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Title: Privatising culture : aspects of corporate intervention in contemporary art and art institutions during the Reagan and Thatcher decade
Author: Wu, Chin-tao
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1997
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available