. & Mesplède, S. (Eds) (2012) Marketing Art in the British Isles, 1800 to the Present: A Cultural History, London, Ashgate; 
Fletcher, P. & Helmreich, A. (Eds) (2011) The Rise of the Modern Art Market in London: 1850-1939, Manchester University Press; 
Degen, N. (Ed) (2013) The Market: Documents of Contemporary Art, London, Whitechapel; 
Barragán, P. (2008) The Art Fair Age, Milan, Charta; Flynn, T. & Barringer, T. (Eds) (1997) Colonialism and the Object: Empire, Material Culture and the Museum, London, Routledge
The deadline for the 2014 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection is March 30, 2014. Late applications will continue through April 30, 2014 subject to census and housing availability. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until census is full so apply early. You may send inquiries to

Dr Tom Flynn, FRICS — Professional background
Tom is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University, London where he directs the Masters course in Art & Business, and is Adjunct Associate Professor in the International Art Market at Richmond, the American International University in London. A former auctioneer and art market journalist, Tom writes and and lectures widely on the art market, art crime, art & technology, museums, cultural heritage and historical and contemporary sculpture. He holds degrees from Sussex University and the Royal College of Art and wrote his doctorate on nineteenth century critical attitudes to the chryselephantine sculpture of antiquity.