Iain Robertson, Understanding Art Markets. Inside the World of Art and Business (Routledge, 2016)
This recently published textbook integrates, updates and enhances the author’s previous books, Understanding International Art Markets (2005) and The Art Business (2008). Part I (’Technical and Structural Mechanisms’), looks at defining issues such as underlying legal and ethical questions or the structure of commodity markets. The book’s central section (Part II, ’The Markets for Art’) surveys the structures of today’s art markets – notably those for old masters, impressionist, modern and contemporary art – but also provides fascinating vistas of the art markets of previous centuries. Part II also includes an illuminating chapter on Chinese Art – a must read for those wishing to gain a better understanding of the underlying values that define the art market in China today. Finally, part III considers ‚external factors‘ such as aspects of art investment, or the roles of the state and the museums. ‚In claiming that the international art market reflects us, Iain Roberson holds up a mirror every bit as beguiling as Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray‘ (Alistair Hicks, Author of The Global Art Compass: New Directions in 21st Century Art). – Iain Robertson is Head of Art Business Studies at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and a TIAMSA member.