nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒04‒21
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Portraits of the Artist: Personal Visual Art in the Twentieth Century By David W. Galenson
  2. Who visits the museums? A comparison between stated preferences and observed effects of entrance fees By Lampi, Elina; Orth, Matilda

  1. By: David W. Galenson
    Abstract: Scholars of literature have devoted considerable attention to what they have called confessional or personal poetry, in which Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and a series of other poets, from the 1950s on, made their art out of the experiences of their own lives. Yet art scholars have not analyzed a parallel practice in the visual arts, in which painters and sculptors have used motifs drawn largely or exclusively from their own lives. This practice was begun by Vincent van Gogh in the late nineteenth century, and it subsequently influenced a diverse group of major artists, including such conceptual artists as Edvard Munch, Frida Kahlo, Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman, and Tracey Emin, and the experimental artists Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois. Although van Gogh did not think of his practice of painting himself and the people and things he cared most about as novel, others soon recognized it as an innovation that would help them to achieve their artistic goals, and personal art became a distinctive feature of the advanced art of the twentieth century. That personal art first appeared in the late nineteenth century, and became more common in the twentieth, reflects the increased autonomy of painters that was a consequence of the development of a competitive market for advanced art after the Impressionists' successful challenge to the monopoly of the official Salon.
    JEL: J01
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Lampi, Elina (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Orth, Matilda (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether the introduction of an entrance fee affects visitor composition at a state funded museum in Sweden. While entrance to the museum was still free, we conducted a survey to collect information about visitor characteristics and used the Contingent Valuation (CV) method to measure visitors’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a visit. The results of the CV survey show that even a very low entrance fee level results in a significant reduction in several target groups that the museum has policy directives to reach. Additionally, we conducted another survey after the introduction of the fee. Thus, we have a unique opportunity to test the validity of CV in the context of a cultural good. The comparison between the predicted results from the CV and the observed change in visitor composition after the introduction of the fee implies that CV does predict a majority of the changes successfully.<p>
    Keywords: free entrance; visitor composition; museum; natural experiment; stated preferences
    JEL: D12 H41 Z11
    Date: 2008–04–09

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