Essay Is Art The Ultimate Luxury?

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Is Art the Ultimate Luxury?

The British art market is one of the most powerful and influential in the world. It has gone global thanks to its collectors and dealers who have encouraged a steady supply of art into the capital. Nevertheless artists and collectors stand in a nervous balance between commercialism and creation. The rich have had a monopoly on art since the dark ages and without these rich patrons names like Turner and Holbein would be unknown. However some believe these patrons simply see art as a commodity to be sold and don’t appreciate its real value. Much of this art remains in private collections or exclusive galleries which only the upper class can afford to own or enter. The public, who could greatly benefit from art, are becoming increasingly alienated from the art world. Gallery pieces are sold for high prices reaching the millions. I want to ask if art is and should be a human right. Does support from the rich mean art belongs to them alone or can it be accessed and appreciated by all?

It’s easy to imagine rich collectors and patrons to be philistines with no real understanding of what they are investing in. This would be ignoring the valuable contributions they have made to the art world. If the market and want for art increases then more is created. We can see this as far back as the Tudor ages where the art deemed most important was commissioned exclusively by the nobility. Without Henry VII’s support Holbein would have never painted…

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