Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Ann-Marie Richard

Second Advisor

Brendan Burns


The effect of celebrity provenance on value of fine art and design is a recent phenomenon that can be explained by unpacking the changing profile of collectors, the rise of the digital age and contemporary fascination with celebrity. Understanding these changes will shed light on different factors that contribute to the premium often associated with celebrity sales. Although research has been done before on this topic before, the research neglects to look at the auction house as a factor in understanding the effects of celebrity provenance. By evaluating the celebrity, and the auction houses, relationship to the works of art and design will help determine what specific qualities and factors contribute to the objects perceived value. Using two celebrity auctions as cases, I will offer explanations on why there are disproportionate effects on objects at singleseller celebrity auctions.