Fame as an Illusion of Creativity: Evidence from the Pioneers of Abstract Art

46 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2018

See all articles by Banerjee Mitali

Banerjee Mitali

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy

Paul L. Ingram

Columbia Business School - Management

Date Written: August 1, 2018

Abstract

We build a social structural model of fame, which departs from the atomistic view of prior literature where creativity is the sole driver of fame in creative markets. We test the model in a significant empirical context: 90 pioneers of the early 20th century (1910–25) abstract art movement. We find that an artist in a brokerage rather than a closure position was likely to become more famous. This effect was not, however, associated with the artist’s creativity, which we measured using both objective computational methods and subjective expert evaluations, and which was not itself related to fame. Rather than creativity, brokerage networks were associated with cosmopolitan identities—broker’s alters were likely to differ more from each other’s nationalities--and this was the key social-structural driver of fame.

Suggested Citation

Mitali, Banerjee and Ingram, Paul L., Fame as an Illusion of Creativity: Evidence from the Pioneers of Abstract Art (August 1, 2018). HEC Paris Research Paper No. SPE-2018-1305; Columbia Business School Research Paper No. 18-74. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3258318 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3258318

Banerjee Mitali (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Strategy & Business Policy ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351
France

HOME PAGE: http://https://mitalibanerjee.com

Paul L. Ingram

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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