Art Collecting in America: Trailblazers, Tastemakers, and Market Makers
This course looks at the art dealers and collectors who shaped the American art market and formed the basis of the United States’ great institutional collections. The history of art collecting in the United States begins in revolutionary America with the intrepid individuals who assembled works from all eras, genres, and media. The first major “boom” occurred in the late 19th century with the introduction by Paul Durand-Ruel of impressionists such as Degas, Manet, and Renoir; the purchase of old master paintings through Joseph Duveen by American financiers and industrialists like Frick, Clay, and Morgan; and the fabled Armory Show of 1913, which introduced van Gogh, Picasso, and Braque. This course also addresses the critical importance of women collectors, such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, Bertha Palmer, and Katherine Dreier, in developing markets. It ends with the development of collecting from the 1970s to the present, along with the creation and expansion of über-wealth, art trophy hunting, increasingly speculative behavior, and the growth of vanity museums. The course includes a visit to either The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Frick Collection.
You'll Walk Away with
- An understanding of art collecting in the United States and knowledge of how it developed
- A familiarity with influential collectors from the 19th century to today
- Prospective and practicing arts professionals
- Collectors and art history buffs