Reference Entry

Art adviser

Molly K. Dorkin

in Oxford Art Online


Published online February 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T2274561

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  • Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections
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[art consultant]

Paid adviser employed by collectors to recommend and facilitate the purchase of works of art. There is a long history of recruitment of art experts by wealthy patrons for advisery purposes. In the 18th century art historians such as Johann Joachim Winckelmann were actively advising leading collectors like Albani family §(2). In the early 20th century the English dealer Joseph Duveen earned a knighthood for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of British galleries. Enlisted by the so-called American Robber Barons for advice in forming collections, Duveen brokered the sale of many notable Old Masters from English aristocrats to American millionaires, including Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, Henry E. Huntington, and Andrew Mellon. Their collections ultimately formed the nuclei of many great American museums. Duveen’s contemporary Bernard Berenson was an American scholar and expert on Renaissance painting who turned his hand to art advising. Berenson assisted Isabella Stewart Gardner in forming her renowned collection of Renaissance art. His legacy as an academic is controversial thanks to his habit of accepting payment in exchange for favourable ...

Reference Entry.  575 words. 

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Financial Aspects of Art ; 18th-Century Art ; 19th-Century Art ; 20th-Century Art ; Contemporary Art

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