Surrealism and Money: Dealers, Collectors, and Gallerists

Surrealism and Money: Dealers, Collectors, and Gallerists

Since November 2014, the international and interdisciplinary research project “Surrealism and Money” has been dedicated to a systematic cultural, art and economic-historical analysis of the networks that constituted surrealism as one of the great avant-gardes of the 20th century. What role did the art market play in establishing surrealism as an international avant-garde? Who were the actors, platforms and media of its marketing and self-marketing? In what way did works of art by Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, André Masson, Joan Miró and others become  outstanding collectors’ and museum pieces, first in the USA and then in Europe? And how did the surrealists position themselves in relation to the commercial, in their eyes capitalist system of the art market? These questions were discussed and analyzed in six international workshops and colloquia at DFK Paris and two master seminars at Université Paris Nanterre and Leipzig University.

They produced new insights not only into the genesis, history and internationalization of surrealism, but also into the economic situation of artists and the strategies of their dealers in Europe and American exile, as well as into the museumization of surrealist art. Young scholars in particular were introduced to the field of research on surrealism between art and commerce from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Initially conceived in late 2013 by Julia Drost (DFK Paris) and Martin Schieder (University of Leipzig) and since 2015 co-directed with Fabrice Flahutez (Université Lyon-Saint-Étienne), the project, which is based at DFK Paris, was partially funded from 2015–2017 by the Labex (Laboratory of Excellence) of Arts and Human Mediations’ (Arts H2H) project Surrealism by Galleries, Collectors and Mediators”. Further project and publication funds were provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The International Art Market Studies Association (TIAMSA).




Colloquia and Events


« Le monde au temps des surréalistes »
Workshop at the DFK
Paris, 7 – 8 November 2014
Program (PDF)


« Le surréalisme dans l’europe de l’entre-deux guerres »
Workshop at the DFK
Paris, 11 – 12 March 2016
Programm (PDF)

« Surréalisme et arts premiers »
Workshop at the  DFK
Paris, 10  – 11 October 2016
Programm (PDF)

« The Avant-Garde and its Networks »
Workshop at the Orient Institut Beirut
Beirut, 14 – 15 November 2016
Programm (PDF)


« Das Geschäft mit dem Wunderbaren »
Workshop at the DFK
Paris, 28 – 29 September 2017
Programm (PDF)

« Networks, Museums and Collections. Surrealism in the U.S. »
Workshop at the DFK
Paris, 27 – 29 November 2017
Programm (PDF)

Abstracts (PDF)


Dr. Julia Drost

Dr. Julia Drost

Research Director / Head of Young Researchers Programs
Phone +33 (0)1 42 60 67 97
Exposition internationale du surréalisme, EROS, galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris, 1965