Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department




Faculty Mentor

Katrina Mullan

Faculty Mentor Department



family, art, inspire, artist, marriage, children

Subject Categories



Does having children or being married inspire an artist to create more valuable works? This question stemmed from a recent article which suggests that when artists travel, they create more valuable art. After researching how having children or being married affects professions similar to artists, either in work process or wage type (like published researchers or the self-employed), it seems there is a connection. I then decided to apply economic models to evaluate art with regard to families. I gathered biographical data regarding artists, corresponding art auctions from 2013, and connected them on a yearly basis to determine if they were married, or had at least one child when the piece of art was completed. After performing several regressions, while correcting for other variables like size or the medium used, I found some evidence of a relationship. While in most of the regressions, both the child and marriage variables were insignificant, when using female interaction variables, both having a child and being married were found to be significant. The results suggest that for female artists being married or having a child is detrimental to the price of their art. It is important to note that the quantity of art produced is not what was measured, but the value art buyers were willing to pay in 2013. In addition to the family variables, I also included broad categorical variables of what each piece of art depicted as its subject, and found that together, these variables were jointly significant. While this was not the primary question, finding that these results were so strong was surprising. In short, my study suggests that having a family may negatively affect the value of a female artist’s work, and that subject choice may influence the price of art. This study was completed in May 2014.

Honors College Research Project


Included in

Economics Commons



© Copyright 2015 Joel Davison