Moralizing the Art Market: A Socioeconomic Perspective on Art Auctions on the Floor and Online


  • Ronit Milano Ben-Gurion University of the Negev



Art market, Art auctions, moral economics, Internet


Recent analyses of the art world show that the market has taken a primary position in generating the narratives of the art discourse which was led in the past by museums and curators. This shift raises a significant political issue: while conventional curatorial practices are subjective and elitist, we might assume that a shift towards the primacy of more organic structures, such as the market, conveys a more equal representation of the participants in the art world, and thus a more ethical structure of it. Yet ethics is a concept that is more social than economic, and the above assumption therefore depends on the prevailing economic approach at a particular time and place, and the political and cultural agenda it serves. This paper aims to offer a qualitative analysis of the contemporary art market as shaped by the neoliberal conditions underlying it, through the perspective of moral economy. Specifically, this study will evaluate the concept of equality in relation to online auctions, positioning the latter at the crossroads of political and social theory.

Author Biography

Ronit Milano, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Ronit Milano is a senior lecturer at the Department of the Arts in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, where she is head of the Museum Studies program.


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How to Cite

Milano, R. (2019). Moralizing the Art Market: A Socioeconomic Perspective on Art Auctions on the Floor and Online. Journal for Art Market Studies, 3(1).