drupa Prize 2010 to art and marketing dissertation writer (2010)

drupa Prize 2010 awarded to Nadine Müller

Press Release text by drupa organisation

In focus: The “marketing concepts” of Düsseldorf artists in the 19th century

Thanks to her excellent dissertation, Dr. des. Nadine Müller was awarded the 35th drupa Prize on 31st May 2010 at the Düsseldorf-based Industrieclub. Under the heading of “Self-promotion of artists in the Düsseldorf School and the Düsseldorf marketing system from 1826 – 1860”, Müller— a graduate from the Art History Institute at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf— examined how artists of that period marketed their works. The prize was awarded by Martin Weickenmeier, President of drupa 2012, and Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chairman of Messe Düsseldorf. Prof. Dr. Hans T. Siepe, Decan of the Philosophy Faculty, and Prof. Dr. Hans Körner, the prizewinner’s doctoral supervisor, lauded the dissertation by the young academic with “summa cum laude”.

The relationship between art and economics is no less current now than it was then. Whereas in our age of virtually unlimited communication, technology-based solutions and the impact of globalisation offer countless opportunities and just as many academics study marketing strategies and tools, Nadine Müller addressed one simple question in her work: How on earth did they do it before? Following this investigation, the prizewinner developed an exciting analysis the business aspects of artists in a historical period using the latest structural correlations in marketing.

The research work focussed on the marketing activities of the two artists Adolph Schroedter and Robert Reinick, who Nadine Müller examined in the context of current academic insights on marketing. Using proven strategy approaches and marketing concepts, she was able to measure the artists’ strategies, some of which were systematically planned, and others were “simply” intuitively selected. An example of this was the artists’ significant endeavours even at that time in terms of collaboration and networking with other artists. The investigations ranged from the tools used in communication approaches, to distribution, price, time and supply/demand strategies, through to creative finance strategies. This chosen combination of art history and academic considerations occurring for the first time in art market research was evaluated as outstanding by academic assessors.

Nadine Müller was born in 1978 in Erkelenz and studied art history, educational science and media studies at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. She was awarded a PhD bursary from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, Bonn, and since 2005 has been involved in the project management in the research project “Art Research & International Artist and Exhibition Database for Art History” at the university. Since April 2008 she has also worked as a Gallery Assistant at the Galerie Ludorff gallery in Düsseldorf.

About the drupa Prize
Since 1978 the organisation Messe Düsseldorf as the organiser’s of the drupa trade show has honoured outstanding academic work from the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf and has awarded a prize of EUR 6000 for the publication and distribution of the dissertation. The winner of the drupa Prize is decided each year by an expert panel, consisting of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, the President of drupa, and the Chairman of Messe Düsseldorf.