Contemporary Art in Boom and Crisis. France and Germany 1918-1933

Gee Malcolm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the postwar years the Parisian art market went through a remarkable boom, that reinforced the city’s role as the leading centre for innovation and supplier of artworks to the international community. This took place in a context of inflation leading to a financial crisis and an official devaluation of the franc. The German art market also went through a short boom period immediately after the war but the total collapse of the mark in 1923-1924 had a highly destructive impact on art sales. Following the introduction of the new Reichsmark conditions gradually improved and some centres, Berlin in particular, re-established an infrastructure for the support of art production quite successfully. This essay analyses specific features of these phenomena in a comparative perspective addressing the following key issues: • How did fluctuating financial conditions affect the structural features of the contemporary art market in France and Germany 1918-1928? • What was the experience, and response, of artists to these conditions? • What impact did these commercial factors have on the understanding and interpretation of contemporary art in the two countries?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Challenge of the Object/Die Herausforderung des Objekts: 33rd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art Congress proceedings
Place of PublicationNurenberg
PublisherGerman National Museum
ISBN (Print)9783936688658
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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