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Measuring the Cultural Value of the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries Exhibition as a Platform for Emerging Artists

Fillis I, Lee B & Fraser I (2015) Measuring the Cultural Value of the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries Exhibition as a Platform for Emerging Artists. Arts and Humanities Research Council.

We carried out a case study analysis of the cultural value associated with the Royal Scottish Academy New Contemporaries exhibition. The relevant literature was appraised, before considering the role of the RSA in shaping emerging artists careers through the exhibition. This involved investigating the process of selection for the exhibition itself, and viewing the exhibition as a platform for launching the careers of the exhibiting artists. To provide structured insight, we considered the role of the intrinsic and instrumental value dimensions involved. We did this using face to face interviews and focus groups with representatives of the various stakeholder groups, and also developed and analysed a visitor survey which assessed the expected versus experienced value of the exhibition, the value of the individual artworks and perceptions as to the ‘true’ value of artworks more generally. We also carried out a travel time and cost analysis of the exhibition. Key themes addressed in the report include impressions of the exhibition, quality issues and the value of the exhibition to its stakeholders, including the exhibiting and other artists. Price setting and the art market mechanism were also examined. We also considered how the NCE itself could be enhanced to add more value. In addition to examining the specific cultural value of the NCE, we also assessed how the NCE can impact on the future career paths of the artists. In addition, we also captured thinking on the ‘true’ value of art more generally. Detailed methodological insights are presented in an appendix. Summary and key conclusions are presented, in addition to an overview of outputs achieved so far, together with planned future outputs.

Cultural Value; Intrinsic Value; Instrumental Value; Emerging Artists; Transition; Exhibition; Platform; Art Market

StatusPublicly available
AuthorsFillis Ian, Lee Boram, Fraser Ian
Number of pages110
Publication date2015
PublisherArts and Humanities Research Council
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