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Amy Whitaker

Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Administration

Art and Art Professions

Amy studies the frictions between art and business and proposes new structures to support economic sustainability for artists. Stemming from Amy's longstanding engagement in the social practice of teaching business to artists, this research has contributed new methods of art market analysis that center artists and archival materials. These structures, in turn, inform policies of economic redistribution in democratic societies.

Amy's work (with Kräussl) proposing new models of fractional equity in art using blockchain was published in Management Science. Amy's research and her teaching have been covered in Time Magazine, The Guardian, Harpers, The Atlantic, the Financial Times, Artnet News, Hyperallergic, Artforum, and The Art Newspaper. Her work with the artists' coop Trade School was covered in the New York Times and The New Yorker.

Amy is the author of three books: Museum Legs, Art Thinking, and Economics of Visual Art: Market Practice and Market Resistance, and the 2021 recipient of EURAM's Edith Penrose Award for "trailblazing" research. Amy taught previously at Williams College, the School of Visual Arts, RISD, California College of the Arts, and the Sotheby's Institute. Before entering academia, she worked for the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate, as well as for the artist Jenny Holzer and the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P. Amy holds a PhD in political economy from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MBA from Yale, an MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art, and a BA in political science and studio art from Williams College.

Selected Publications

Books:

Economics of Visual Art, Cambridge University Press. (2021).

Art Thinking, Harper Business. (2016).

Museum Legs, Hol Art Books. (2009).

Selected journal articles:

Theory of an art market scandal: Artistic integrity and financial speculation in the Inigo Philbrick case. American Journal of Cultural Sociology, articles in advance. with Greenland. (2021).

Economies of scope in artists’ incubator projects. Journal of Cultural Economics, articles in advance. (2021).

Reconsidering people as the institution: Empathy, pay equity, and deaccessioning as key leadership strategies in art museums. Curator: The Museum Journal, 64(2): 253-267. (2021).

Fractional equity, blockchain, and the future of creative work. Management Science, 66(10), 4594–4611. with Kräussl. (2020).

Art, Antiquities, and Blockchain: New Approaches to the Restitution of Cultural Heritage. International Journal of Cultural Policy. With Bracegirdle, De Menil, Gitlitz, and Saltos. (2020).

Artists’ Royalties and Performers’ Equity: A Ground-Up Approach to Social Impact Investment in Creative Fields. Cultural Management, 3(2): 33-51. with Grannemann. (2019).

Shared Value over Fair Use: Technology, Added Value, and the Reinvention of Copyright, Cardozo Art and Entertainment Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 3, 635-657. (2019).

Economic Provenance: The Financial Analysis of Art Historical Records, Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies, vol. 6, no. 27. (2019).

Artist as Owner Not Guarantor: The Art Market from the Artist’s Point of ViewVisual Resources, vol. 34, no. 1-2, 48-64. (2018).

Partnership Strategies for Creative Placemaking in Teaching Entrepreneurial ArtistsArtivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, vol. 6, no. 2, 23-31 (2017).

Ownership for Artists, in The Social Life of Artistic Property. With Pablo Helguera, Michael Mandiberg, William Powhida, and Caroline Woolard. (2014).

Selected essays:

Artists Are Entrepreneurs. We Should Compensate Them Accordingly. Artsy, August 14, 2018. (with contribution from Kräussl).

The Eureka Moment That Made Bitcoin Possible. Wall Street Journal, Review, May 26-27, 2018, p. C18.

Empathy and Its Discontents. e-flux, February 16, 2017.

Why Teach Business to Artists? Hyperallergic, July 20, 2016.

Coding Is an Art: Software People Should Learn "Art Thinking." Fast Company, October 2, 2013.

The Obscure Early Lives of the Artists. The Millions, January 2, 2013.

Programs

Visual Arts Administration

Learn how to be a dynamic leader in the visual arts field. Our Visual Arts Administration program was the first in the nation to focus on visual arts management careers in both traditional and alternative contexts.

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