chapter  2
8 Pages

Secondary Art Market

WithJeffrey Taylor

Secondary Markets precede Primary Markets because an art history that establishes a canon arrives as the first ingredient in cultivating the phenomenon of collecting. Inherent to the notion of an art historical canon is the ideal of a Golden Age, often referred to as an Arcadia, first employed by the Greeks to describe an idyllic first age of civilization. The knowledge of art that a Secondary Market dealer possesses, serves as their primary business asset. Essentially, a dealer's principal act is to recognize what an object is and what it can be sold for when others do not. Since art history occupies a central role in the functioning of this market, subsequently all of art history's problems are also the problems of the Secondary Art Market. The narrative of Duveen and Berenson provides the single most cautionary tale about the perils of collusion between the Art Market and art history.