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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Gretchen Larsen

Larsen, G. (2014). Arts Consumption. In The Routledge Companion to Arts Marketing. O’Reilly, D., Rentschler, R. & Kirchner, T. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 183-193.

Author(s) from Durham


There are a variety of reasons why those interested in the arts might wish to understand arts ‘consumption’. From the perspective of the artist, the audience, or ‘consumer’, is an integral part of an artistic experience. Salvador Dalí (Owen Cheatham Foundation 1959 : 14) explains that “(w)ithout an audience, without the presence of spectators, these jewels would not fulfi l the function for which they come into being. The viewer, then, is the ultimate artist. His sight, heart, mind – fusing with and grasping with greater or lesser understanding the intent of the creator – gives them life”. It is only when someone experiences, or ‘consumes’ the art that the creative process is complete. In order for the artist to achieve their goal, be it the comprehension of a message, the experience of an emotion or desire, or the questioning of the world in which the audience live; the artist needs a good understanding of their audience.