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Art and the Market

Roger Fry on Commerce in Art, Selected Writings, Edited with an Interpretation

Craufurd D. Goodwin

Publication Year: 1998

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

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

No account of the Bloomsbury Group would be complete without a special study of Roger Fry; Virginia Woolf even wrote a biography of him. Yet Fry left an impact on art appreciation and on aesthetic theory felt far outside the Bloomsbury circle. He became a national authority on art, a description that he would not have particularly liked. Indeed, Kenneth Clark, who...

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pp. xi-xii

This project began in 1995, when I offered a first-year seminar at Duke University on the "Bloomsbury Group." I had read a good deal of Keynes and a certain amount of Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey. Roger Fry, however, was just a name, and I dove into Vision and Design with no preconceptions. I was startled to discover that Fry thought at least as...

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An Interpretation: Roger Fry and the Market for Art

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pp. 1-65

Roger Fry (1866-1934) is remembered by art and intellectual historians first as a pioneer "formalist" aesthetician, second as the art critic who did the most to introduce Postimpressionist painting to the English-speaking world, and third as a respected historian of Italian art. They recollect also that he was a senior member of that multidisciplinary association of artists...

Writings of Roger Fry: 1. Theory

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pp. 67

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Art and Science

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pp. 69-72

At the Burlington Fine Arts Club there is now on view a most remarkable collection of Florentine Primitives. I do not propose in this article to criticize these pictures, about many of which I have written at one time or another, but rather to take up a question of aesthetics which is suggested by the peculiar significance of Florentine art. In the preface to the Catalogue I...

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An Essay in Aesthetics

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pp. 73-85

"The art of painting," says that eminent authority, "is the art of imitating solid objects upon a flat surface by means of pigments." It is delightfully simple, but prompts the question-Is that all? And, if so, what a deal of unnecessary fuss has been made about it. Now, it is useless to deny that our modern writer has some very respectable authorities behind him. Plato...

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pp. 86-96

The work of re-reading and selecting from the mass of my writings as an art critic has inevitably brought me up against the question of its consistency and coherence. Although I do not think that I have republished here anything with which I entirely disagree, I cannot but recognise that in many of these essays the emphasis lies in a different place from where I should now...

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Culture and Snobbism

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pp. 97-106

It is a nice point, and one on which I have never yet been able to make up my mind, whether culture is more inimical to art than barbarism, or vice vers

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A Sale at Christie's

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pp. 107-110

There is a common idea that in the matter of art posterity is right. We habitually look to it to redress the wrongs and injustices that each generation inflicts unwittingly on its great artists. And it is a corollary of such an idea that ultimately the price which the works of any given artist will fetch at Christie's corresponds more or less accurately with what one may call the...

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Art and Commerce

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pp. 111-123

Life cannot be carried on without some science even if it is only that instinctive science which animals possess. But it can perfectly well be carried on without art. It is really very surprising, therefore, to note that, however near men may at times have come to such a condition, they have never, I believe, continued to exist without art of some kind. It must...

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The Artist and Psycho-analysis

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pp. 124-138

As I am no psychologist, my presumption in addressing a gathering of professional psychologists seems to call for apology. My defence is that of late years you have managed to make yourselves so interesting to the world at large that you have inevitably attracted the attention of outsiders. You have let off too many fireworks in your back garden to wonder that strangers...

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A Moral Lecture, or Perhaps an Immoral One

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pp. 139-142

Another disease of old age has got hold of me. I like to turn back to youth, to try and imagine what it is like and how if I had it over again I might make a better job of it. So I try to put myself in your place and imagine that with you I have all this life before me full of infinite possibilities of excitement or boredom, success or failure, of wealth or poverty and...

2. History

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pp. 143

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The Art of Florence

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pp. 145-149

The "artistic temperament"—as used in the press and the police court, these words betray a general misunderstanding of the nature of art, and of the artist whenever he becomes fully conscious of its purpose. The idea of the artist as the plaything of whim and caprice, a hyper-sensitive and incoherent emotionalist, is, no doubt, true of a certain class of men, many...

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Introduction to Georgian Art

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pp. 150-160

George Ill's reign was a very long one, but its mere extension in time is not enough to explain the fact which stares at one from the plates of the present work, the fact, namely, that almost all the great names of English painting occur in the captions. Here are some of them: Ramsay, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, Wilson, Raeburn, Hoppner, Zoffany, Lawrence...

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The Arts of Painting and Sculpture

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pp. 161-167

The arts of painting and sculpture have been practised by man since paleolithic times, for a period which has been estimated at more than twenty thousand years. One of the marks which distinguish the human species from the rest of the animal kingdom is the amount of time and energy which man expends on useless activities. By useless activities I mean those...

3. Policy

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pp. 169

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Art in a Socialism

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pp. 171-180

"What is art?" said Sidney Webb, and would not stay for an answer, or at least insisted that it should be of such a kind as would not interfere with a well-disciplined and completely pigeon-holed state. The artist in the widest sense of the word represents the crucial difficulty of all socialisms. He is an anarchist by nature, or rather he is one of the anarchists that socialsim...

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Art and Socialism

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pp. 181-193

I am not a Socialist, as I understand that word, nor can I pretend to have worked out those complex estimates of economic possibility which are needed before one can endorse the hopeful forecasts of Lady Warwick, Mr. Money, and Mr. Wells. What I propose to do here is first to discuss what effect plutocracy, such as it is to-day, has had of late, and is likely to...

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Art and the State

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pp. 194-204

The recently appointed Commission of Fine Arts, which is the new name for the Committee of Taste for the nation, will doubtless adopt as a motto de gustibus non disputandum. They will be well advised to do so. Any discussion of their fitness for the task would be so likely to have unpleasant results for them. It is much better, they will doubtless consider, that they...

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Art and Industry

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pp. 205-212

Every nation has not only its own general culture but its own specific aesthetic feeling and aptitude for creation, and it is a loss, not only to that nation, but to the whole world, if, in any people, those aptitudes do not come to fruition. It is the general feeling that, under present conditions, such latent powers are not called forth among us that is at the bottom of...

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On the Encouragement of Design in British Manufactures

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pp. 213-215

Since the Morris movement England has marked time in such matters, content to repeat lifeless and anaemic imitations of that and other schools and relying for whatever was new or vital on imported goods from France and Germany. Meanwhile both France and Germany have gone ahead and shown the way in new developements of colour (brighter and cleaner oppositions...


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pp. 217-222

E-ISBN-13: 9780472023424
E-ISBN-10: 047202342X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472109029
Print-ISBN-10: 0472109022

Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 2 photographs
Publication Year: 1998

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Subject Headings

  • Art -- Marketing.
  • Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934.
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