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How much for the Michelangelo?: valuation, commoditization and finitism in the secondary art market

Pardo-Guerra, Juan Pablo (2011) How much for the Michelangelo?: valuation, commoditization and finitism in the secondary art market. Cultural Sociology, 5 (2). pp. 207-223. ISSN 1749-9755

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Abstract

This article is a sociological re-evaluation of the auction house, a central institution of the secondary art market. As an intermediary between buyers and sellers, the auction house is portrayed as an institution that straddles the poles of economic (calculative) and social (aesthetic) life. Relying on the work of Michel Callon and Barry Barnes, the process of the commoditization that takes place within auction houses is presented as a structuring mechanism through which symbolic, economic and cultural values are shaped and reinforced. In particular, the finitist calculative practices associated with commoditization (through the generation of estimated auction prices) are presented as responsible for reproducing the secondary art market and the aesthetic judgements on which it is based.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://cus.sagepub.com/
Additional Information: © 2011 SAGE Publications
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: L - Industrial Organization > L1 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 09:25
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/37134/

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