Why Are Artists Poor? The Exceptional Economy of the Arts

By Hans Abbing | Go to book overview

295 Epilogue: the Future Economy of the Arts
Is this Book's Representation of the Economy of the Arts Outdated?

In this epilogue, I address the question of whether my representation of the exceptional economy of the arts is an outdated one, or nearly so. Given the notions of postmodernism and commercialization, the answer to this question could well be 'yes'. Therefore, Section 2 and the sections thereafter will examine the forces that promote change in the arts and the economy of the arts. Because a thorough treatment of possible developments is beyond the scope of this book, the remarks in this epilogue are sketchy and necessarily speculative. 1


1 Signs of a Less Exceptional Economy of the Arts

On the basis of the analysis in this book, one could expect a normalization of the economy of the arts to be accompanied by the following signs.

TABLE 5 SIGNS OF A LESS EXCEPTIONAL ECONOMY OF THE ARTS
Monetary signs
1 There is a downward trend in the incomes of successful artists. (The contrary is currently the case.)
2 There is a downward trend in the prices of old and contemporary art by famous artists. (The contrary is currently the case.)
3 There is an upward trend in the average hourly income of artists. (The contrary is currently the case.)
4 There is an upward trend in the percentage of artists with salaried employment. (The contrary is currently the case.)
5 There is a downward trend in overall donations and subsidies to the arts. (This is currently not the case. 2)
Other `hard' signs
6 There is a downward trend in enrollment figures of youngsters going to art colleges. (This is currently not the case. 3)

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