By VICTORIA D. ALEXANDER
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Extra info for Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective
As Becker suggests, policies toward the arts reflect state interests, which do not necessarily coincide with the interests of artists. What the interests of the state are and how they are determined are debated issues in political sociology. It is not our purpose to add to this debate, but we recognize that states may reflect the interests of the dominant class, big business, ‘the people’, or state bureaucrats. 18 Introduction 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. We also note that states are rarely unified actors.
18 The Smithsonian Institute is funded by the American government; however, it does not, in a strict sense, constitute a ‘national’ museum. It is, instead, a public institution that receives line-item government funding. It has operational independence and its own endowment. The National Gallery of Art, whose collections span the medieval period to the present, is an independent bureau under the Smithsonian umbrella. Its annual appropriations cover maintenance and the operation of the gallery. Works of art, however, are bequeathed, given, or purchased with private funds.
1985; Rueschemeyer, 1991), or to societies where laws exist to protect artists above and beyond those implemented in the United States. For instance, many European countries have droit de suite laws which allow artists or their estates to benefit from the resale of their works. Artists are allowed a percentage of the resale price. This increases the cost of selling works at auction and may have effects on the actions of collectors (perhaps by encouraging them to hold onto paintings for longer), but it clearly benefits artists whose work has appreciated in value at the time it is sold.
Art and the State: The Visual Arts in Comparative Perspective by VICTORIA D. ALEXANDER