ARH 381 Arts and Markets: Economic Histories of the Arts

This course will introduce students to the multiple means by which art history can be examined through the lens of economics, proceeding from the assertion that art is by its very nature a commodity that is bought and traded, sold and re-sold. Course materials will attend the strategies of production and sale that shape not only how art is used and understood, but how such considerations influence the creation of styles and techniques that are more often identified as the products of individual creative expression. The class will balance careful examinations of individual artists, objects, and patrons with more general analyses of mass production and international exchange, and will take as its object Renaissance art, global contemporary art, and everything in between.