Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Betsy Thomas

Second Advisor

Maria Sancho-Arroyo


In 1966, historian David Coombs wrote: “In the context of the human situation, the worth of a work of art depends upon the worth of the person who produced it. The inspiration engendered by great leadership is intangible but real; the inspiration contained within a work of art is also intangible and likewise real, but in so far as it is bound up with a physical object than it is, in addition, enduring – transcending death, eschewing language, subject only to decay.”1 This statement encapsulates the unique position and value of Winston Churchill’s paintings. As his paintings occupy an unusual position in the art market: existing as historical artefacts and work of arts simultaneously, various quirks are evident that are distinct and not aligned to the wider conventions of the art world. The factors contributing to this unique dynamic will be surveyed in this dissertation: through an exploration of history, market activity, and insights of art market players. This market has flourished significantly in the last ten years and particularly since 2021. Given the exceptional recent growth in the market, this analysis will chart the evolution and offer explanations matching. It will explore the buying motivations and cultural values driving this growth to comprehend the future of this market and whether these prices are sustainable. Though substantial research and literature exists on Churchill’s paintings, there has not yet been a comprehensive analysis on the performance of these paintings in the art market.