Commercialising culture: the sale, display and circulation of art in French, British and American department stores (1875-1914)

Thom, Sara Elizabeth (2019). Commercialising culture: the sale, display and circulation of art in French, British and American department stores (1875-1914). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Abstract

This thesis considers the sale, display and circulation of fine art in French, British and American department stores between 1875 and 1914. Grounded in the logic and history of the department store itself, it first shows the crucial importance of the mass-commercial system of the department store, which was predicated on high-volume, low-cost commerce, and its direct influence on the objects which passed through it, which included paintings, sculptures and prints. This history is thus related through focusing in turn on three essential functions of that system – sale, display and circulation – and their relationship to and impact on art both within and without the department store. This is because it is further shown how the sale, display and circulation of art by the department store were key catalysts in the development of the modern art market and the propagation of the globalised art world of the twentieth century. By situating art firmly in the realm of mass commerce, the department store acted as a foil to the mainstream art market, which in turn helped to propel its evolution and development.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Supervisor(s):
Supervisor(s)EmailORCID
Berry, FrancescaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/9046

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