Booklet updated on 4 Jul 2022, now on sale as version 2.0
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Literature Review: Arts Problems for the 2020s
The Art Market recovered strongly in 2021, even surpassing pre-pandemic levels . Yet that recovery was uneven, and particularly strong for major auction houses and galleries in the top echelons. Holding to form, the critical mass of the market orbits around a relatively small number of incredibly high-priced pieces. Relatedly, the number of staggeringly wealthy individuals rose sharply, as did the number buying art. Once again, auction houses proved the most successful in attracting new buyers. Digital remains a pivotal topic and, for the first time, sales dig into NFTs.
A public education without the arts—a fundamental mode of human expression—is incomplete. The arts are a rich source of history and cultural identity. Learning from the voices of different cultures and histories provides the opportunity to reflect on the complexity of human experience across time and place. Arts education was sorely under-resourced even before the pandemic arrived, and that was before educators had to deliver their work through computer screens—a poor substitute for the group and student-teacher dynamics that are so essential to an arts education .
Museums increasingly recognize the need to address advances in digital culture which impact the expectations and needs of their audiences . Museum collections of real objects need to be presented both on their own premises and digitally online, especially as digital and social media becomes more and more influential in people’s everyday lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the changes driving museums transformation, and they will need to be more prepared than ever to adapt to unabated technological advances set in the midst of the digital landscape.
Starting from such general references, this booklet identifies ten relevant issues, as put forward at academic level in the form of recent journal articles, conference proceedings or students’ theses. Four freely accessible internet references have been selected for each issue and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our references neither intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, scientifically-sound case studies for dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also offer even more references through their own bibliography list.
Without further ado, these are the “Ten Problems for Arts in the 2020s” that we are going to introduce in this booklet:
Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introduction, a snippet from the 1st edition of this booklet, a short presentation of four new case studies, a conclusions section and the references list with links.
The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter, again, in order to provide a complete executive summary.
GENERAL REFERENCES CITED
 McAndrew, C. The Art Market 2022. Basel, Switzerland: Art Basel, 2022. https://d2u3kfwd92fzu7.cloudfront.net/Art%20Market%202022.pdf
 American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Art for Life’s Sake: The Case for Arts Education. Cambridge, Mass.: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2021. https://www.amacad.org/sites/default/files/publication/downloads/2021-Art-for-Lifes-Sake.pdf
 Giannini, T. et al. Museums and Digital Culture: From Reality to Digitality in the Age of COVID-19. Heritage 2022, 5, 192–214. https://mdpi-res.com/d_attachment/heritage/heritage-05-00011/article_deploy/heritage-05-00011-v2.pdf?version=1642053200
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