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In: Athanasius Raczyński (1788-1874). Aristocrat, Diplomat, and Patron of the Arts
In: Spaces of Connoisseurship
In: Foreign Currency Volatility and the Market for French Modernist Art

Abstract

In Chapter 2 (Anonymity and Flemish Painting), the issue of anonymity in Early Flemish art is discussed from an historical perspective (context of production, development of connoisseurship, development of technical art history). Four aspects of this output, which are directly linked to the problems of anonymity, provide the justification for devoting an entire study to it: i) the relative abundance of pictures that were geared towards the market; ii) the duality between concepts of identity and anonymity; iii) names subject to changing preferences; and iv) complex attributionism.

In: Anonymous Art at Auction
In: Athanasius Raczyński (1788-1874). Aristocrat, Diplomat, and Patron of the Arts
In: Athanasius Raczyński (1788-1874). Aristocrat, Diplomat, and Patron of the Arts
Author:

Abstract

This paper explores the dispersal of the collection of decorative arts of the dealer and collector Frédéric Spitzer and its success among German collections and museums. It outlines a vivid depiction of the 19th century art collecting practices, offering clues to the role played by the dispersal of artworks and artefacts in shaping canons of taste and value together with museums’ authorities. Experts and collectors from all over Europe could not miss the opportunity to get their hands on some of Spitzer’s treasures being put on sale in 1893. The sale was soon heralded as the “Sale of the Century”. Making an acquisition from the Spitzer collection was regarded as invaluable investment. Although in 1893 a few critical voices arose out of the general acclaim much of the contemporary accounts were uncritical, building up the “myth” of the Spitzer collection as an unparalleled collection of decorative arts. All the German industrial museums planned to attend its sale with the goal of making their country a leader in the international world of museums. Events related to the Spitzer’s sale witness how German curators – including Justus Brinckmann of Hamburg, Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing of Berlin – were able and buy key artworks for their museums, applying a kind of combination of private and public funds. The role of private collectors in the sale is tough to fully understand given fluid borders between private and public interests. The fate of the Spitzer collection bears witness to shared international strategies and converging tastes beyond national boundaries.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks
Author:

Abstract

This paper explores the dispersal of the collection of decorative arts of the dealer and collector Frédéric Spitzer and its success among German collections and museums. It outlines a vivid depiction of the 19th century art collecting practices, offering clues to the role played by the dispersal of artworks and artefacts in shaping canons of taste and value together with museums’ authorities. Experts and collectors from all over Europe could not miss the opportunity to get their hands on some of Spitzer’s treasures being put on sale in 1893. The sale was soon heralded as the “Sale of the Century”. Making an acquisition from the Spitzer collection was regarded as invaluable investment. Although in 1893 a few critical voices arose out of the general acclaim much of the contemporary accounts were uncritical, building up the “myth” of the Spitzer collection as an unparalleled collection of decorative arts. All the German industrial museums planned to attend its sale with the goal of making their country a leader in the international world of museums. Events related to the Spitzer’s sale witness how German curators – including Justus Brinckmann of Hamburg, Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing of Berlin – were able and buy key artworks for their museums, applying a kind of combination of private and public funds. The role of private collectors in the sale is tough to fully understand given fluid borders between private and public interests. The fate of the Spitzer collection bears witness to shared international strategies and converging tastes beyond national boundaries.

In: Florence, Berlin and Beyond: Late Nineteenth-Century Art Markets and their Social Networks