This paper is a research study of the market for fine art. The art market describes the collective ecosystem of artists, sellers and buyers creating, selling and buying art. A literature review was conducted with the purpose of understanding why art is valuable. This research states that there are three primary categories of value that apply to art: Financial, Signal and Quintessential. Financial value refers to the monetary value of art. Signal value refers to the social value of owning or creating well-known art. Quintessential value describes art's ability to elicit feelings and ideas from those who engage with the art. A hypothesized model of the art market was created that associated the three entities of the art market with the three value types. Two research studies were conducted that analyzed the ways that these three value types exist in the art market. Based on the findings of the research, it was determined that all three-value types influence each entity. However, the three value types rank in terms of overall importance and impact on the entities. This new model of a three-tiered value type model applies to consumer preferences in the market for luxury items.
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