Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts

ISBN-10: 9053565655
ISBN-13: 9789053565650
Edition: 2002
Authors: Hans Abbing
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Description: Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Publication date: 3/17/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 367
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.50" long x 1.10" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

Most artists earn very little. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of aspiring young artists. Do they give to the arts willingly or unknowingly? Governments and other institutions also give to the arts, to raise the low incomes. But their support is ineffective: subsidies only increase the artists' poverty. The economy of the arts is exceptional. Although the arts operate successfully in the marketplace, their natural affinity is with gift-giving, rather than with commercial exchange. People believe that artists are selflessly dedicated to art, that price does not reflect quality, and that the arts are free. But is it true? This unconventional multidisciplinary analysis explains the exceptional economy of the arts. Insightful illustrations from the practice of a visual artist support the analysis.

Preface
Sacred Art
The Denial of the Economy
Economic Value Versus Aesthetic Value
The Selflessly Devoted Artist
Money for the Artist
Structural Poverty
The Cost Disease
The Power and the Duty to Give
The Government Serves Art
Art Serves the Government
Informal Barriers Structure the Arts
Conclusion: a Cruel Economy
Epilogue: the Future Economy of the Arts
Notes
Literature
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

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