Expert and public judgments in the visual arts

Richard G. Seymour, Cynthia M. Webster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


In the creative industries, experts are alternatively described as professionals, critics, buffs or connoisseurs. They are thought to play multiple roles of importance in the creative industries, including: gatekeepers, beacons of ‘fine’ taste and opinion leaders. The focus of this paper is in understanding whether experts in the field of public art emphasise different criteria in the formation of their tastes, and how they may come to similar or divergent judgments to the (novice) public. In different contexts, experts and novices have been shown to organise the world quite differently. The Cultural Consensus Theory is used to determine if the experts and novices agree in their judgments as to which of artworks are most preferred. The data confirm that both within and across groups of both experts and the public there are multiple voices with different perspectives and preferences. The findings suggest that divergent opinions both within and between experts and the public should be expected.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZMAC 2005
Subtitle of host publicationconference proceedings : broadening the boundaries
EditorsSharon Purchase
Place of PublicationFremantle, WA
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)064645546X
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2005) - Fremantle, WA
Duration: 5 Dec 20057 Dec 2005


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2005)
CityFremantle, WA


  • creative industries
  • expert and public judgements
  • cultural consensus theory


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