MAY 2020

With this short survey, I anticipate gaining some insight as to what triggers interest in and sustains ongoing support of the arts. Is it formal education? Familial or social influences? Or is the impetus for our affection for the arts simply a collage of random ineffable occurrences (i.e., who knows “why”)?  Whatever brought about your interest in the arts, I hope you will be open to sharing your experience(s) and continued engagement with the visual arts / craft / design / literary / music &/or performance by way of filling out this 10min. questionnaire:  What sparked your interest in the arts? Survey
The survey has been created to preserve anonymity. Any information you choose to share will be treated as proprietary & confidential.
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This research project, and the subsequent paper/article I will write, is an independent endeavor. (A bit more about my thread of thinking is provided below.) In the course of the survey, I will not ask for your name or other details that may identify you; only geographic location. If you are interested in reading the end product, there will be opportunity to leave your contact information at the end of the survey. In addition, and as a Thank You, you will be given access to my photo history lecture “From Propaganda to Fine Art:  The Photographs of the Resettlement Administration & the Farm Security Administration (FSA)” online, with free access.

In advance, my sincere thanks for your time and consideration.
Jennifer Stoots

My line of thinking for this research project…  Decorative, non-utilitarian objects and renderings are evident from as far back as the Paleolithic period. Pliny the Elder was fascinated by civilization’s interest in art and was one of the first historians known to document the market for visual art, including public auctions and commissions. Over the course of the last two millennia, emperors, holy orders, and heads of state have patroned the arts by way of funding public monuments, conspicuous consumables, and personal adornments. The Edo Period of Japan and the Golden Age of Holland—both 17th c. C.E.—mark the birth of the middle class and a middle market for art. That said, the history of art was not officially formed as field of study in the West until the 19th century (in Germany).

This study will look at the rise of museums, art-oriented non-profits and galleries in the U.S. since the “museum boom” of the 1920’s, the subsequent establishment and growth of art history departments in American universities, and how education of art and the history of art has made an impact (directly or indirectly) on high-level and mid-range patronage. Information from the survey will supplement patterns I have noticed working professionally in the arts over the last 26 years; experience working in sales at photography & contemporary art galleries, as a gallery assistant at art fairs, plus my work with collectors as an appraiser.



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