Hans J. Van Miegroet
Professor of Art and Art History

Hans J. Van Miegroet was trained at the Higher Institute for Art History and Archaeology of the University of Ghent (Belgium) and received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is engaged in exploring Art & Markets at the interface of the humanities, social sciences, law and the sciences. He has adopted a scientific collaborative model to conducting research on emerging Art Markets, legal questions related to copyright and cultural heritage and visual culture as a commercial pursuit. This approach has made it possible to create, and sustain, a variety of new research strategies and modes of interpretation, attractive to scholars and students from the humanities, law, the natural sciences and the social sciences. His publications include books on Konrad Witz and Gerard David, and co-authored studies on Mapping Markets for European Paintings in the Early Modern Period (2006), “History of Art Markets,” in Handbook on the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam-London-Tokyo, 2006, pp. 69-122; “The Antwerp-Mechelen Production and Export Complex,” (co-author Neil De Marchi), in Essays in Memory of John Michael Montias, Amsterdam, 2007, pp. 133-147; “Copies fantômes la culture imitative au début de l’époque moderne en Europe,” in L'estampe, un art multiple à la portée de tous, Villeneuve d’Ascq, 2008, pp. 47-64. “The Rise of Dealer-Auctioneers. Information and Transparency in Markets for Netherlandish Paintings,” (co-author Neil De Marchi), in Art Market and connoisseurship in the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 149-174; “Antwerp Dealers’ Invasions of the Lille Market,” (co-author Neil De Marchi), in Art Auctions and Dealers. The Dissemination of Nether¬landish Paintings during the Ancien Régime, Brepols: Turnhout, 2009, pp. 43-58; and “Flemish Textile Trade and New Imagery in Colonial Mexico (1524-1646),” (co-author Neil De Marchi) in: Jonathan Brown, Painting for the Kingdoms, Fomento Cultural BanaMex: Mexico City, 2010; “Comment les tableaux des anciens Pays-Bas ont envahi le marché Parisien - How Netherlandish Paintings came to Paris,” (co-author Neil De Marchi), Musée Marmottan, Paris 2012, pp. 28-47; “Supply-Demand Imbalance in the Antwerp Paintings Markets, 1630-1680,” (co-authors Neil De Marchi & Sandra Van Ginhoven) Brepols Publishers, Turnhout (forthcoming 2014);“A dealer ring in 1780s Paris to control sale outcomes, lessen investor uncertainty and facilitate low-risk, cross-border arbitrage in paintings,” (co-author Neil De Marchi), in: Anna M. Dempster, Risk and Uncertainty in the Art Market, London (forth coming 2014). He was awarded the Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award.

Current Research Interests

Mapping Markets 2.0 (2020-2025)

 

How art is made, distributed and acquired, is not a new interest, but our collective way of addressing it in ourMapping Markets volume, first published in 2006, was relatively untried. As a cross-disciplinary and international research team we represented training in art history, economics, and social, urban and economic history.  We did proceed on a common research strategy, based on a blend of art historical and economic ways of thinking, its categories, methods and concepts, all of which were used to map emerging markets for paintings in early modern Europe (1400-1800). In terms of substance, this volume offered the first comparative treatment of the various emerging markets and their respective regulatory environments within which paintings were made and marketed throughout Europe. Mapping Markets was also the first study to present detailed analyses of the making and marketing of paintings in the aggregate, understood as strategically-driven outcomes and reflecting the plays of a variety of agents studied comparatively both in space and in time.

Now, after more than fourteen years of art market research (2020), it’s time to address some of the initial shortcomings of the 2006 Mapping Markets project. Though our initial focus was on mapping the asymmetrical emergence of historical art markets throughout Europe, there was nothing on emerging art markets in Eastern and Central Europe, especially Scandinavia, the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Prussia, Poland as well as Czech and Slovak Federative Republics, Hungary, Bulgaria and so on. From the outset of our research campaign, we paid attention to the circulation of large flows of unattributed (anonymous) paintings, but we did not include the many formative immigration processes that shaped many urban cultures in Europe throughout the centuries. And when immigration was included, it was quite often in a very specific, often individual context, but not studied as a Europe-wide, formative phenomenon, one that shaped the socioeconomic, creative and cultural fabric of many urban centers throughout the early modern period. 

Migration has always shaped the cultural fabric of urban centers in Europe and beyond, but the phenomenon has never been studied in the manner we propose.As a result of the influx and the increased familiarity of “quantitative” methods in humanities research, we envision a cross-disciplinary, data-driven approach at the interface of the humanities, the sciences and the social sciences. Our cross-disciplinary, international team approach will leverage the computer's unique power (OCR, machine learning) to perform complex and repetitive operations in order to reveal new trends and patterns extracted from large amounts of imperfect data, including hitherto unstudied archival documents. We plan to collect large aggregates of primary sources to develop new datasets to conduct a systematic investigation into the impact of migration on local visual cultures and, in the process, develop a better understanding of the social, political and regulatory reactions to these changes among migrant and non-migrant populations. 

In sum, Mapping Markets 2.0 is a long-term research project (2020-2025) that brings together collaborators from a number of partner institutions In the US and Europe to analyze the extent to which migrants’ cultural expressions have shaped urban cultures, their respective creative industries and the arts, past and present. Our hybrid combination of scholars and new art historical, econometric and computational methodologies are liable to profoundly transform data paradigms, methodology and epistemology of art market research, cultural economics, history and the many other disciplines it affects

Current Appointments & Affiliations

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