Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History
The concept of an `African-American art market' presents a new field of scholarly inquiry. However, objects labeled and fashioned as `African-American art' allude to a broader visual culture composed of objects, buyers, sellers and critics than previously acknowledged in scholarly literature. This dissertation will provide a nuanced picture of how an `African-American art market' has been conceptualized and how this understanding reflects a complex web of tensions and relationships between objects, consumers, sellers and even scholars and critics of the work. Since the current literature on the field of African-American art provides only scant attention to the consumption of African American art and virtually nothing about its place in the art market, this study will demonstrate how art historians could critically interpret African-American art in relation to market dynamics through an investigation of art related publications, oral interviews, public display venues.