This course brings together a variety of readings from the humanities and the social sciences that examine the inner workings of the art world. Beginning with the conceptions of modern art and the artist, it critically explores the distinction between art works and artifacts, creativity and labor as well as between contemporary and 'ethnic' art. Drawing on ethnographic examples the course investigates how artists, critics, curators, collectors, patrons and sponsors conceptualize their work, and how they approach prospective audiences. A central concern will be analyzing how the philosophical underpinnings of the civic impact accorded to art are reflected in the daily 'business' of the art world. This will include looking at the practices and discourses of producing, curating and exhibiting; buying, selling, and collecting; reviewing, appraising, insuring and restituting artworks as well as probing the interpersonal and institutional relationships that constitute the arts sector.