DP10753 | Death, Bereavement, and Creativity

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Publication Date

02/08/2015

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Abstract

Does creativity, on average, increase or decrease during bereavement? Dates of death of relatives and close friends of 33 French artists and 15 American artists were gathered from electronic sources and biographies, and information on over 15,000 paintings was collected from Blouin's Art Sales Index and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's online collection, including over 12,000 observations on price. To preview the results, an event study indicates that prices of paintings decrease by over one-third on average in the two years following the death of a friend or relative. Furthermore, paintings that were created during this bereavement period are less likely to be included in the the Met's collection.