Duke Art Law and Markets (DALMI)

Director: Hans Van Miegroet, Art, Art History & Visual Studies; Research Scholar: Fiene Leunissen 

Ongoing research of the Duke Art, Law and Markets Initiative (DALMI) yields previously unavailable information about the economic, cultural and legal forces and factors that drive and influence the art market broadly defined and can be specified as follows:

(1) study clusters of buyers, areas, price series, auction results, clusters of characteristics buyers project in art whether or not intended by the maker, using the consumer theory of Lancaster and the bundled characteristics theory developed by Professors De Marchi (Economics) and Van Miegroet (Art History & Visual Studies);

(2) implement vertically integrated study and research projects that use a hybrid combination of new art historical, legal and econometric techniques to study consumer preferences for art and how these interact on a global scale with specific legislative and local cultural environments;

(3) conduct advanced research in a systematic manner of the factors that affect price, choice, legislation, consumer preference and use the result of these findings through economic theory regarding the role of irrationality in purchasing and investment decisions. This research is instrumental to expand innovative teaching and research in an emerging academic field (Art, Law & Markets) in which Duke University has gained expertise and seeks to develop distinct international leadership.

The DALMI research has yielded new public and proprietary data and information on international art markets. We also have developed new undergraduate courses in the History of Art Markets (ARTHIST 231; ECON 344) and offer seminars on Art and Markets.. which involves Duke undergraduate and graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and law. As part of our mission, we also have establsihed a formal partnership between DALMI and the J. Paul Getty Provenance Index Database (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA) one of the largest art databases in the country, which is now headed by one of our Duke/AAH&VS/DALMI PhD graduates, Sandra van Ginhoven. Our DALMI team is critically aware that, as scholars in the digital humanities, computational media can profoundly transform all kinds of existing paradigms, methodology, business practices and epistemology of art market research and the many disciplines it affects, such as Art History, Cultural Economics and Social History, but also Econometrics and a variety of Information Sciences.