Cover: Painting outside the Lines: Patterns of Creativity in Modern Art, from Harvard University PressCover: Painting outside the Lines in HARDCOVER

Painting outside the Lines

Patterns of Creativity in Modern Art

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Product Details


$40.00 • £32.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674006126

Publication Date: 01/18/2002


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

19 halftones, 2 line illustrations, 15 tables


Painting outside the Lines represents the effort of a quantitative economic historian to contribute to our understanding of the evolution of modern visual art. This research will get attention—indeed, it already has—for establishing the fact that the most esteemed work of artists, reflected in the prices their works command at auction, has been coming at earlier and earlier ages. Deeper and more important than that astonishing fact is what the study uncovers about the process of artistic innovation. Two technologies vie for the achievement of innovation: the experimental and the conceptual. Both are viable, and the one that dominates in a particular school or movement depends on the circumstances at hand. This quantitative study is well and thoroughly executed.—Richard Caves, author of Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce

In Painting outside the Lines, David Galenson offers the simple but fascinating thesis that statistical analysis reveals patterns in the careers of modern artists. The book’s most startling argument describes two kinds of artistic behavior enacted by modern artists since the impressionists: the conceptualists, whose work matures early, and the experimentalists, whose work comes to fruition late. What Galenson has to say about innovation and the pressure it exerts on the behavior of artists in the modern world has often been observed. This, however, is the first time that it has been quantitatively studied, putting common sense knowledge on an altogether different foundation. Galenson has written a book whose methods and results ought to be debated and worked through by the largest public possible, extending far beyond either economics or art history. By leading to a host of other questions and other insights, Painting outside the Lines accomplishes what the very best scholarship ought to do. It is not an end, a summing up, but the beginning of what I hope will be a whole new way of thinking about the discipline of art history.—Robert Jensen, author of Marketing Modernism in Fin de Siècle Europe

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

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In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene