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Art And Economics Essay

1515 words - 6 pages

Maria del Pilar Marin Flores The Art of the Economy in the Arts"To attempt an estimate of the money value of the contents of our museums would be an intellectual vulgarism… A great collection is a service to society as free from the rules of demand and supply as the service of the law". These words were said about more than fifty years ago by T.R. Adams, and are presented in the book "Pricing the Priceless: Arts, Artist and Economics" by William D. Grampp.Most, if not all, of the artists match with this ideal. Any type of work of art represents the emotions and vision of its creator. Therefore it is unique and priceless. But if this is true, how does artists survive in a world full of economic value? For certain they have goods and needs, other than make art, to satisfy. As an artist, I have been wondering how people can decide what is the price for its work. In my personal experience, I have never gain any money in the paintings I have done. I just paint as hobby; I am not interested in living of art as work. But not all artists think like this, many of them are painting because they like it and they can gain money of it. So, somehow, there has to be a way to determine how much an artists effort values, to put a price for the priceless.Here is where the study of economics enters in the picture of arts; there is a branch that studies the economics of creation, distribution, and the consumption of arts. Many economists have centered in studying this new branch, and most of them have realized that the basic economic principles (demand, supply, efficiency, etc.) are the ones that become the most fruitful tools and concepts when studying the economy of arts (Blaug, 1976). Economy forms part of everything, because almost everything involves transactions of money or other things to get some satisfaction. Even though artists will never admit it, there is economy on art since the beginning. Artist must incur in costs from the first phase until the work is done, they have to pay for raw material, make some labor while doing it, and gain some money when finished; this way they will still have money to keep doing more art.Before talking about the transactions made in the arts world, we must understand how a work of art is valued. Even though there are economic costs incurred by the artists when creating. These costs are not the whole picture to value what is produced. A work of art is valued by its aesthetic value; this means by the qualities that make it desired by someone (Grampp, 1989). This value is what we can call the economic value of art. It might be a little wide and confusing, because while someone might desire some set of qualities, some one else might not. But, it is well understand that the idea of economic value rests in the theory of marginal utility. Where marginal utility is the additional satisfaction gained from the consumption of an additional unit of a good or service (Amos, 2014). This means that the value of something depends...

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