© Art Market Dictionary

Frequently Asked Questions

General

 

Q: Does the AMD include non-Western art, design, or antiquities?

A: While the AMD is currently devoted to the art markets of Europe and North America since 1900, it does include galleries and dealers who specialize in non-Western art and the trade in Classical antiquities. It does not include galleries or dealers whose chief focus is books, maps, antiques, furniture, design, numismatics, or jewelry.

 

Q: Will an entry on a gallery be checked by the gallery’s own staff?

A: We place great importance on scholarly neutrality and will not ask the subject of an entry to approve a text. Authors are encouraged to approach gallery staff to learn more about a person’s or institution’s history and for fact-checking purposes, but we ask authors not to seek approval.

 

Q: How will the AMD achieve completeness of information?

A: Ideally, the AMD would provide complete information on its subjects. The state of research across the field of art market history is uneven, however, and while some authors are able to take advantage of extensive documentation and sources, others find themselves confronted by gaps in information that their best efforts cannot fill. The final section of each entry, “Archival situation,” is a field where readers may learn about the nature of existing documentation and its scope, or find out how much information is missing or inaccessible for researchers.

 

Q: How long are AMD entries?

A: The longest entries are ca. 2,000 words long. We have relatively few of this length, as it is reserved for galleries, auction houses, and art fairs which have had enormous impact on the international art market over a sustained period of time. At the other end of the spectrum, the “extra-short” entries contain only data (names, years, addresses, bibliography, etc.) and are used for subjects about whom fragmentary information indicates they may have been important; which are still very new but have a track record; or whose local importance does not appear to have transitioned into broader influence. In between are the “medium” and “short” entries. The length of each entry is determined by the section editors and editor-in-chief.

 

Q: Will my family’s art gallery be included?

A: Please contact us at amd@degruyter.com if you have specific inquiries about the entries list or would like to offer information. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Frequently asked by authors

 

Q: When is the deadline?

A: Authors are assigned deadlines based on a number of factors: the number and length of their entries, the degree to which they have previously researched a subject, and their own estimation of what would be realistic. The AMD’s publication date of 2019 does not mean that we can assign deadlines in the far future, because when preparing reference works, hundreds, if not thousands, of contributions must be assigned, written, edited, indexed, linked, and so on, well before publication.

 

Q: I’m writing a biographical entry about a person who was active in many aspects of the art world. How should the entry address all of this?

A: In general the AMD maintains a focus on companies, but of course there are exceptions. We make exceptions for people who had a major impact on the art market but were not actually dealers – Bernard Berenson, Mary Cassatt, Julius Meier-Graefe, etc. We also make exceptions for people who ran a number of galleries, all of which can be dealt with as part of the biography. In all biographical entries, we are chiefly interested in a person’s relationship to, and impact on, the art market. Their other activities may of course be mentioned, but are not our focus. Moreover, for the purposes of the AMD, professional work is more significant than personal details and the entries should discuss (where possible) both successes and failures, relevant criticisms of a person’s work, etc. His/her network and the scale of influence are important.

 

Q: Should I leave “economic situation” blank if I cannot provide numbers?

A: Financial information can be very private and specific numbers are often unavailable. It may be possible to write about a person’s or institution’s economic situation by examining outward signs like a move to an (in)expensive neighborhood, the hiring or firing of staff, increased or decreased art fair participation, opened or closed branches, press about co-operations, the capacity to make major donations, and more. Authors are encouraged to address such signs where possible.

 

Q: How much space does an author have to list important information?

A: The word limit assigned by AMD editors only refers to the text portions of the article (history and economic situation). It does not include the lists of artists, collectors, or exhibitions; any of the basic factual information; or the bibliography.

 

Q: How do I list all the data and the bibliography?

A: Please consult the style sheet here [link to pdf].

 

Q: A gallery I’m writing about represented artists in many different ways – some under contract, others informally, and some through just a single show. Can we make those differences clear in the entry?

A: The AMD will include artists who were represented consistently and those whose works were sold only occasionally. The reasons are both practical (it can be hard to access definitive information), and idealistic. Mentioning a few artists in particular in the text of an entry is a way of suggesting relative importance.

 

Q: Is the list of artists selected?

A: No. We made the decision to make the artist lists as long as they need to be. Having our authors select the most prominent artists would exclude a lot of history. It helps paint a better picture of what the full history and network of a gallery was and for further research, even obscure names or small hints are useful.

 

Q: Is the list of exhibitions selected?

A: Yes. We trust our authors’ expertise in making these choices, keeping in mind that things like relative prominence or significant milestones can be expressed through this list.

 

Q: What do you consider a primary source and a secondary source?

A: Primary sources are texts (usually publications) produced by the gallery itself or its protagonists, which are unlikely to reflect distance from the subject. For secondary sources, we mean the usual sense of a research-based secondary source.

 

Q: Do authors receive contracts?

A: The contract, termed “Contributor’s Declaration / Copyright Transfer Agreement,” exists for two purposes.

The first purpose is to promise the author a number of things: appropriate attribution; all proprietary rights to their work (this applies to intellectual property); no changes to the content of their narrative texts without permission; and either five years’ database access following publication (for authors who are regularly employed or submit fewer than 10 short entries) or an honorarium (for students and freelancers who submit a minimum of 10 short entries).

The second purpose is to make publication possible in both print and online form, and this is achieved through the numerous clauses pertaining to the publisher’s rights. Publication involves, among other things, saving an author’s work digitally, editing it, moving it between data carriers or copying as it is prepared, changing its appearance, making it available in database and print form, and presenting it on readers’ various end devices. Given the fast pace of technological change in the publishing industry, these clauses are formulated to permit the publisher – Walter de Gruyter GmbH – to continue publishing the AMD even as the technology for doing so changes. In the unlikely event that De Gruyter may someday license a third party for the AMD, we also ask authors for permission for that case, promising that the licensee must concede the same rights that De Gruyter does.

 

Q: I signed a Copyright Transfer Agreement before the new content management system was up and running. Is it still valid?

A: Yes, the CTA is still valid. Authors who begin working in the CMS will find that it asks them to click their approval of the CTA before they can enter their work. It is available for download. This will neither invalidate an earlier CTA nor add to/subtract from the rights promised in it.

 

Q: I forgot my password for the content management system, what do I do?

A: If you can no longer find the email that contained your login information, or you changed your password but forgot it afterwards, please write to amd@degruyter.com and we will assign you a new password.

 

Q: I submitted my entries, what’s next?

A: After an entry is submitted, it receives a formal check by the AMD editors, who may come back with questions regarding the content. The entries are also read by section editors, who may pose further questions or request more material from the author. Next the entry is copy-edited; entries by non-native speakers of English receive language polishing. They get another editorial check before being returned to the author for any further corrections, and AMD editors will ask for approval of the edits.

 

Q: Will I receive a free copy of the published volumes?

A: We do not have the means to print free copies for all of the many authors involved in producing a reference work. Authors will be able to save a pdf of their work from the database.