Art and the Market

Roger Fry on Commerce in Art, Selected Writings, Edited with an Interpretation
Craufurd D. Goodwin
Foreword by Lord Asa Briggs
A major Bloomsbury figure writes about the art market, and an economist interprets his ideas


Roger Fry, a core member of the Bloomsbury Group, was involved with all aspects of the art market as artist, critic, curator, historian, journalist, advisor to collectors, and gallery operator. He is especially remembered as the person who introduced postimpressionist art to Britain.

Reprinted in this volume are seventeen of Fry's works on commerce in art. Although he had no formal training in economics, Fry addressed the art market as a modern economist might do. It is therefore fitting that his writings receive here an original interpretation from the perspective of a modern economist, Craufurd D. Goodwin. Goodwin explores why Fry's work is both a landmark in the history of cross-disciplinary thought and a source of fresh insights into a wide range of current policy questions.

The new writings included contain Fry's most important contributions to theory, history, and debates over policy as he explored the determinants of the supply of art, the demand for art, and the art market institutions that facilitate exchange. His ideas and speculations are as stimulating and provocative today as when they were written.

Craufurd D. Goodwin is James B. Duke Professor of Economics, Duke University.

Praise / Awards

  • "We have to thank Craufurd Goodwin for the diligence and skill with which he has collected and arranged the most relevant texts and for an introductory interpretation which guides the reader through them. The resulting volume makes fascinating reading and will be a valuable source for historians of early twentieth century thinking."
    —Anthony Brewer, University of Bristol

  • "A fascinating selection of essays by one of the twentieth century's most thoughtful and stimulating critics. Goodwin's introduction sets the stage beautifully, providing useful links to Veblen and Keynes."
    —D. E. Moggridge, University of Toronto

  • "All those interested in the arts and economics, and their connections, will be delighted by this collection, as will be students of Bloomsbury."
    —Peter Stansky, Stanford University

  • "Art and the Market uncovers new connections between aesthetics and art in the Bloomsbury Group. . . . Goodwin adds significantly to the understanding of cultural economics in the work of Fry himself as well as J. M. Keynes and even Leonard and Virginia Woolf."
    —S. P. Rosenbaum, University of Toronto

  • ". . . the intelligence and daring of Fry's more speculative thoughts on art and the market are needed very badly indeed. The situation is a little dire. . . [These essays] lift the debate to where it belongs."
    —Chase Madar, Art Book, September 1999

  • "This is not a book to be read from cover to cover. But wherever he dips, the reader will find evidence of a curious, acute and original mind; while the arts' administrator will still find much that is relevant for contemporary arts policy."
    —Robert Skidelsky, Charleston Magazine, Winter 2000

  • "[Fry's] ideas about relations between artists and consumers, art economics, auctions, market conditions, art and science, public policy, and teaching should stand the test of time. The seventeen essays reprinted here offer good thoughts for pondering today's art, its market, and public policy. Art economists, art historians, art policy makers, marketers, and philosophers of art will find them stimulating."
    —W. L. Whitwell, formerly, Hollins College, Choice, June 1999

  • ". . . Goodwin has provided us with an admirable introduction to Fry's life and work and how to place him within the context of economic discourse."
    —Alan Peacock, The David Hume Institute, Edinburgh, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Volume 22, No. 1 (2000)

Look Inside

Foreword by Asa Briggs          ix
Preface          xi
An Interpretation: Roger Fry and the Market for Art          I
Life, Scientific Method, "The Creation of Art", The Consumption of Art, The Art Market, Public Policy, Private Policy, Influence, Conclusion
Writings of Roger Fry
1. Theory
Art and Science          69
An Essay on Aesthetics          73
Retrospect          86
Culture and Snobbism          97
A Sale at Christie's          107
Art and Commerce          111
The Artist and Psycho-analysis          124
A Moral Lecture, or Perhaps an Immoral One          139
2. History 
The Art of Florence          145
Introduction to Georgian Art          150
The Arts of Painting and Sculpture          161
3. Policy
Art in a Socialism          171
Art and Socialism          181
Art and the State          194
Art and Industry          205
On the Encouragement of Design in British Manufactures          213
Index          217

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 240pp.
  • 2 B&W photographs.
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  • Hardcover
  • 1999
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  • 978-0-472-10902-9

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  • $84.95 U.S.

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