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The $12 Million Stuffed Shark

The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson
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Why would a smart New York investment banker pay $12 million for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock's drip painting No. 5, 1948 sell for $140 million?

Intriguing and entertaining, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark is a Freakonomics approach to the economics and psychology of the contemporary art world. Why were record prices achieved at auction for works by 131 contemporary artists in 2006 alone, with astonishing new heights reached in 2007? Don Thompson explores the money, lust, and self-aggrandizement of the art world in an attempt to determine what makes a particular work valuable while others are ignored.

This book is the first to look at the economics and the marketing strategies that enable the modern art market to generate such astronomical prices. Drawing on interviews with both past and present executives of auction houses and art dealerships, artists, and the buyers who move the market, Thompson launches the reader on a journey of discovery through the peculiar world of modern art. Surprising, passionate, gossipy, revelatory, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark reveals a great deal that even experienced auction purchasers do not know.

St. Martin's Press; February 2012
272 pages; ISBN 9780230341937
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Title: The $12 Million Stuffed Shark
Author: Don Thompson
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'The Supermodel and the Brillo Box' explores the post-recession art scene - New York Daily News (blog)
Thu, 29 May 2014 13:46:00 -0700
New York Daily News (blog)'The Supermodel and the Brillo Box' explores the post-recession art sceneNew York Daily News ...
Book Reviews: Economics of Art - Barron's
Fri, 03 Oct 2014 23:26:10 -0700
Barron'sBook Reviews: Economics of ArtBarron'sDon Thompson, an economist and professor emeritus of marketing at Toronto's ...
12 Books on the Ins and Outs of Collecting Contemporary Art - Huffington Post
Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:52:30 -0800
Huffington Post12 Books on the Ins and Outs of Collecting Contemporary ArtHuffington PostTaking its name from the sale of ...