Economists who support the arts

Hi Tyler (we are Facebook friends),

I am working on a blog posting for my new blog ( and I want to write about instances where economists supported the arts in some special way.  So far I have four cases:  Professor Norton T. Dodge and his support of the Russian avant grade artists; Professor Alexander Gershenkron for his great review of Nabokov’s abominable translation of” Eugene Onegin”, Professor Gregory Grossman at Berkeley for inviting and supporting the Polish poet Alexander Wat who dictated his great book “My Century” while visiting there; and lastly, John Maynard Keynes for his support of theater, ballet and dance.  Could you think of other cases?  Or articles/books on the subject?


Julian Berengaut

Richard Caves collects Picasso, Bill Landes collects Charles Burchfield, and William Baumol did a good deal of wood sculpture, but I do not know that any of them have served as patrons of living artists.  Assar Lindbeck also works as a painter, as does Robert Mundell.  Spencer MacCallum (not an economist but he has written on economic issues) has been an important patron and promoter of Mexican pottery, and my own patronage efforts in Mexico are discussed in my book on the economics of Mexican art.

Roderick Deane is a New Zealand businessman, economist, and a supporter of New Zealand artists.  Marie-Josée Kravis is an economist and also a patron of the arts, mostly for Canadian artists I believe.  Georges Menil, of the Menil family, is an economist in Paris.  Wayne Cox (not an economist) writes on tax issues and has been an important supporter and collector of Jamaican Intuitive art.  Henry Kaufman is an economist who has donated a good deal of money to the arts.  Henry Raeburn painted a portrait of 19th century economist Francis Horner, but it was paid for by Horner’s brother rather than by Francis.  Maybe there was a Beckerian or Coasian bargain behind the scenes.

Richard D. Bodig was a singer, scholar of Renaissance music, and also an economist.  How about this headline?: “Jazz singer Olesya Yalunina on how jazz freed her from a career in economics.”  Stephen Dubner used to play in a rock band.

That is what comes to mind.  Who am I missing?


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