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The marketing techniques of William Hogarth (1697-1764), artist and engraver.

MCNALLY, MARK (2014) The marketing techniques of William Hogarth (1697-1764), artist and engraver. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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In its commercial gearing, the eighteenth-century publishing industry updated and extended popular print. New productions included an increase in the number of newspapers, books such as the novel and the engraved print which, as a repeatable commodity, became a feature of a society in which art was considered a commercial activity as well as a cultural one. The prospect of art becoming as much a commercial entity as an endorsement of cultural status provided enterprising artists such as William Hogarth with the opportunity to satisfy the requirements of an expanding, diverse and literate audience on terms with which they would be familiar. This related not only to the creation of a narrative form of art within the framing strictures of the book and text, but also the establishment of a direct link between the artist and the ‘public at large’ by the strategic use of newspaper advertisements and the competitive promotion of works through the subscription process. These key entrepreneurial activities are considered alongside the securing of intellectual property rights for artists by Hogarth through his successful promotion of the Engravers Copyright Act 1735 which made artists independently responsible for the production and distribution of their own work.
Chapter One outlines the conceptual framework for the analysis and interpretation of contemporary society in the early eighteenth-century. This takes into account changes in cultural gradations and the effect these had on commercial trading patterns and aesthetic interpretations of art. Chapter Two provides an overview of the background and upbringing of William Hogarth and the trajectory of his career as he became influenced by commercial opportunity and the prospect of a more open and diverse market for art. Chapter Three identifies technical developments in print and publishing during the period and demonstrates how these and the subscription process provided William Hogarth with commercial opportunities not previously available to artists. The creation by Hogarth of the visually attractive subscription ticket as an artistic item in its own right is considered along with a social analysis of sixty-four signed subscription tickets as a guide to audience composition. Chapter Four analyses the use of advertising in London newspapers by William Hogarth and the specific strategies he adopted on a print by print basis. It also provides fresh evidence of which newspapers were most advertised in and the prints which featured most frequently. Chapter Five reveals the extent to which auction sales in London, as unregulated sales events, responded to, and assisted in the commercialisation of art as an exchangeable commodity once it had left the artists hands. This demonstrates the extent to which the quest for cultural capital of an increasingly large consumer base exerted a formative influence on the commercial and marketing techniques of eighteenth -century art.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Keywords:Research into the sales techniques of the eighteenth-century art market.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > History, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 May 2014 10:48

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