The Arts

Painting, poetry, literary fiction and sculpture are all highly appraised arts, although the distribution and availability may vary. This is especially true for what is fashionable and unfashionable this season. Museums hold extensive relics of artistic and historical interest. Art galleries of paintings and sculpture are usually private salerooms, selling works to the highest bidder. Possibly the most famous center of artistic education and shows is the Royal Academy of Art, in London. Poetry is usually published in pamphlets and distributed individually. A poet who receives recognition will go to a publishing house, and release his work in bound volumes. Literary fiction is usually distributed through installments in the many magazines available and, if popular, then released in volumes. Both Dickens and Sir Conan Doyle released their prominent works as serials in The Strand magazine before receiving wider recognition.

Without variation, the artistic pursuits are poorly paid careers: an artist must be unusually prolific to produce enough works to live comfortably. Most often an artist lives by the donations of a fashionable sponsor. Luckily, many of the upper classes like to support some starving artist for the kudos of 'discovering and nurturing' their talent.

Where you can make money in art, is in selling it. In the 1840s a new breed of entrepreneur rose in the middle classes, the art dealer. They realized that the newly rich middle classes were becoming consumers of art just as much as the aristocracy were. They became brokers, seeking out talented artists and putting them in touch with the sort of people who would like to buy their work, all for a fee of course. This new surge in the art trade encouraged the production of art as much as the selling of it, making this a golden age for artistic endeavor. The current style of fashionable art is called Realism, but a very new French movement called Impressionism is proving increasingly popular.