Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

The First Books | The New Global Economy

A funny and insightful look at the contemporary art world from a writer whose eye was sharpened by a stint as a critic for The Economist. The art world culture of the last twenty years has created an astonishingly rich, interconnected, internationalized, but strangely hereditary artistic patronage system.

We are accustomed to thinking of today’s artists as individuated creators pursuing their projects with passion and drive. And yet, according to Sarah Thornton’s investigations, dominant patronage systems have always been intimately linked with individual creativity.

If you work for an art dealer, this is likely one of the three books you will be told to get to learn about the field. Art collectors should understand the ecosystem they are joining, just as art gallery assistants want to know what collectors desire.

Joelle’s Library

Learning about the art world can seem elusive. It shouldn’t be.

Building your art bookshelf is a forever-ongoing process. I’ve included an Amazon link to help you find the right next book for you, but you can always purchase at your local bookstore in person or at

The books are organized into categories. The First Books are for those brand-new to the art world. More seasoned collectors can jump ahead to dive deeper into specific threads.

  1. The First Books
  2. Artists & Art History
  3. The Science & Art Of Collecting
  4. The Buying & Selling Of Art
  5. The Art Market

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