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Big Bucks
Big Bucks

Big Bucks

The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century


208 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25

Formats: EPUB, EPUB, PDF

PDF, $34.99 (US $34.99) (CA $41.99)

Publication Date: July 2014

ISBN 9781848221598

Rights: WOR

Lund Humphries (Jul 2014)


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This highly readable and timely book explores the transformation of the modern and contemporary art market in the 21st century from a niche trade to a globalised operation worth an estimated $50 billion a year. Drawing on her personal experience, the author describes in fascinating detail the contributions made by a range of actors and institutions to these recent developments. The book focuses on the development of auction houses into globalised, often cutthroat 'art business' firms; the emergence and modi operandi of 'mega-dealers' and middlemen; the 'new frontier' of selling art on the internet; the radical changes in the profile of art collectors; the phenomenon of the 'branded' artist and the explosion of art fairs. It addresses the negative side to the art market's expansion, particularly its lack of transparency and light regulation. The author's engaging style makes this informative text ideal for collectors, students, and anyone interested in learning more about the evolution of the unprecedented market for art which exists today.


"Georgina Adam expertly unpicks the oblique machinations of the art market with a deft hand and a clear voice to reveal an intoxicating world of glamour, greed and fine art." —Will Gompertz, BBC Arts Editor

"The first book by Georgina Adam . . . has been eagerly anticipated and does not disappoint. Who else could write as engagingly and informatively about the art market that has grown around her these past 30 years? . . . . The joy of this book comes from Adam's way of using eye witness descriptions of some of the art world's high stakes events as a way of making some very serious points about the workings of the market today." —Melanie Gerlis, The Art Newspaper

"Formerly dusty auction houses have become luxury brands, collectors have become tastemakers. On the tiller of the boat navigating these hostile waters, Adam's is the surest hand." —Monocle

"A well-written narrative with anecdotes and data peppered throughout, Big Bucks is a must for contemporary museum libraries and academic libraries serving studio art curricula. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students; general readers." —Choice

Author Biography

Georgina Adam is a journalist who has covered the global art market for the last 30 years. She writes a weekly column for the Financial Times and a fortnightly one for BBC WorldWide, as well as contributing to The Art Newspaper, where formerly she was Art Market Editor. She also lectures at Sotheby's Institute of Art and Christie's Education and participates in panels at art fairs in the UK and abroad.