Friday, April 20, 2012

Art of Economic Development and Advancement

Just as the art market now attracts collectors, and investors, from the super rich, to the wealthy, to those of more modest means, nations at many different stages of economic development see the art world as a means for advancement.
Two recent examples clearly characterize the contrast of participating nations. Bangladesh held an art fair earlier this month. The Samdani Foundation hosted the first Dhaka Art Summit with the intent of raising international awareness of Bangladeshi artists in the vein of recent advancements of China and India in the art world. On the other end of the economic spectrum, the Royal Family of Qatar is expected to bid on the last privately held version of "The Scream" by Edvard Munch in early May. The Royal Family reportedly paid $250 million last year for the "The Card Players" by Cezanne, and as the "second most famous painting in the world," "The Scream" will also fetch a significant price. Two such high-end purchases suggests that the nation sees Western art as important to cultural advancement.
The two examples indicate that the art market plays a role in development of emerging and affluent nations alike. Bangladesh sees the advancement of artists as part of a strategy for economic development, and Qatar seems to value the idea of becoming a cultural center as a means to adding dimensions to its oil-based economy.

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