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Event is Part of the Getty Research Institute's Current Theme "Markets and Value" Beauty and Truth for Sale: The Art of the Dealer, at the Getty Center March 29–30, 2004

March 24, 2004

Los Angeles—Experts from the around the world will come together to explore the business side of the art world in the international conference Beauty and Truth for Sale: The Art of the Dealer, at the Getty Center from March 29–30, 2004. Over 30 invited speakers, including renowned scholars, conservators, dealers, and gallery owners will examine the dealer's changing role in shaping taste, collecting, the market—and even the works of art themselves. Organized by the Getty Research Institute (GRI), the two-day conference is one of the many programs offered in conjunction with the GRI's 2003–04 research theme "Markets and Value.” The complete conference schedule is available online at

 The creation of art is a multilayered process that includes the artistic vision as well as the valuation process. Artworks are assessed based on a number of factors, which can radically alter the value assigned within a short period. The dealer is an active force in getting the work of art out of the realm of the artist's studio and into its subsequent home or home, for, more often than not, an object moves and changes ownership over time. Part of this process is the determination of artistic and monetary value, and the dealer is a key figure in negotiating this constantly fluctuating relation. The role of the dealer as middleman between artists and collectors was well established by the late 18th century. Over the years, dealers have been known to steer the market using savvy sales techniques, trade secrets, and even the sheer force of their personalities. The conference examines the art of the dealer within this historical context.

 The conference opens with "Shapes of the Dealer," which looks at the emergence and changing status of dealers from the Renaissance to the present. Subsequent sessions consider the activities of dealers and how they have shaped markets, artists, and the value of art works.

  The second day includes two special panel discussions. The first focuses on the significance of the vast Duveen archive, held in the special collections of the research library at the Getty Research Institute. The celebrated Duveen Brothers dealership operated from 1869 to 1964 and was involved in the sale of art to almost every major museum in the United States and Europe. The archive contains rare personal correspondence of artists and the firm's business records, including extensive documentation on the creation of public and private collections that reveal the brothers' instrumental role in the formation of taste. The second discussion explores activities of the art market during the Nazi era. An evening session with prominent East and West Coast dealers of contemporary art completes the conference.

 The Getty Research Institute presents a new research theme each year to explore various facets of art. The 2003–04 theme "Markets and Value" offers scholars the occasion to analyze the interplay between art, and the values society places upon art, be those values aesthetic, social, or market. Currently, 24 scholars from around the world are in residence at the Getty Center conducting research on the theme. A series of related events, including this conference, has been planned to support their work.

Admission to the conference is free but seating is limited. To make reservations, scholars and members of the public can email Press seating for this event is available.


EXHIBITION: The Business of Art: Evidence from the Art
Market March 16–June 13, 2004
In conjunction with the Getty Research Institute's 2003–04 scholar theme of "Markets and Value," this exhibition presents documentation of business activity in the art market from the 16th through the 20th century. It includes diverse materials from the special collections at the Institute's research library, such as annotated dealers' stock books, artists' personal letters, codebooks, early manuals of auction results for collectors, and valuations of art.

FILM SERIES: Video and Media Art by Contemporary Artists
Wednesday, April 14, 2004, 7:30 p.m., Harold M. Williams Auditorium This program presents a broad survey of short video works from the last 35 years that engage such issues as mass media and the marketing of culture; products and ideas in the entertainment industries; and the relationship between the worlds of art and commerce. The program includes landmark works by such artists as Nam June Paik, Richard Serra, and Chris Burden as well as an eclectic selection of recent video and new media works by younger artists and collectives, including Alex Bag, Radical Software Group, and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. The screening will be followed by a discussion with a number of the artists. This event is free. Reservations are required and can be made beginning March 25 at 9 a.m. Limit of four seats per reservation. Press tickets for this event are available.

Beth Brett
Getty Communications Dept.

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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