2013년 5월 21일 화요일

[발췌] Art exports ... in Great Britain


출처: Helen Rees, "Art Exports and the Construction of National Heritage in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Great Britain", in Economic engagements with art 
자료: 구글도서


※ 발췌(excerpts):

The "Old Masters Question"

In November 1911, the Board of the National Gallery, London, appointed a sub-committee of trustees to conduct an "Enquiry into the Retention of Important Pictures in This Country."[1] The focus of the trustees' concern was what had become known as the "Old Masters question"ㅡthat is, the apparently incompatible ambitions of vendors, the British state, and the National Gallery in the face of an increasingly competitive market in Old Masters painting. New and wealthy collectorsㅡprimarily, but not exclusively, from the United States of Americaㅡwere creating an escalating demand for such pictures, and the art collections of the British peerage provided a ready supply. The result was a discernible and, to the British art establishment, alarming increase in the pace of art exports(Witt 1911).

In an attempt to quantify the problem, the National Gallery committee compiled a list of five hundred "Important Pictures Sold out of the United Kingdom in Recent Years" (National Gallery 1915, 52-60). The list maps a proces of dispersal that had begun in the 1880s and had continued for over 25 years. It is dominated by sales of European paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries, and of British portraits from the 18th and early 19th centuries, primarily from aristocratic collections.[2] Of course, Great Britain was not the only source of Old Masters paintings at this time. Obviously, Italy was incomparatively richer in indigenous works of art which, despite the official prohibition on the export of national treasures, were frequently removed from the country, albeit illegally (Baldwin Brown 1905). Equally, not all art exports from Great Britain were destined to the United States of America: for example, all four works by Albrecht Duerer included in the National Gallery list were bought by the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin.

However, it was the increasing competition from New World collectors that excited the greatest apprehension, envy, and, occasionally, approval among commentators in Great Britain. Responses to the crisis were certainly not uniform, let alnoe predictable. Roger Fry(1911b, 66) commented that "the America side of this vexed question is by far the brightest. ... It is excusable for Englishmen to resent the acquisitiveness of these magnates, but no one in his senses can deny that by the employment of their vast powers they are doing national service to their own country." Others were less even-handed: D.S. MacColl (1912, 25) believed that "fortunes there[i.e., America] have reached a wicked scale that throws into the shade the old-fashioned fortunes of our treasures." For Henry James (quoted in Edel and Powers 1987, 126) 1895 was "the age of Mrs Jack," his friend Isabella Stewart Gardner, whom he described as "the American, the nightmare" and whom he compared with the barbarian at the gates of Rome.

14 Years later, in 1909, James wrote a comic play entitled ^The Outcry^, in which he satirized the attitudes towards the ownership of works of art. The central, contrasting characters are a proud and unworldly English aristocrat, the earl of Theign, and an acquisitive American tycoon, Mr. Beckenridge Bender. Much of the humor of the piece derives from the apparently paradoxical behavior of the protagonists: Theign appears to be willing to contemplate a sale, at the same time as he recoils from market forces; and Bender undoubtedly wanted to buy, but only for a very high price. Lord John, who is a fried of both men, suggests to Theign that a degree of compromise is required of each: 

( ... ... )

^Outcry^ is generally regarded by Jamesian scholars as of marginal interest. ( ... ) Certainly, the subsequent success of a novella based on the play, which ran to three editions when it was published in 1911, suggests that moral and economic implications of the transatlantic trade in art had entered the currency of contemporary popular culture.

The purpose of this article is to map the historical events that inspired James's play and thus investigate how the associative discourses of art and nationhood were activated by the export of paintings in the years before WWI. ( ... ... )

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