This research project investigates the global art market with a view to providing new art historical perspectives and contributing to topical art market discourses.


As art historians continue to look across disciplines in an effort to expand their historical reconstructions of taste formation, art movements, artists and individual artworks, increasing recognition has been given to the field of art market research. Through new scholarship, symposiums and professional development opportunities this research project seeks to examine the historical and philosophical underpinnings of the art market with a view to providing new art historical perspectives. In doing this, the project also expects to contribute to issues relating to the structure, operations and future developments of the contemporary global art market.


Associate Professor Christopher Marshall

Christopher Marshall academic profile

Dr Anita Archer

Anita Archer academic profile

David Challis

Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting
Baroque Naples and
the Industry of Painting

Selected publications

Marshall, Christopher. Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting, Yale University Press, 2018

This new reading of 17th-century Italian Baroque art explores the social, material, and economic history of painting, revealing how artists, agents, and the owners of artworks interacted to form a complex and mutually sustaining art world. Through such topics as artistic rivalry and anti-foreign labour agitation, art dealing and forgery, cultural diplomacy, and the rise of the independently arranged art exhibition, Christopher R. Marshall illuminates the rich interconnections between artistic practice and patronage, business considerations, and the spirit of entrepreneurialism in Baroque Italy.

Archer, Anita. “Genesis of an Auction Sale Category, Sotheby’s Inaugural Auction of ‘Chinese Contemporary Art’,” in Journal for Art Market Studies, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2018

Challis, David. “Rodin’s sculpture in Japan and the Economics of Translocation,” in Journal for Art Market Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2018

Call for papers

Art Markets without Borders - artists, networks, demand, value conference

Date: Wednesday 3 June 2020
Location: University of Melbourne

Today's global art world offers multiple opportunities for artists and artworks to cross borders. Institutional and commercial platforms such as biennales, art fairs, mega galleries and auction houses afford global footprints to translocate cultural productions and their creators to diverse audiences. Simultaneously, visible and invisible boundaries impact this movement both positively and negatively - government regulations, parochial markets, art world gatekeepers and economic drivers. Ostensibly, a global art world proposes art markets without borders but is this really the case, and if so, how do transnational markets operate? If boundaries are crossed, what impact does this have on art and its reception? In a borderless environment, what is the relevance of centre and periphery?

"Art Markets without Borders - artists, networks, demand, value" is a conference convened by the Art Market Studies Research Project at the University of Melbourne. It will consider the past, present and future dynamics of world art markets. Specifically, this conference wishes to address the following research questions:

  • What is the interrelationship between critical and commercial value?
  • Why does provenance continue to play such a major role in creating confidence within the art market?
  • To what extent should government and industry regulation and oversight be imposed on the natural forces of a thriving and dynamic market?
  • How do informed agents interact together to create influence in the market?

The Art Market Studies Research Project welcomes interdisciplinary approaches to these research questions.

Please note: the call for papers has now closed.



Research tools

Archival Currency Converter 1916-1940

Use the currency converter tool to check historical exchange rates. The data used in the Archival Currency Converter 1916-1940 was sourced from the archival United States of America Federal Reserve Bank report titled, 'Section 11: Currency' in the Banking and Monetary Statistics, 1914-1941.

Archival Currency Converter 1916-1940

Image credit: Christopher Marshall, photograph, 2018