Editorial of January 19th 2006
 


Jérôme Poggi
painting to be seen versus painting to be sold :
the paying exhibition as alternative to the commercialization
of the work of art under the second empire

 

Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux the economic models of culture

Seminar of January 19th 2006

Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux is an economics professor at the University of Antwerp specializing in questions concerning the cultural economy. He is the author of numerous texts, including:
Economie des Politiques Culturelles. With Joelle Farchy. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994. 183 pp.
La propriété intellectuelle, c’est le vol! Proudhon’s Les majorats littéraires and other texts selected and presented by Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux. Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2002.
“Quels auteurs pour quels droits? Les enjeux économiques de la définition de l’auteur.” Revue d’Economie Industrielle, 99 (2002).
“Art Prices.” The Handbook of Cultural Economics. Ruth Towse. Ed. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2003..

the economic models of culture

 



        The utopian experiment of the Louis Martinet Gallery between 1861 and 1865 as described by Jérôme Poggi stands at the intersection of two major issues that existed at the time: the establishment of a “market for contemporary art” that was organized against the system of the Academy in order to promote new artistic forms, on the one hand, and the definition of a system of royalties [de droit d’auteur] that would secure some resources for authors of published works, on the other. Thus were sketched out the two main models for promoting artistic creation that were going to dominate the cultural economy throughout the twentieth century: the sale of an original, nonreproducible work at a high cost, characteristic of the art market, and the sale of a reproduction or of a right of reproduction of an original work that, for its own part, is not to be exchanged (economy of the cultural industries). Now, these two models are today reaching their limits. The art-market model has a rough time promoting such “service-works” as performances or such nonstorable works as installations. The “publishing” model, for its part, is being weakened by digital technologies that reduce to nothing the cost of duplication of works and allow widespread pirating. Numerous, more or less utopian debates and experiments follow therefrom, ones that are reminiscent of the period of the Second Empire.

The Establishment of a New Market for Contemporary Art

        The second half of the nineteenth century witnessed the sudden appearance of a new mode of promoting works in the plastic arts that was radically opposed to the then-dominant system of the Academy. In the latter, value was anchored in the work. There existed a conventional standard of Beauty that defined a hierarchy of aesthetic values. As “lector” painting, according to Pierre Bourdieu, academic art combined “a concern for legibility with a search for technical virtuosity so as to favor an aesthetics of the finished product.”(1) Alongside the market for academic creation there existed a large imitative craft market. It did not enjoy the prestige of the Academy, but there was a very buoyant market for such imitations and demand was rapidly growing for such genres as portraiture and small-sized decorative paintings.(2) Academic paintings came to find therein an unexpected source of income.
        This two-legged system was weakened toward the middle of the nineteenth century for several reasons. The invention of photography rapidly came to threaten the portraiture, landscape, and reproduction markets. Photography obliged the painter to reflect on the specificity of his labor and on the nonreproducible nature of the “picture object.” Innovative movements then found, in a quite often unconscious way, their economic reasons for existence by being standard-bearers for a strategy of differentiation with respect to photography that became indispensable to the survival of one’s craft. In another connection, the instauration of a more general climate of (political and economic) free-market liberalism favored the challenging of the academic rules. The myth of the unity of art defended by the Academy was contested. Art became an end in itself and a decentralized market appeared as the best adapted mode for promoting the establishment of a hierarchy among artists and for remunerating their labor.
        The world of contemporary art then put forward new rules for the promotion of art, ones based upon the originality of the artist’s approach, the singularity of the work, and its authenticity (convention of originality). From a market of works, one gradually went over to a market of artists that was organized around the figure of the entrepreneur-dealer. The Salon des Refusés, in 1863, constituted an important stage in the development of this new system.
        Nevertheless, it was another model that Louis Martinet experimented with between 1861 and 1865. This model was based upon the idea of remunerating the artist in the form of a royalty payment. Recognition for this model became the object of a very lively debate at that time.

The Debate Over Royalties

        Over the course of the nineteenth century, an intense debate did indeed bring together lawyers, economists, and writers around the nature of the author’s right of ownership over his work, around the most appropriate way of remunerating creative people, and around the balance between the interest of creators and that of society.(3) This debate was set between two particularly important dates: the first laws on royalties in France during the French Revolution in 1791 and 1793 and the signing of the Berne Convention in 1886 (the first international agreement on copyright). It developed in a context marked by large-scale copying and pirating, particularly in Belgium and in the United States, which is reminiscent of the present-day context for music pirating on the internet. It was during this period that an opposition was sketched out between the American system of copyright--which protects the work over the author and which, for this reason, does not recognize the moral rights of authors--and the French system that protects the author over the work and which, consequently, grants this moral right.
        In fact, as regards royalties, three positions became clearly distinguished at that time. For the French liberals and their leader, Fredéric Bastiat, while there would be a form of property ownership that was incontestable, it was that of the author over his work, and the law had to apply itself to protecting this property. For Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Victor Hugo, and the American economist Henry Carey, the author’s ownership claim upon the work was only partial on account of the borrowings authors make upon the common fund of ideas. The law then has to take this co-ownership into account by paying works into the public domain beyond a certain amount of time. This position founds the French system of royalties. Finally, for the economists Léon Walras and Jules Dupuit, royalties were only a social convention to be valued with regard to their ability to satisfy the general interest. This view is the inspiration for the American system of copyright.
        Beyond the economic foundation for royalties, another debate concerned the establishment of an international agreement whose purpose was to guarantee intellectual property rights at the international level. This period was indeed marked by abundant pirating, especially in Belgium and the United States. While European liberal, free-market economists militated in favor of such an agreement, the American economist Henry Carey, on the contrary, engaged in an impassioned plea for an American cultural exception. The pressure of powerful countries in favor of free trade and of an enlargement of the domains in which intellectual property rights could be applied expressed, in fact, only a will to preserve those countries’ monopoly incomes. This pressure would serve to maintain other countries in a state of cultural domination that would deter their development. We thus rediscover here, in inverted fashion, the terms of the present-day debate around the issue of the enlargement of Intellectual Property Rights (Khan 2004).(4)

Notes :

1. Pierre Bourdieu, “ L’institutionnalisation de l’anomie,” Cahiers du Musée National d’art moderne, 24 (1988), p. 12.
2. See J. Chatelus, Peindre à Paris au XVIIIème siècle (Nîmes: Jacqueline Chambon, 1991).
3. For a detailed presentation of this debate, see Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux, ed. (2002), Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux (2005), Fritz Machlup and Edith Penrose (1950), “Droits d’auteur, vieilles querelles et nouveaux enjeux,” a special section of the review L’Economie Politique, 22 (April 2004).
4. B. Z. Khan, “Does Copyright Piracy Pay? The Effects of U.S. International Copyright Laws on the Market for Books,” Working Paper 10271, NBER, January 2004.

Bibliographie :

On the Transformations of the Art Market at the End of the Nineteenth Century :

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BOURDIEU, P. “Genèse historique d'une esthétique pure.” Cahiers du Musée National d'Art Moderne, 27 (1989): 95-106.
CHATELUS, J. Peindre à Paris au XVIIIème siècle. Nîmes: Jacqueline Chambon, 1991.
CRANE, D. The Transformation of the Avant-Garde. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
FRIZOT, M. and F. DUCROS. Du bon usage de la photographie, une anthologie de textes. Paris: CNP, 1987.
HEINICH, N. Du peintre à l'artiste. Artisans et académiciens à l'âge classique. Paris: Minuit, 1993.
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KAHNWEILER, D.-H. Mes galeries et mes peintres. Paris: Gallimard, 1961.
KRAUSS, R. L'originalité de l'Avant-Garde et autres mythes modernistes. Paris: Macula, 1993.
MARTIN, B. L'évaluation de la qualité sur le marché de l'art contemporain, Le cas de l'insertion des jeunes artistes plasticiens. Economics Doctoral Thesis, University of Paris-X Nanterre, 2005.
MICHAUD, Y. L'artiste et les commissaires. Nîmes: Jacqueline Chambon, 1990.
MICHAUD, Y. L'art à l'état gazeux. Paris: Stock, 2003.
MONNIER, G. Des beaux-arts aux arts plastiques, une histoire sociale de l'art. Besançon: La Manufacture, 1991.
MOULIN, R. Le marché de la peinture en France. Paris: Minuit, 1967.
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- L'artiste, l'institution et le marché. Paris: Flammarion, Paris, 1992.
MOUREAU, N. and D. SAGOT-DUVAUROUX. “Les conventions de qualité sur le marché de l'art, d'un académisme à l'autre?” Esprit, Octobre 1992: 43-54.
- Le marché de l'art contemporain. Forthcoming, La Découverte.
MOUREAU, N. Analyse économique de la valeur des biens d'art. Paris: Economica, 2000.
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ROUGET, B. and D. SAGOT-DUVAUROUX. Economie des arts plastiques, une analyse de la médiation culturelle. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1996.
SAGOT-DUVAUROUX, D. “Art Prices.” A Handbook of Cultural Economics. R. Towse. Ed. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2003. Pp. 57-63.
- “Incertitude qualitative et fonctionnement des marchés: l'exemple des œuvres d'art.” “Du partage au marché, regards croisés sur la circulation des savoirs.” E. Delamotte. Ed. Sillery, Quebec: Éditions du Septentrion, 2004. Pp. 279-99.
TOWSE, R. Ed. A Handbook of Cultural Economics. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2003.
VOLLARD, A. Souvenirs d'un marchand de tableaux. Paris: Albin Michel, 1937.
WHITE, H. & C. La carrière des peintres au XIXème siècle. Paris: Flammarion, 1991.

On the Question of Royalties :

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BAUDRILLART, H. “Du principe de propriété.” Journal des Economistes, 8:9 (December 1855): 321-42.
BAUDRILLART, H. Manuel d'Economie Politique. Paris: Guillaumin, 1857.
BLANC, L. Organisation du travail. 9th Ed. Paris: Au bureau du nouveau monde, 1839/1850.
CAREY, H. Letters on International Copyright. Philadelphia: A. Hart, late Carey and Hart, 1853.
COQUELIN, C. and GUILLAUMIN. Ed. Dictionnaire de l'économie politique. Brussels: Guillaumin, 1853.
DUPUIT, J. “Du principe de propriété, le juste - l'utile.” Part 1. Le Journal des Economistes, 30:1 (January): 321-47. Part 2. Ibid., 30:14 (April): 28-55. Reprint in D. Sagot-Duvauroux. Ed. 2002.
Economie Politique. “Droits d'auteur, vieilles querelles et nouveaux enjeux.” Special issue of L'Economie Politique, 22 (avril 2004).
JOBARD, J. B. Nouvelle économie sociale, ou Monautopole industriel, artistique, commercial et littéraire, fondés sur la pérennité des brevets d'invention, dessins, modèles et marques de fabrique. Paris: Mathias, 1844.
KHAN, B. Z. “Does Copyright Piracy Pay? The Effects of U.S. International Copyright Laws on the Market for Books.” Working Paper 10271, NBER, January, 2004.
LANDES, W. M. and R. POSNER. “An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law.” Journal of Legal Studies, 18:2 (June, 1989): 325-63.
LE HARDY BEAULIEU, Ch. “Discussion sur la propriété des inventions.” Journal des Economistes, 34:26 (April 1862): 72-91.
MACHLUP, F. and E. PENROSE. “The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century.” The Journal of Economic Theory, 10:1 (May 1950).
MILL, J. S. Principles of Political Economy. Sir William Ashley. Ed. Bk 5. Ch 10. New York, 1969 (first published in 1848).
MOLINARI, G. de. “Propriété littéraire et artistique.” Dictionnaire de l'économie politique. Bruxelles: Guillaumin, 1853. C. Coquelin and Guillaumin. Eds. Pp. 473-78.
MOLINARI, G. de. “De la propriété des inventions.” Journal des Economistes, 7 (2nd Series):9 (September 15, 1855): 421-30.
MOUREAU, N. and D. SAGOT-DUVAUROUX. “Quels auteurs pour quels droits? les enjeux économiques de la définition de l'auteur.” Revue d'Economie Industrielle, 99 (2002).
PASSY, F. “De la propriété individuelle au point de vue du droit.” Journal des Economistes, 22:6 (June 1859): 397-404.
PASSY, F., V. MODESTE, and P. PAILLOTET. De la Propriété Intellectuelle. Paris: E. Dentu, libraire -éditeur, 1859.
PROUDHON, P. J. Les Majorats littéraires, examen d'un projet de loi ayant pour but de créer au profit des auteurs, inventeurs et artistes un monopole perpétuel. Paris: Librairie Internationale and Brussels: A. Lacroix Verboeckhoven éds, 1868. Reprint. D. Sagot-Duvauroux. Ed. 2002.
SAGOT-DUVAUROUX, D. Ed. Les majorats littéraires de Proudhon et un choix de contributions au débat sur le droit d'auteur au XIXeme siècle. Dijon: Les Presses du Réél, 2002.
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