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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Charlatans and Connoisseurs: the development of the modern art market from Gambart to Kahnweiler (Level 11) (HIAR11132)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the development of the modern art market in Britain and the USA in the period c.1860-1945. The course is structured as a series of ten, two-hour seminars which will focus on individual art dealers and their strategies for promoting modern and contemporary art, as well as related themes such as patronage, taste-making, connoisseurship and authenticity.
Course description This course examines the development of the market for modern art in Britain and the USA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was a time of rapid economic growth, technological expansion and industrialization in Britain and America. There were dramatic social changes, with large numbers of people moving from the country to the city, a rising middle class, a new awareness of women's rights, and the creation of super-rich industrialists who were in the market for modern and contemporary art ¿ from the Pre-Raphaelites to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Although many of their businesses were international, these mercantile collectors had relatively little leisure time to travel on the continent and often relied on art agents to buy their pictures. As a result, this period saw the rise of the art dealer and the establishment of international dealer networks, with London, Paris and New York at the centre. The course will focus on pioneer art dealers such as Ernest Gambart and Reid & Lefevre in London, and Paul Durand-Ruel and Daniel Kahnweiler in Paris, and examine their strategies for selling modern art and promoting the avant-garde in Britain and the USA. It will also focus on key moments in shifting current perceptions of modern art, such as Roger Fry's Post-Impressionist Exhibitions of 1910 and 1912, and consider the role (both in terms of patronage and taste making) of major collectors of the period, including Samuel Courtauld, the Davies sisters, the Havemeyers and Albert C. Barnes. Seminar topics will vary from year to year but are likely to highlight such issues as: the commodification of art; marketing methods and the branding of the artist; the professionalization of the dealer; the relationship between agents and collectors; the fakes industry, connoisseurship and questions of authenticity; collecting and gender; international dealer networks; and Nazi-looted art.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 4000 word essay 100% - submitted weeks 8-11
Feedback Students are given feedback on FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as follows:
Students will submit a mid-semester essay plan (c.500 words) and annotated preliminary bibliography. Written feedback on the student plans will be provided with the opportunity for a one-to-one follow-up meeting.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT: Written feedback on student essays will be provided, in addition to the opportunity for a one-to-one meeting towards the end of semester.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the historical importance of the role of the art dealer in relation to Impressionism and Modern Art.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to absorb, understand and apply theoretical ideas relating to the art market through close reading of texts, as well as visual analysis.
  3. Successfully analyse and develop arguments in relation to art market strategy and other issues arising from the course
  4. Present ideas clearly and well in writing and in debate.
Reading List
Fletcher, P. and Helmreich, A., 2013. The Rise of the Modern Art Market in London 1850-1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Force, Christel H., 2020, Pioneers of the Global Art Market: Paris-Based Dealer Networks 1850-1950. London: Bloomsbury
Hook, Philip, 2017. Rogue's Gallery: A History of Art and its Dealers. London: Profile Books.
Jensen, Robert, 1997. Marketing Modernism in Fin de Siècle Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Patry, Sylvie (ed.), 2015. Inventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis; Clear thinking and the development of an argument; Independent research; Presentation and communication skills; The ability to articulate ideas clearly in writing; Organisation and planning; Teamwork through group discussion
Keywordsart market,impressionism,modernism,art dealer,collecting,taste,authenticity
Course organiserDr Keava McMillan
Course secretary Yijia Chen
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