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Privatising culture: aspects of corporate intervention in contemporary art and art institutions during the Reagan and Thatcher decade

Wu, Chin-tao; (1997) Privatising culture: aspects of corporate intervention in contemporary art and art institutions during the Reagan and Thatcher decade. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study provides an analysis of the growth of corporate art intervention in America and Britain during the Reagan-Thatcher era of the 1980s. The premise is that the factors governing business intervention into the art world are inseparable from the free-market enterprise culture and the government-specific policies deployed to promote it. After a general introduction, Chapter 2 investigates the concept of the state and its role in relation to the arts. The public perception of differences between the American and British arts funding systems is further explored in terms of the financing of American art museums, and the arts provision provided by the state before the 1980s is examined in the practices of the Arts Council of Great Britain and the National Endowment for the Arts. The public arts policies of the New Right, and in particular the use of tax deduction incentives, are analysed in Chapter 3. It also examine the host of measures implemented by the two governments to inject the principles and ethos of the free market into these public arts agencies, and to transform them into paragons of arts privatisation. The corporate takeover of art museums is the subject of Chapter 4. The crucial role played by the corporate elites who served on the boards of trustees of these institutions is investigated, together with the great influx of corporate capital into them. Chapter 5 gives an account of how corporations integrated themselves into the arts support system, by holding art exhibitions themselves, and by establishing branches of public art museums within corporate premises. Chapter 6, which concentrates on corporate art collections themselves, shows how these came to fulfil the dual function of private investment and public image-enhancing, how they sought and achieved validation and legitimation, how artists reacted to them, and how they succeeded in re-defining the meaning of cultural production. A conclusion summarises the various developments of corporate art intervention under the "casino economy" of the Reagan-Thatcher decade, and looks forward to possible directions for the future.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Privatising culture: aspects of corporate intervention in contemporary art and art institutions during the Reagan and Thatcher decade
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third-party copyrighted content has been removed from this e-thesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History of Art
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044720
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