Rodin’s Sculpture in Japan and the Economics of Translocation
Japanese art collectors acquired a large number of Rodin’s sculptures in the 1920s. While recent exhibitions have detailed the increasingly favourable critical reception of Rodin’s oeuvre in Japan during the early twentieth century, the underlying economic context behind the translocation of Rodin’s sculptures from Paris to Japan has remained largely unstudied. This paper argues that the collapse in the value of the French franc, among other economic disruptions occurring in France during the 1920s, played a significant role in the timing and scale of this translocation. The paper draws on board reports from the archives of the Musée Rodin in Paris and quantitative currency data recorded by the United States Federal Reserve Bank to examine the demand and supply characteristics of the market for Rodin’s sculptures in Japan. This analysis provides the alternative perspective within which the dynamics of art market translocations can be further understood.
Copyright (c) 2018 David Martin Challis
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