Olav Velthuis, professor of Sociology
Dr O.J.M. Velthuis (1972) has been appointed professor of Sociology, especially economic life and culture, at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.
Olav Velthuis's research has focused on prices in the contemporary art market, the globalisation of the art world and the recent emergence and explosion of art markets in China, Brazil, Russia and India. His latest project was funded by a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). As a professor at the UvA, Velthuis will continue to study art markets. Moreover, he will look at the interrelationship between sales and donations within market settings, voluntary internet payment systems, the role of morality in markets and the ways in which sexuality and intimacy are marketed on online webcam platforms.
Velthuis has been affiliated with the UvA since 2005, where he has been an associate professor since 2011, and leads the Sociology Department's Cultural Sociology programme group. From 2002 to 2003, he was assistant professor at the University of Konstanz, and subsequently a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University (USA). After returning to the Netherlands, he worked as a reporter for the economics section of de Volkskrant newspaper. Velthuis has also been a visiting fellow at the European University Institute in Florence and a visiting professor at Wissenschafts Zentrum Berlin (WZB) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is currently president of The International Art Market Studies Association (www.artmarketstudies.org).
Velthuis is the author of several books, including Talking Prices. Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art, which won a prestigious award of the American Sociological Association and was hailed by Newsweek as ‘the best study of what art spending means’. His work on art markets, consumer society, financial markets, journalistic production and the literary book market has appeared in leading scientific journals, including Journal of Consumer Culture, Theory & Society, Socio-Economic Review, Economy & Society and Journalism. Velthuis has also published articles for a wider readership in among others the Financial Times and the American art journal Artforum.