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