The purpose of the study was to develop and test a model explaining visual artists’ levels of commitment to their primary distributors (dealers, agents, gallery owners).
A questionnaire was completed by 220 British artists covering their relationships with the main external intermediaries they used most frequently. The questionnaire covered the elements of a structural equation model designed to predict commitment levels. The model included as mediating variables the strength of an artist's personal brand and the individual's control over, dependence on, and conflict with a distributor.
Most of the respondents had good relationships with their distributors. The hypothesised model provided a sound fit with the data, although there was no significant connection between an artist's ability to control a distributor and the person's commitment to the distributor.
The research was undertaken in a single country and only visual artists (rather than, for instance, performing artists) were considered. Space restrictions prevented the detailed examination within the questionnaire of the participants’ relationships with different types of intermediary.
Artists should cultivate powerful personal brands and apply ‘relationalist’ approaches when dealing with distributors.
The study was the first to apply marketing theories of distribution to the arts domain. A new and original measure of the extent of a visual artist's personal branding activities was devised and employed as a part of the investigation.
Kottász, R. and Bennett, R. (2013), "Factors affecting visual artists’ levels of commitment to artwork distributors", Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 21-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/20442081311327147Download as .RIS
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