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Superstar Museums: An Economic Analysis

Bruno Frey ()

Journal of Cultural Economics, 1998, vol. 22, issue 2, 113-125

Abstract: Superstar museums are characterized by (1) great prominence among tourists and world fame among the general population; (2) a large number of visitors; (3) a collection of generally known painters and individual paintings; (4) an exceptional architecture; and (5) a large role of commercialization, including a substantial impact on the local economy. The superstar phenomenon is caused by factors both on the demand and the supply side of the market. Superstar museums are forced to offer “total experience” to the visitors; they have to relate to events in history, technology, politics, films and TV, and they have to provide for everything from education, food, gifts, shopping to entertainment. The development of superstar status strongly affects museum policy. The strategic orientation emphasizes visitors' demands; the organization has to be decentralized into processes each devoted to particular segments of visitors, to special exhibitions or support activities. There are also major consequences for human resource management, in particular, relating to flexibility and staff composition of paid employees and volunteers. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Keywords: economics of art; museums; superstars; commercialization; art policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998
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