Bloomsbury Visual Arts - Notes from the Editors

Notes from the Editors

Bloomsbury Art Markets – Protagonists, Networks, Provenances (BAM) is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed digital reference work that includes thousands of articles on commercial art galleries, art dealers, auction houses, art fairs, and other significant art market players in Europe and North America between 1900 and the present.

Articles are subdivided into geographic and thematic sections. These have been edited by Section Editors who, together with the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editors, selected relevant subjects for publication. Section Editors also assisted in the search for suitable authors and frequently reviewed the articles. Thus, Bloomsbury Art Markets includes the following sections: Auction Houses and Art Fairs (across both continents), Austria and Switzerland, Belgium and The Netherlands, Canada, Eastern Europe and Russia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Portugal, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the United States of America.

When compiling the first scholarly reference work for a subject as vast, multifaceted, and under-researched as the art market, one inevitably encounters challenges. Certain art market players, for instance, may have been prominent during their time, but the lack of historiography on the art trade may still have led to their obscurity, meaning that they might have been inadvertently overlooked in the present work. Moreover, despite diligent research, it may also have been difficult to find a suitable specialist able to write an article for a known, yet under-researched individual or firm. Readers should also bear in mind that — as the resource will only be fully complete by 2025 — particular articles may be scheduled for future publication. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to alert us to a missing topic.

Article Structure

Along with essential data, each article provides an overview of a firm or individual's history and information about exhibited artists, as well as bibliographic sources and potential archival holdings.

Article titles are based on the name last used by a firm or individual. Alternative or older names are listed in the "Other name(s)" field (see below). The title is followed by the name of the author and the main editors involved in the article’s processing.

Article header:
The table included at the beginning of each article provides basic data on the subject:

  • Other name(s): the former name(s), branch name(s), and other names under which a specific firm or individual is or was known. If the place of activity differs, it is included in parentheses. Dates are included to specify the period in which a particular name or names were used (see also below: "Format specifications for dates").
  • Founding year: the year in which a firm was established, regardless of the type of business at that time. This year does not indicate when a company began to be known as a gallery or an auction house nor when it began trading in art if, for instance, it evolved from another field. If the ownership or business structure of a firm transformed over the years, we always consider the oldest iteration of that business despite changes through partnerships or similar restructuring.
  • Year closed: the year in which the firm stopped operating. This field provides information on the firm’s period of existence and not, for instance, the year it stopped selling art.
  • Year of birth (in biographical articles): the year in which the subject of the article was born (if known).
  • Year of death (in biographical articles): the year in which the subject of the article died (if known).
  • Country: the country or countries where the firm or individual dealt with art over the years. In biographical articles, this field also includes the country where the subject of the article was born and where he or she died.
  • City: the city or cities where the firm or individual traded art over the years. In biographical articles, this field also gives the city where the subject was born and where he or she died.
  • Address(es): the address or addresses that were last used, main premises and branches alike. For firms or individuals still active today, these are the addresses where they operated when the article was last reviewed. For firms or individuals who are out of business, this field gives the address(es) used when the firm or individual became inactive. If several addresses were used simultaneously, the name of the branch is included in parentheses. In biographical articles, both private and business addresses are provided if possible.
  • Previous address(es): the address(es) previously used. A branch is designated in parentheses if several addresses were used concurrently.
  • Owned/funded by: when relevant and known, this field provides information on individuals or firms that were financially involved but did not play an active role.
  • Principal protagonist(s): this field names individuals who played a prominent role in a firm’s history (e.g., founders, owners, directors, etc.). The roles are stated after each name, while dates provide information on that individual’s period of activity. If a protagonist was only active in a specific branch or city, this information is also provided.
  • Specialization(s): the type(s) of art and objects (not services) for which the firm or individual is or was known. This field is neither exclusive nor comprehensive; it includes only the known main specialization(s) of a firm or individual’s line of business. To facilitate searchability, the type of art traded is given with overlapping specializations. For example, "19th-C. American art" and "landscape painting" may accompany the more specific term "Hudson River School."
  • Average number of auctions held per year (in articles on auction houses): an estimated number based on the information available to the author(s).
  • Season, Month held (in articles on art fairs): month or season the fair takes place. If the fair is or was held in several cities, or if the dates changed over time, additional data is provided. If another important fair is held in the same city concurrently, that information is included at the end in parentheses.
  • Juried (in articles on art fairs): if known, we indicate if the galleries and artists exhibited during the fair were selected and/or vetted by a committee.
  • Average number of exhibitors (in articles on art fairs): an estimated number based on the information available to the author(s).

For important firms and individuals, a narrative text accompanies the data listed in other sections. The length of this text may reflect the current assessment of a firm or individual’s standing, however, the amount of information provided might also be restricted by the quantity and quality of information available to the author(s) at the time of writing. The text’s length may also be affected by the number of known documented events (i.e., change of ownership, locations, program, etc.).

Economic Situation:
If enough relevant data was available to the author(s), this section covers information on the firm or individual’s economic situation. Should this not be the case, any related data is included in the "History" section.

For articles on commercial galleries and private art dealers, this section aims to provide a list of artists whose work was on offer. The list is not limited to artists represented by a firm; it includes participants in group shows as well as those whose work was present in the stock. Thus, the appearance of a name in this section does not guarantee that her or his work was, in fact, sold by the firm or individual in question.
For companies organizing shows in several locations, it should be assumed that the list of artists applies to all locations (unless otherwise stated). The date range included after an artist’s name indicates the period during which the artist was traded by the firm. However, if a date is preceded by "exh." ("exhibited"), the year(s) provided should be understood as those in which the artist was featured in a solo show.
Artists listed only with an initial followed by a last name are those who were exhibited, although we could not verify their first names. Artists listed with a question mark behind their first name are also artists whose participation in shows (or inclusion in the stock) is indisputable, but whose family name is the only part of the name documented, and in which case, their first name was assumed by the author(s).

Selected exhibitions:
Articles on galleries also provide a selection of shows that exemplify their range of activity. If possible, the list covers a gallery’s entire history. For major players in the art market, the list is generally limited to the most important events while, for lesser-known firms, the list is meant to provide an impression of the type of exhibitions and artists presented (notwithstanding their importance).
If a firm or individual organized shows in several locations, the list might be split between branches or cities cited at the beginning of each section. Alternatively, the name of the city may be given in parentheses after the years.
The year provided after an exhibition indicates the year the show opened. Exhibitions spanning more than one year (e.g., Nov. 1923–Feb. 1924) are listed according to the year in which the show opened. Date ranges are only used for art fairs and signify repeated participation in such events.

Selected clients:
If possible, this section lists private individuals, art dealerships, and institutions who purchased artworks from the firm or individual. It should be noted that the list is not comprehensive: the individuals, art dealerships, and institutions included here are those documented and available to the author(s). Hence, this list is not necessarily representative of the importance of a client for the gallery.

Principal participating galleries (in art fair articles):
In most articles on art fairs, this section lists the galleries that continuously exhibited. If insufficient data was available for each edition, the list provides the names of galleries attending a fair’s specific edition and the corresponding year.

Primary and Secondary sources:
This section lists sources used by the author(s)—and, occasionally, the reviewer—to write an article. It should not be understood as a list of recommendations for further reading, as relevant literature might not be listed if it was unavailable to the author. "Primary sources” are publications issued by the firm, written by one of its protagonists, or by the subject of a biographical article; they also include a firm or individual’s website(s) (current or discontinued), as well as interviews and documents from a firm or individual’s archive. All other forms of documentation are listed under "Secondary sources."

Archival situation:
This section is limited to archival materials pertaining directly to the subject of the article. When this section only provides "Name of Collection, Institution, City, State," this information designates the repository of significant parts of a firm or individual’s archive.

Format specifications for dates

In the article header, several formatting solutions are used to deal with imprecise dates. These should be read as follows:
"1923": in 1923.
"ca. 1923": in 1923 or, possibly, 1921, 1922, 1924, and 1925.
"1923/24": in 1923 or in 1924.
"before 1923": in 1922 or prior years.
"after 1923": in 1924 or in the years that followed.
"1923 or before": in 1923, but also, potentially, in the years prior (the oldest sources mentioning the article's subject are from 1923).
"1923 or later": in 1923, but also, potentially, in the years that followed (the most recent sources mentioning the article's subject are from 1923).
"by 1923": the corresponding information was found in a source dated from 1923, but we could not determine a date range for that specific data.
"1923–30": between 1923 and 1930.
"1923–?": starting in 1923, and for an undetermined later period.
"?–1923": until 1923 (starting year unknown).
"?–?": although the corresponding information was verified, it was not possible to determine a date range.