Division of Humanities PhD Thesis Presentation - A Century of Avant Garde to Hype Beast Art Collecting and Collectors: Examining Theoretical Elements and Global Shifts in the United States and the Fluid Evolution to East Asia
04:00pm - 06:00pm

Mr. Raymond Robert ROHNE


Studies on the history of art collection in humanities often focus primarily on high culture and the aesthetics of composition of art itself. Research on modern and contemporary art collection has paid inadequate attention to the process of how the current global trends have come to be, which is arguably best reflected by American collectors in the early and mid-twentieth century. This disregard has left those within the humanities and the arts, especially historians of art collections, little scholarly understanding how globalization, cultural mobility, and the market played a significant role in the development of collections in non-Western regions of the world. Early first-generation American collectors of modern art and later contemporary art built a global narrative of art collection, now reflected in East Asia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and ultimately Greater China. Which like the United States, reconstructed local and regionalized art collections that were originally monopolized by the superior classes of society and reflective of academy defined high culture. Arguably what begun as a cultural exchange in collecting led to an inevitable cultural change, because of the influx of capital and economic growth.


American modern art collectors in the early twentieth century and later East Asians were generally not heirs or members of the aristocracy, rather self-made capitalists, and part of the production of labor, breaking the idea of connoisseurship and Eurocentric feudal elitism. Theoretical understanding of a modern and contemporary art collector will be vital in understanding how and why this significant phenomenon occurred. Of particular significance, will be demonstrating how millennials and generation Z art collectors in East Asia have transformed the way art is consumed through non-traditional methods, that is reflective of the information age, hype beast culture, and the redefinition of what is art, such as work with progressive content, art toys, and collaborations.

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UG students
PG students
Faculty and staff
Division of Humanities
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